- The Washington Times - Monday, June 5, 2000

Cuban church demandsaccess to media

HAVANA The archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, yesterday demanded that the church be granted access to the media in Cuba, all of which are under state control.
Access to the media is "so necessary, like respect for religion and the moral convictions of the people," Cardinal Ortega said at a Mass at the cathedral in Havana.
The cardinal's demands came as Cuba's media accused Dagoberto Valdes, the lay director of the Catholic magazine Vitral, of meeting with Polish conspirators and agents of the CIA, behind the church's back.

Gunmen shoot, kill Spanish politician

MADRID A member of Spain's ruling party who was accused of opposing Basque separatists was shot and killed yesterday, and police blamed the deadly nationalist group ETA.
Jesus Maria Pedrosa, 57, a member of the ruling Popular Party, was shot once in the back of the head and died instantly, police said. He was in his hometown of Durango in the northern Basque province of Vizcaya.
No one claimed responsibility for the killing, but police, politicians and local media blamed the armed Basque separatist group ETA. The group has killed some 800 people since 1968 in its campaign for Basque independence.

Serbs pull back from U.N. Kosovo body

GRACANICA, Yugoslavia Alarmed over increasing ethnic Albanian attacks, moderate Serbs said yesterday they would stop participating in Kosovo's U.N.-led interim government until they are satisfied that NATO is acting decisively to quash the violence.
The Serbian National Council said it would stop sending representatives to meetings of the U.N. interim government, which helps administer the province, and would send a delegation to New York to raise their concerns directly with the U.N. Security Council.

Solomon Islands rebels hold prime minister

CANBERRA, Australia Armed rebels in the Solomon Islands, racked by 18 months of ethnic violence, seized control of the South Pacific nation's capital, Honiara, and put the prime minister under house arrest today, an Australian official said.

The official from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the Malaita Eagles militia group moved into Honiara early in the morning, taking over various installations and holding Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulufa'alu at his home.

Armed militia were reported in the streets, and residents were told to stay home.

Oil pipeline fire rages in Nigeria

WARRI, Nigeria A huge fire raged along a major oil pipeline in southern Nigeria yesterday after militant youths set fire to the facility carrying refined petroleum products to the north of the country, police and witnesses said.
"The pipeline was set on fire at four different points," said a witness in the village of Adeje, just outside the Niger Delta oil town of Warri.
Witnesses said the inferno had ravaged forests along a mile-long stretch of the Warri-Benin City highway and knocked out high-tension power cables from two electricity plants linked to the national grid.

Fiji rebel leader meets military

SUVA, Fiji The rebel leader who took over Fiji's parliament said he reached a level of trust with the new military government in nine hours of discussions yesterday, but he didn't say when he might free more than 30 hostages.
George Speight told reporters few details of his "cordial talks" with the military leaders who eventually took control of this South Pacific nation last month after Mr. Speight and other armed gunmen stormed parliament, grabbed the hostages and demanded a new constitution keeping power from Fiji's ethnic Indian minority.
He said one significant remaining issue is disagreement over how Fiji will be governed once the standoff ends.

Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

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