- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Chilean court delays Pinochet decision

SANTIAG0, Chile Chile's Supreme Court yesterday postponed for a week a decision on whether to strip Augusto Pinochet of his immunity from prosecution, which stands in the way of putting him on trial for human rights abuses.
"We have to get to the bottom of this, and we will get to the bottom of it next Tuesday," Hernan Alvarez, the Supreme Court president, told reporters after the end of a three-hour, closed-door session.
It was the formal start of the court's deliberations on whether Gen. Pinochet, 84, should be tried for his reputed involvement in a "Death Caravan" that slaughtered leftists after his forces ousted socialist President Salvador Allende in a 1973 coup.

Anti-U.S. students riot in South Korea

SEOUL Armed with rocks and bamboo staffs, students and farmers attacked club-wielding police and wrote protest messages in blood yesterday in one of the biggest anti-U.S. demonstrations since President Kim Dae-jung took office in 1998.
Police said 14,000 protesters massed for the demonstration, which criticized the South Korean government as well as the United States. Hundreds burned a U.S. flag, pounded police shields with tree branches and hurled rocks and other debris at rows of helmeted officers in a major intersection in downtown Seoul.
Police periodically charged the demonstrators, chasing them through traffic and beating them in front of startled drivers. Several protesters bled from head wounds, and an ambulance removed at least one injured man.

Iranian court closes reform newspaper

TEHRAN A hard-line Iranian court closed a new reformist weekly yesterday, the 20th national publication to be hit by a widespread crackdown on the progressive press.
Iran's official news agency, IRNA, said the Press Court banned the weekly Gounagoun (Variety), set up by a group of reformist journalists whose newspapers were recently closed.
The press crackdown, which started in April, and arrests of prominent pro-reform journalists and activists have delivered a blow to liberal political and social reforms advocated by President Mohammed Khatami.

Castro invites all to anti-U.S. marches

HAVANA Fidel Castro on Monday night urged the entire 2 million population of Havana to turn out for a massive march to protest the U.S. trade embargo and celebrate the start of the revolution that triumphed 41 years ago.
"This is more important than that 26 of July when we started the armed struggle," Mr. Castro said on a live television program.
The march today, coming amid growing moves in Congress to chip away at nearly 4-decade-old trade sanctions against Cuba, appeared aimed at influencing American public opinion.

Sect member gets death sentence

TOKYO A former member of the doomsday sect behind the 1995 nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subways was sentenced to death yesterday for killing an anti-cult lawyer and joining an earlier gas attack, the court said.
Satoru Hashimoto, 33, and four other sect members had already been found liable in civil lawsuits for the 1989 killings of lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto, his wife and infant son.
Hashimoto was the second former member of the Aum Shinri Kyo sect to be sentenced to death.

Coffee drinking linked to arthritis

LONDON A new study raises the possibility that people who drink a lot of coffee might be more likely to develop the debilitating immune system disease rheumatoid arthritis.
The Finnish study, published this week in the British Medical Association journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, found that people who drank more than four cups a day had twice the chance of getting the disease as those who drank less.
While the study does not prove drinking coffee causes rheumatoid arthritis, it is the first to produce evidence of a possible link.

Hardy takes command of forces in Kosovo

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Yugoslavia Brig. Gen. Dennis E. Hardy took command of U.S. forces in Kosovo yesterday, saying he intends to advance the peace process and leave Kosovo "as a land of peace and prosperity."
Gen. Hardy assumed the reins at an outdoor ceremony at Camp Bondsteel, the main U.S. camp in this Serbian province where 5,500 U.S. troops are stationed. He takes over from Brig. Gen. Randal M. Tieszen, who leaves the post after two months to become Chief of Staff of V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany, where he will be in charge of 50,000 troops.
In a speech at the hand-over ceremony, Gen. Hardy said he wants to eventually "turn this nation back over to the Kosovars … as a land of peace and prosperity."

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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