- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 30, 2000

Ex-president jailed on gay-sex charges

HARARE, Zimbabwe Zimbabwe's highest court ordered a former president to serve a year in jail on sex and assault convictions in a ruling yesterday that said homosexual acts remain illegal here.
It was not clear when Canaan Banana, 64, would turn himself in to prison authorities, said his lawyer, Josephine Bennett.
Banana was convicted in 1999 of 11 counts of sodomy and abusing his power to sexually assault and carry out "unnatural acts" with men, most of whom were part of his presidential staff. He had appealed the convictions, contending they violated privacy rights enshrined in Zimbabwe's constitution.
Zimbabwe's five Supreme Court judges were divided over whether consensual sodomy by homosexuals should remain illegal, Chief Justice Anthony Gubbay said. Three of the judges took into account conservative African attitudes toward homosexuality and ruled the law should remain in effect, he said.

Bin Laden backs rebels, says report

BERLIN Muslim separatists who have held 21 mostly foreign hostages for 37 days in the Philippines are being supported by the Saudi guerrilla suspect Osama bin Laden, German television reported yesterday.
The leader of the Abu Sayyaf (Father of the Sword) guerrillas, Galib Andang, also known as Commander Robot, told a reporter from ZDF television that the group was backed by Saudi exile bin Laden.
Bin Laden is one of the United States' most wanted men and is accused of masterminding the August 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 200 persons. He is currently in hiding in Afghanistan.

Russia opens assault in southern Chechnya

VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia Russian forces yesterday began a large-scale air and artillery assault against rebels deep in the mountains of southern Chechnya, the news agency Interfax reported.
The report, citing the military press center for Chechnya, said the operation targeted the Nozhai-Yurt and Vedeno districts, which are believed to have some of the largest rebel presences in the region.
Russian troops hold most of Chechnya, but the offensive has stalled for months in the mountains, where rebels have staged small attacks and ambushes and occasionally inflicted heavy casualties.

Milosevic blasts West; police nab opponents

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia Amid new arrests of domestic opponents yesterday, President Slobodan Milosevic urged the world to resist NATO "aggression" and American domination as he reopened a bridge destroyed last year by NATO bombs.
"The entire world must know it shall be a target as Serbia was a target if it doesn't resist violence and humiliation" by the United States, Mr. Milosevic said, referring to the 78 days of allied air strikes that ended his crackdown in Kosovo.
Meanwhile, Serbian police rounded up dozens more members of the popular anti-government student group Otpor, or Resistance, as well as opposition parties' activists. The government says the opposition members are terrorists in the pay of Western powers who want to overthrow Mr. Milosevic.

Aristide's party winscontrol of Haiti Senate

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's party has won control of Haiti's Senate, according to partial returns from last week's election, released for the first time yesterday.
The returns counted so far showed the Lavalas Family Party had won at least 14 of the 27 seats in the Senate. The Lavalas party also won 10 of the 30 Chamber of Deputies seats counted so far.

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