- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 4, 2000

Palestinians promised statehood in months

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip Yasser Arafat's government told Palestinians yesterday to prepare for statehood by Sept. 13, even as Israel insisted anew that independence must come only as part of a peace accord.

The Palestinians' chief policy-making body, the Palestine Liberation Organization's Central Council, was wrapping up two days of closed-door talks in the Gaza Strip about the timing of a statehood declaration.

The council called on Mr. Arafat's government to start the procedures toward statehood, although it omitted his earlier threats to declare statehood unilaterally, which Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has said would lead to unilateral Israeli decisions. Such brinkmanship would likely lead to violence.

Opposition backers kill two Aristide supporters

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Tensions over election results turned violent on a Haitian island where opposition party supporters demanding a new vote killed two supporters of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and seriously wounded another, a government worker reported yesterday.

Sunday's clash between rival party members on Ile-a-Vache, an island of 12,000 people off Haiti's southern coast, was the first reported violence since May 21 legislative and local elections gave a commanding majority to Aristide's Lavalas Family party.

Dalai Lama meets with Albright

The Dalai Lama met yesterday with Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and outlined his ideas for promoting cultural and religious self-governance of Tibet within a framework of continued Chinese sovereignty over the region, a senior U.S. official said.

Julia Taft, the State Department coordinator on Tibetan issues, said Mrs. Albright discussed with the Dalai Lama the recent talks on Tibet that she held with Chinese President Jiang Zemin during her recent visit to Beijing.

Mrs. Taft said the Dalai Lama always has been consistent in his view that "he is not a splittist. He is not seeking independence for Tibet. He wants to move forward."

Canadian biathlete killed by bear

QUEBEC CITY A 24-year-old Canadian member of the national biathlon team was killed by a bear as she was training in the woods on a military base, police said yesterday.

Colleagues of the woman, identified as Mary-Beth Miller, alerted military police Sunday when she failed to return from her training and police later found her body and noticed a bear bite on her neck as well as bear footprints near the body, a police spokeswoman said.

Miss Miller, from Canada's Northwest Territories, was doing her biathlon training on Sunday on a forest path on the military base of Valcartier, near the provincial capital Quebec City.

Troops break up opposition celebration

HARARE, Zimbabwe Police and soldiers forcibly broke up opposition election celebrations this past weekend, in some instances kicking people and hitting them with rifle butts, opposition leaders said yesterday.

In addition, troops and police raided nightclubs and bars in Harare during the weekend in a search for revelers, opposition officials said. The partygoers were celebrating the opposition Movement for Democratic Change's big gains in June 24-25 parliamentary elections.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed that a celebration was dispersed Saturday in the western Harare suburb of Dzivarasekwa because it had not been authorized by police.

China prepares craft for second launch

HONG KONG China is nearly ready for an unmanned test of its second spacecraft designed to carry astronauts, a government-backed newspaper reported yesterday.

The new spacecraft is designed to carry three astronauts and is far more technologically advanced than Shenzhou, the first Chinese spacecraft made for manned space missions, the Chinese-language daily said.

Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

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