- The Washington Times - Monday, May 1, 2000

Talks resume seeking Mideast peace accord

EILAT, Israel Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on a permanent peace agreement resumed yesterday in this Red Sea resort amid bitter Palestinian protests over the disclosure that Israel intends to build 174 new homes in a Jewish settlement on the West Bank.
A trust-building gesture planned by Prime Minister Ehud Barak handing over Arab suburbs of Jerusalem to the Palestinians was in doubt as hawkish Israeli Cabinet ministers said they would oppose it. Mr. Barak had hoped the hand over would show that Israel is serious about peace talks.
U.S. Mideast envoy Dennis Ross is to join the negotiators tomorrow, and Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright is to visit the region in six to eight weeks to push along the lagging talks. The previous round of Israeli-Palestinian talks, which ended earlier this month outside the District, failed to produce tangible results.

Angry mob lynches tourist, bus driver

GUATEMALA CITY A mob in northern Guatemala stoned to death a Japanese tourist and his tour's bus driver, believing the group had come to the village to steal children.
Tetsuo Yamahiro, 40, was beaten to death by a mob of 500 people Saturday while visiting the popular tourist village of Todos Santos Cuchuman, 95 miles northwest of Guatemala City, near the Mexican border.
The mob, armed with sticks and stones, also beat to death the tour's driver, Edgar Castellanos, 35. Rumors have spread in the village that foreigners have come to the area to steal children, said Faustino Sanchez, spokesman for the Guatemala National Police.

Iranian court jails pro-Khatami activist

TEHRAN The head of Iran's largest reformist student group was jailed yesterday in a widening crackdown by hard-liners, who reportedly are also seeking to remove two top pro-reform Cabinet ministers.
Ali Afshari, head of the Office for Fostering Unity, was sent into detention after several hours of questioning by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, said officials of the student group, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Conservatives in the Islamic clerical regime have over the past two week closed 16 newspapers, arrested two journalists and questioned numerous reform activists in a backlash to preserve their power against the increasingly strong pro-democracy movement.

Candidate's guards kill local official

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic Bodyguards for the leading presidential candidate shot and killed a governing party official and another man in what the opposition said was self-defense.
The most violent confrontation yet in the campaign was an indication of rising tensions and the high stakes involved in May 16 elections in this Caribbean nation of 8 million people.
The opposition Dominican Revolutionary Party said someone shot at the car of its presidential candidate, Hipolito Mejia, on Saturday and that his security guards returned fire, killing two men. But the ruling Dominican Liberation Party said the security guards shot first.

Red Cross: Mongolians depleting food stocks

BEIJING Mongolians are depleting critical food stocks months before the summer harvest as more of their herds, weakened by drought and snowstorms, die off, the Red Cross warned.
Already more than 2.2 million cows, horses, camels, sheep and other livestock have died since the severe and early storms began last year, the Red Cross reported Saturday. In a month's time, at the start of the summer growing season, the number of dead animals will more than double to 5 million, it said.
A quarter of Mongolia's 2.7 million people are now facing a period of uncertainty over food supplies, the aid group said in a statement. Staff who visited one badly affected area were told that herders had already consumed their summer supplies of dried meat.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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