- The Washington Times - Monday, September 4, 2000

Report: American held after argument

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines Muslim rebels who took an American man hostage and threatened to kill him did so after he angered them in an argument over religious issues at their southern Philippines jungle camp, a newspaper reported yesterday.
"There was a scuffle, and suddenly Schilling had become a hostage," free-lance reporter Arlyn de la Cruz quoted a rebel as saying in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Jeffrey Schilling, 24, of Oakland, Calif., went to the camp last week voluntarily, the paper reported. The rebels first demanded $10 million for his release, then said Saturday that they would make political demands. The State Department has ruled out paying ransom.

Rebel violence kills 34 in Colombia

BOGOTA, Colombia A surge of rebel violence left 34 persons dead over the weekend following President Clinton's visit to Colombia. The casualties included seven police officers slain by guerrillas some of whom were disguised as police.
In the latest attack, leftist guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, sneaked up on a police station Saturday in northern Colombia, officials said yesterday. The assault took the small town of Tomarrazon by surprise, said National Police operations director Gen. Tobias Duran.
Twenty-seven other persons were killed in heavy overnight clashes that ended Saturday in western Colombia. Twelve of them were FARC rebels.

Burma clamps down on opposition

RANGOON, Burma Police and intelligence officers moved against Burma's battered opposition party yesterday, surrounding the homes of its leaders and effectively shutting down its nerve center in a crackdown that has triggered international condemnation.

The authoritarian military regime said senior members of the opposition National League for Democracy party were "requested to stay at their respective residences."

The crackdown followed what the opposition said was the forced end to a nine-day standoff between the military regime and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Cuba, Belarus bolster ties with pact

HAVANA Communist-ruled Cuba and the former Soviet republic of Belarus, which are both resisting Western pressure to introduce political reforms, bolstered bilateral ties yesterday by signing a broad friendship treaty.
The treaty was signed in Havana by Cuban President Fidel Castro and visiting Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, who are both due to attend the U.N. Millennium Summit of global leaders in New York this week.
Mr. Castro, 74, praised Belarus as one of the former Soviet republics that had most sought to maintain friendly relations with socialist Cuba since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Somalia's new leader calls for assistance

CAIRO Stating he faces "great challenges," Somalia's newly elected President Abdiqasim Salad Hassan called on Arab nations yesterday to help him rebuild his war-ravaged country.
"Somalia today, more than ever, needs the aid of its brothers in these fateful and tough circumstances," Mr. Hassan told the biannual meeting of Arab League foreign ministers.
Mr. Hassan was inaugurated Aug. 27 as Somalia's first president since 1991.

Euro opponents gather in Denmark

COPENHAGEN Critics of the euro rallied yesterday against the common currency, saying Danes can tip support in favor of the opposition in other countries that are considering joining the monetary union.
Denmark, which along with Sweden and Britain refrained from joining the European Monetary Union in its initial phase, plans a Sept. 28 referendum on replacing the kroner with the euro. The Social Democratic-led government strongly supports the move.

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