- The Washington Times - Monday, October 23, 2000

Mortar shells hit parts of Tehran

TEHRAN Mortar shells hit parts of Tehran yesterday for the second straight day, state-run Iranian television reported, saying there were no casualties in either attack.
Explosions were heard near the Hemmat highway in northern Tehran, according to Iranian television, which reported similar explosions in Tehran on Saturday night. Iranian media did not say precisely where those mortars hit.
There was no immediate word on who was behind yesterday's strikes. Iran blamed Saturday's strikes on the Iraq-based Mojahedin Khalq.

U.S. veteran receives liberator award

BERLIN A Jewish organization honored a U.S. Army veteran and former Massachusetts education secretary yesterday for his role in liberating the Dachau concentration camp, despite questions over whether he was ever actually there.
Paul Parks, 77, has insisted he took part in the 1945 liberation of the Dachau concentration camp, and is prominently featured in the Academy Award-winning documentary "The Last Days," produced by Steven Spielberg.
But Mr. Parks is black, and U.S. military historians insist no blacks were present at the April 29, 1945, liberation. Even the commander who had led the camp's liberation has said Mr. Parks was not there.
The B'nai B'rith's Raoul Wallenberg Lodge in Berlin chose to give Mr. Parks the award anyway.

Bobbies armed for the first time

LONDON Britain's "Bobbies" have reached the end of an era, with regular policemen in the central city of Nottingham donning firearms for the first time in the force's history, a police spokeswoman said yesterday.
The scheme, dubbed "Operation Real Estate", follows an appeal by local authorities "concerned about the escalation in the use of guns" in crime.
The Sunday Times said the move "represents a significant shift in British policing, which had prided itself on the tradition of the unarmed bobby on the beat."

Refugee agency ends Cambodia field work

SAMLOT, Cambodia After coping with more than a million Cambodians who fled the country during two decades of civil war, peacetime is allowing the U.N. refugee agency to end its field operations in Cambodia.
In a ceremony Saturday at the isolated former Khmer Rouge community of Samlot, the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees handed over responsibility for the last refugees to the government.
Reintegration of the final 46,000 refugees, who fled to Thailand in 1997 because of factional fighting and returned to Cambodia in 1999, will now be put in the hands of the Cambodian authorities.

Iranian cleric charged with apostasy

TEHRAN Iran's judiciary confirmed yesterday that jailed dissident cleric Hassan Yusefi Eshkevari has been formally accused of apostasy, a charge that could carry the death penalty.
The state IRNA news agency cited a prosecutor from the conservative Special Court for Clergy (SCC) saying that Eshkevari also had been charged with hostility to God, corruption on Earth, and other serious offenses.
The outspoken Eshkevari was arrested upon returning to Tehran from a controversial conference in Germany on reforms in Iran that outraged conservatives when excerpts were shown on state television.
All the participants at the conference now in Iran are believed to be facing charges.

Toronto fans pay to lunch with Rowling

TORONTO About 400 people, mainly members of Toronto's business community with their children, shelled out $331 a person yesterday to attend a lunch with J.K. Rowling, author of the popular Harry Potter book series.
The function raised money for the Toronto Public Library's children's literacy programs and specifically the Osborne Collection of Early Children's Literature.

Peruvian leaves Panama for Equador

PANAMA CITY Vladimiro Montesinos, the former spy chief who sparked a political crisis in Peru, yesterday left Panama, where he had sought political asylum, and is bound for Ecuador, a Panamanian government source said.

The source, from the office of Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso, said Mr. Montesinos left the country accompanied by a lawyer on a private plane at about 7 p.m. and was headed for Ecuador's coastal city of Guayaquil.

Mr. Montesinos, known as the right-hand man of Peru's president, Alberto Fujimori, left Peru in September after a video was aired showing him apparently bribing a congressman.

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