- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 30, 2000

Aristide is re-elected with 92 percent of vote

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was re-elected with an overwhelming 92 percent of the vote, the electoral council announced yesterday, giving the final tally for a contest boycotted by all major opposition parties.

Runner-up, Arnold Dumas, had just 2.4 percent of the vote in Sunday's elections, and the other five candidates garnered even less. Candidates have three days to contest the results.

Mr. Aristide's Lavalas Family party also made a clean sweep of nine Senate seats that also were contested Sunday, giving it all but one seat in the upper house. It won 80 percent of all seats in the House of Assembly in May, June and July legislative elections that opponents charged were rigged.

Romanian rightist denies racist charge

BUCHAREST, Romania Romania's far-right presidential candidate denied yesterday that he was an anti-Semite, assuring the West it need not worry if he wins next month's runoff elections.

Corneliu Vadim Tudor, criticized abroad for anti-Semitic and anti-Gypsy diatribes, acknowledged he had made mistakes in past writings about Jews and Gypsies.

"Auschwitz was a crime against humanity, against the people of the Bible," he said, referring to the former Nazi concentration camp. "I hate fascism and Nazism."

U.S. urged to ease sanctions on Cuba

The United States should ease the Cuban embargo to help the island's transition to a post-Castro era and reduce chances of U.S. military intervention, a Council on Foreign Relations panel recommended yesterday.

The task force urged that the United States eliminate travel restrictions to Cuba, allow regular commercial flights between the two nations and permit U.S. companies whose businesses were nationalized by Cuba to resolve their claims by entering into joint ventures in Cuba.

It also recommended increased U.S.-Cuban cooperation in fighting drugs, helping resolve the Colombian civil war and developing military-to-military contacts.

6 tons of drugs seized on Afghan-Tajik border

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan More than six tons of drugs, of which 1.5 tons were heroin en route from Afghanistan, have been seized on the Tajik-Afghan border in the first 10 months of this year, official Tajik sources said yesterday.

The quantity of heroin confiscated by Russian border guards and Tajik police "is twice the amount seized in the corresponding period last year," said Khuchnod Rakhmatulayev of the Tajik drug-control agency.

"The growth of drug trafficking" poses more and more of a security threat for Tajikistan, he added.

New Peruvian leader defuses prison crisis

LIMA, Peru Interim Peruvian President Valentin Paniagua successfully defused the first serious outbreak since he took over from ousted leader Alberto Fujimori, as prisoners with the Maoist Shining Path insurgency agreed to end their riot at a high-security facility here.

The rioters agreed to end their protest and signed a peace deal with prison authorities after Justice Minister Diego Garcia Sayan stepped into the fray and agreed the new administration would look into sentencing and imprisonment procedures.

A spokesman for the prisoners, who identified himself to Agence France-Presse in a telephone interview as "Comrade Hugo," said: "We signed a deal where we outlined our complaints over prison regulations."

Beijing steps up pressure on Taiwan

BEIJING Piling the pressure on Taiwan's embattled president, China demanded yesterday that he commit to unification between them by endorsing an 8-year-old agreement that facilitated earlier talks.

It appeared to be an attempt to shrink Chen Shui-bian's room to maneuver in dealing with the issue central to China's policy toward the island: that Taiwan and China are part of a single country and must reunite.

The demand was the latest of recent frequent criticisms of Mr. Chen, reviled by Beijing for snubbing its demands for concessions. With Mr. Chen under fire at home on a range of issues, Beijing is fine-tuning its attacks and reaching out to Taiwanese opposition parties.

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