- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Germans to accept levy for Nazi war crimes

NEW YORK Germany and its companies accept moral responsibility for Nazi war crimes, including the use of slave and forced laborers and the theft of Jewish property, under a historic, nearly $5 billion accord that aims to finally resolve these issues, according to a draft of the agreement.
The May 12 draft commits Germany and its companies to splitting the cost of the fund in return for U.S. guarantees that they will not face any more claims from Holocaust survivors. The participant asked not to be named.
About 240,000 people, mainly Jews, whom the Nazis tried to kill by using them as slave laborers, and around 1 million former forced laborers, who suffered less severe hardships, were expected to get payments from the new fund.
The bilateral agreement was expected to be signed June 2 by President Clinton, who was due to be in Berlin, and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

U.S. panel pushes for action vs. Sudan

The conflict in Sudan appears to be worsening, and neither the United States nor the international community has any plan to deal with it, a religious rights panel told Congress yesterday.
Calling Sudan "the world's most violent abuser" of religious rights, Nina Shea of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom urged the U.S. government to again pressure Sudan on human rights.
The commission earlier this month recommended that the United States tighten sanctions against Sudan and give direct, nonlethal aid to Khartoum's opposition if no improvements occur in a year.

Six Iraqis injured in air attack

BAGHDAD Iraq said six persons including a child were injured when Western planes attacked targets in the north and south of the country yesterday.
The Iraqi News Agency quoted a military spokesman as saying eight hostile formations attacked targets in northern Iraq, injuring two persons, while other planes attacked the south where "the bombing led to the injury of a child and three others."
The spokesman said Iraqi anti-aircraft defenses challenged the planes, which it referred to as "crows," and drove them back to their bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Western air raids on Iraq have become a regular occurrence since Baghdad decided in December 1998 to challenge U.S. and British jets patrolling northern and southern no-fly zones set up by Western powers after the 1991 Gulf war.

Politicians give blood for HIV screenings

CAPE TOWN, South Africa Two politicians gave blood in parliament yesterday for a public AIDS test they said was needed to raise awareness of the deadly epidemic.
Both Stanley Mogoba, leader of the Pan Africanist Congress, and Kgomotso Ditshetelo, head of the United Christian Democratic Party, said they would disclose the results of their blood tests in several days a move they said was necessary to combat the stigma associated with the disease.
South Africa has one of the world's highest rates of HIV infection. The government estimates 10 percent of the country's 42 million people are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Several other politicians said they would submit a certificate declaring their HIV status. But the heads of four of the five largest political parties said they wanted no part of the exercise.

Solzhenitsyn hits Putin's policies

MOSCOW Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the dissident author who protested Soviet injustice and then turned his pen against corruption under former President Boris Yeltsin, said yesterday that Russia's new leader was continuing in the misguided path of his predecessors.
The comments were among Mr. Solzhenitsyn's first on President Vladimir Putin's performance.
Mr. Solzhenitsyn whom many see as the country's voice of conscience reprimanded Mr. Putin for waiting so long to release his economic plans while so many Russians were facing severe hardship. He also criticized what he called Mr. Putin's record of inaction as Russia's second democratically elected leader.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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