- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2000

Polish president wins re-election

WARSAW Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski won a second term yesterday with 55 percent of the vote, according to partial returns, avoiding a runoff in Poland's third presidential election since shedding communism a decade ago.

Mr. Kwasniewski, a former Communist, defeated 11 challengers, including legendary Solidarity founder Lech Walesa and a number of fringe candidates from the far right. Mr. Walesa, whom Mr. Kwasniewski ousted from the presidency in a close election in 1995, won just 0.9 percent of the vote.

Mr. Kwasniewski's closest challengers were independent economist Andrzej Olechowski, who had 18 percent of the vote, and the leader of the Solidarity bloc, Marian Krzaklewski, with 15 percent.

Chechen rebels attack police patrol, kill two

NAZRAN, Russia Chechen rebels crossed the border into the neighboring republic of Ingushetia and attacked a police patrol, killing two officers and wounding three others, a police official said yesterday.

The rebels opened fire on the police car Saturday evening as it patrolled near the town of Voznesenskoye, just across the border from northeastern Chechnya, an official in the Ingushetian Interior Ministry in Nazran said.

Far-right increases lead in Belgian vote

BRUSSELS Early results from Belgium's municipal and provincial elections yesterday showed a far-right bloc increasing its lead over mainstream parties in a major city and taking around 10 percent of the vote in the country's Dutch-speaking north.

The success of the Flemish Bloc which campaigns against immigration and is in favor of independence for the Dutch-speaking Flanders region will increase concerns of a far-right revival across Europe. It follows last year's legislative elections in Austria, which saw the far-right Freedom Party voted into government, and gains at the polls by other far-right parties across the continent.

Killer fever claims more in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia The death toll from Rift Valley fever has climbed to 64 persons, Saudi Arabia said yesterday, raising to 101 the official toll from the disease in the kingdom and neighboring Yemen.

A Saudi Health Ministry statement, quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency, said that as of last night 64 out of 291 persons who had contracted the viral disease had died.

The disease, which is transmitted from infected livestock to humans through contact or by mosquitoes, broke out on both sides of the Saudi-Yemeni border last month.

Castro to join Chavez call-in show

CARACAS, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez said yesterday that Cuban leader Fidel Castro will join him on his weekly call-in radio show "Hello President" when Mr. Castro visits the oil-rich South American nation later this month.

Mr. Castro, on his first state visit to Venezuela in nearly 40 years, is due to arrive Oct. 26 to sign an agreement that would guarantee his fuel-starved Caribbean island nation direct oil supplies on favorable terms.

Mr. Chavez, a failed coup leader pursuing a "democratic revolution" in Venezuela and an admirer of Mr. Castro's leftist regime, devoted much of yesterday's radio show to praising Cuban revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

Vietnam deaths in flood top 300

MEKONG DELTA, Vietnam Meteorologists warned yesterday that winds and rains lashing the coast of central Vietnam could strengthen to storm force as deaths in catastrophic floods in the southern Mekong Delta topped 300.

Officials of the southern region anti-flood committee said the floods, which have swamped vast areas of the delta for the past month, had killed 308 persons as of yesterday morning, 232 of them children.

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