- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 21, 2000

U.S. pledges support to Sudan's south

RUMBEK, Sudan A senior U.S. official, moved by the accounts of freed slaves, yesterday pledged American diplomatic, humanitarian and moral support to the people of southern Sudan caught up in a 17-year-old civil war.

Susan Rice, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said Sudanese problems including abductions, slavery and air strikes have captured the sympathy of Americans.

In a fresh reminder of the brutal war, an aid organization working in Sudan said yesterday that government planes bombed a market in the rebel stronghold of Yei in southern Sudan, killing 18 persons.

Zimbabwe court allows squatters to stay

HARARE, Zimbabwe Zimbabwe's High Court issued a provisional order yesterday allowing squatters to stay on white farms they have invaded pending a ruling on President Robert Mugabe's land seizure program, state television reported.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) said High Court Judge Godfrey Chidyausika's ruling late yesterday overturned an order by the Supreme Court earlier this month for the government to evict the squatters.

Thousands of veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation war and supporters of President Robert Mugabe have occupied white farms since February.

EU to extend tests for mad cow disease

BRUSSELS European Union farm ministers agreed in principle yesterday to extend testing of cattle for mad cow disease, EU officials said.

Most EU member states backed a proposal from the European Commission to test all cattle above a yet-to-be-determined age, which could involve some 6 million animals, they said.

The move to extend the testing backed by France, which is under pressure to assure its EU partners that it is doing enough to combat mad cow disease was opposed by some Nordic countries and Austria.

Center-right sweeps Czech Senate vote

PRAGUE The center-right opposition Quad-Coalition swept the second round of voting for one-third of the Czech Senate, dealing a severe blow to the ruling Social Democrats, election data showed yesterday.

The result from Sunday's election effectively killed plans by the minority government and its parliamentary ally, the Civic Democrats (ODS), to slash the powers of President Vaclav Havel through constitutional reform.

The outcome boosted the Quad-Coalition's faction in the Senate and stripped the Social Democrats and the ODS of their majority in the 81-seat house.

China agrees to U.N. human rights help

BEIJING China agreed yesterday to accept the United Nations' help to move it toward complying with international human rights treaties, a decision hailed as a milestone by the U.N.'s human rights chief.

Under the agreement, human rights workshops will be arranged with government officials, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, police and prison officials. Teachers involved in human rights education will receive training.

Other programs include holding academic seminars on human rights, translating key U.N. human rights documents, boosting human rights studies at Chinese universities and reviewing China's use of forced-labor camps.

GM to recall subcompacts in Brazil

SAO PAULO, Brazil General Motors Corp.'s Brazilian subsidiary said yesterday it would recall the first 14,665 units of its new Celta subcompact because of problems with the suspension system.

The automaker said it has discovered one of the arms supporting the front suspension system could break upon severe impact. No cases of failure have been reported, and the recall was strictly a preventive measure, GM said in a statement.

GM introduced Celta in Brazil earlier this year in a bid to gain a larger share of the country's fast-growing subcompact market.

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