- The Washington Times - Friday, April 27, 2001

Estrada backers rally into the night
MANILA About 50,000 supporters of ousted leader Joseph Estrada rallied into the night yesterday to demand he be freed from jail and restored to the presidential palace.
Encouraged by a statement Mr. Estrada issued from his cell and a parade of speakers, the peaceful but boisterous crowd swelled after dark, waving banners of support for the former action-film star and urging his successor to resign.
Massive protests on the same site the monument to the "people power" revolution that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 pressured Mr. Estrada to leave the presidential palace Jan. 20 amid a corruption scandal.
Mr. Estrada was jailed Wednesday, charged with the capital offense of theft from the state.

Peru begins salvaging missionary plane
IQUITOS, Peru With a barge and a crane, authorities yesterday prepared to raise the wreckage of a Cessna plane floating pontoons-up in the Amazon River after a Peruvian air force jet that mistook it for a drug flight shot it from the skies.
American missionary Veronica "Roni" Bowers and her 7-month-old daughter were killed in the April 20 attack that led to the suspension of an acclaimed U.S.-Peruvian program to force down suspected drug-smuggling flights.
Peruvian and U.S. Embassy officials left for the Amazon village of Pebas, about 625 miles northeast of Lima, to recover the craft. The plane did not have a flight-data recorder, known as a "black box."

Taiwans Lee delays trip to United States
TAIPEI, Taiwan Returning from Japan yesterday, former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui said he has postponed a U.S. visit next month for medical reasons.
The 78-year-old Mr. Lee underwent a heart procedure during his five-day Japanese trip, and he said on his flight back to Taiwan that he wanted to rest for a month or more before traveling to America.
"Maybe Im too tired," Mr. Lee said. "A long trip would not be good."
Mr. Lees Japan visit drew sharp protests from China, which also opposes the trip to the United States.

Strikes over pensions force Greek reversal
ATHENS Strikes brought much of Greece to a standstill yesterday with the government in disarray after backing off proposals to overhaul the nations sagging pension system.
In central Athens, a protest drew about 20,000 workers, including laborers, teachers and firefighters. Shipyard workers carried a banner that read, "No to pensions of death."
Ferries and public transport stopped, and state carrier Olympic Airways severely trimmed its flight schedule. Schools and government offices closed and journalists joined the work stoppage.


Pakistan seeks stronger ties with Iran

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf called yesterday for stronger ties with Iran "in all fields" and said there was a good outlook for more military cooperation between the two neighbors.
A Pakistani Foreign Ministry statement also quoted him as telling a visiting senior Iranian official the two countries must cooperate to help end the prolonged civil war in their common neighbor, Afghanistan, where the two countries recognize rival administrations.
Differences over Afghanistan and violence between rival Muslim militants in Pakistan had in recent years soured traditionally close ties between Tehran and Islamabad.


Plane hijacked in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia Ethiopian students hijacked a military plane carrying at least 50 passengers yesterday and flew to the capital of neighboring Sudan, Ethiopian government sources and Sudanese media said.
Ethiopian sources said the plane was carrying civilian pilots in training who are suspected of hijacking the Antonov transport plane, which was flying from the northern Ethiopian town of Bahar Dar to the capital, Addis Ababa.
The hijacking comes a week after Addis Ababa experienced its worst civil unrest in years after protests by students seeking academic and political rights degenerated into an orgy of looting in which up to 41 persons died.


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