- The Washington Times - Monday, August 27, 2001

Belarus expels American for backing opposition

MINSK, Belarus — The government said yesterday it had expelled a U.S. citizen for helping an opposition candidate campaign against incumbent Alexander Lukashenko in the country's impending presidential election.

State television read a statement that said Robert Fielding, an official at a U.S. labor union center in Minsk, had been ordered out for "canvassing" for opposition leader Vladimir Goncharik.

The statement accused Mr. Fielding of working for the "unconstitutional ousting of the current president" by drumming up support for Mr. Goncharik among trade union activists, and telling them that world bodies such as the United Nations opposed the Belarussian leadership.


Saudi reported killed in raid on Iraq

BAGHDAD — The government announced yesterday the death of a Saudi in a clash between Iraqi border guards and an armed Saudi group, which it said infiltrated Iraqi territory.

The fight took place overnight Friday, the Iraqi government said in a message addressed to Arab League chief Amr Moussa.

The dead man belonged to an "armed Saudi group, made up of around 10 men carrying light weapons, who had penetrated Iraqi territory between the night of Aug. 24 and 25 near Iraqi border posts," said INA, the state-run news agency.


Massacre suspect is freed in Mexico

ACAPULCO, Mexico — A former police officer convicted in the 1995 massacre of 17 Mexican peasants has been freed on appeal, bringing the number of convictions overturned in the case to 12, officials and news reports said yesterday.

Manuel Moreno Gonzalez was released from prison Friday. He had been sentenced to 24 years in prison on murder and other charges, but an appeals court cleared him of all charges.

Members of a local peasant organization were traveling to the village of Aguas Blancas near Acapulco in 1995 when state police halted their vehicles, ordered the passengers out and fired at them.


U.S. rights advocate gets Cairo appeal

CAIRO — A court has set a Dec. 19 date to hear the appeal of U.S.-Egyptian rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim against a seven-year jail sentence, court officials announced yesterday.

Attorneys for Mr. Ibrahim and 27 co-defendants lodged an appeal on July 16 asking the court of cassation to revoke their clients' sentences and set a new trial before another court.

Mr. Ibrahim, a sociology professor at the American University in Cairo, was sentenced on May 21 for spreading "false" reports abroad about electoral fraud and religious persecution, and receiving unauthorized funding from the European Union.


Fisherman survives a month adrift

TOKYO — A 50-year-old fisherman, missing since he reported engine trouble more than a month ago, was rescued yesterday after another vessel spotted his trawler drifting in the Pacific, authorities said.

Mitsushige Takechi was "in fairly good condition," Maritime Safety Agency spokesman Seiji Onuma said.

Mr. Takechi said he survived for 33 days on fish he caught and the small amount of water he had with him on the boat.


French activists destroy GM crops

CLEON D'ADRAN, France — Hundreds of activists destroyed test sites for genetically modified maize in southern France early yesterday. It was the fifth incident of GM crop destruction in the country since late June.

Armed with scythes and shears, members of the left-wing Confederation Paysanne attacked two fields used by U.S. biotechnology giant Monsanto Co. in the southeastern towns of Cleon D'Adran and Salettes.

"We are here because we oppose the uncontrolled development of GM crops. If no one does anything, the future could prove dangerous," said activist Jean-Claude Perignac.


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