- The Washington Times - Monday, April 2, 2001

Anti-government strike hits Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh Violent clashes in Bangladesh killed one man and injured 200 yesterday during the start a of three-day general strike intended to force Prime Minister Sheik Hasina's resignation, police said.

A truck driver was killed in a bomb attack blamed on strikers in Feni town, 80 miles east of Dhaka, the capital, police said.

Scores of homemade bombs went off in Dhaka, injuring at least 35 people. Another 165 persons were hurt in clashes between rival groups in Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna and Sirajganj.

Drug companies say their offer was spurned

PRETORIA, South Africa Pharmaceutical firms suing the South African government say officials have rejected or ignored their offers to provide cheap or free AIDS drugs, countering the country's claims that it needs to import cheaper generic alternatives because it cannot afford the patented drugs.

About three dozen drug companies, including some of the world's biggest, have asked the court to overturn a law that would allow the government to import cheap generic medications in an emergency.

The case is seen as a watershed in efforts to get AIDS medicines, known as anti-retroviral drugs, to poor countries. The hearing is to resume April 18.

Rwanda marks 1994 genocide

KIGALI, Rwanda Rwanda yesterday began a weeklong commemoration of the 1994 genocide that killed at least 500,000 minority Tutsis and politically centrist Hutus.

Flags flew at half-staff as authorities organized nationwide conferences to discuss how Rwandans can remember what led to the killing and work together rebuild their country.

Radio and television stations began broadcasting programs reminding the public of the horrors of the 90-day killing spree organized by the extremist Hutu government and executed with the help of the Interahamwe militia.

The genocide ended July 4, 1994, when President Paul Kagame's Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front captured the capital, Kigali, and formed a government comprising both Hutu and Tutsi politicians.

Activists occupy rig off Scotland

EDINBURGH, Scotland Police arrested 17 persons yesterday as activists from the environmental group Greenpeace occupied an oil exploration rig off northeast Scotland.

A handful of protesters managed to evade capture to set up a small shelter halfway up the structure, and appeared set to continue the occupation of the rig overnight.

Police said five men and a woman were arrested on the Drill Star platform itself, and 11 in nearby Nairn harbor.

Baltic oil spill nearly cleaned up

COPENHAGEN Nearly half of the oil that spilled into the Baltic Sea after a tanker collision and soiled Danish beaches has been scooped up, officials said yesterday.

A freighter rammed the oil tanker Wednesday off southeastern Denmark, sending some 764,000 gallons of the tanker's total cargo of 9.7 million gallons into the Baltic.

The slick soiled more than 12 miles of coastline and has killed more than 700 birds. Crews were scrambling to keep the slick from reaching a bird sanctuary on the southern coast of Moen island.

Angry villagers protest Vatican radio

ROME Angry Italian villagers protesting electromagnetic radiation emitted by Vatican Radio staged a colorful demonstration near St. Peter's basilica yesterday.

A few hundred people from Cesano village near the radio's transmission station north of Rome demonstrated while representatives met officials of the radio that broadcasts papal events and speeches worldwide in some 40 languages.

Protesters blame the radio's transmission waves for a relatively high incidence of leukemia among children living near the antennae, a charge Vatican Radio forcefully denies.

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