- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 1, 2001

Ouattara returns from exile in Gabon
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast Ivory Coast's main opposition leader, Alassane Ouattara, returned from a year of self-imposed exile yesterday to a welcome from thousands of supporters in the troubled West African country, witnesses said.
The former prime minister had left after scores of people died in political and ethnic clashes following his exclusion on grounds of nationality from presidential and parliamentary elections that were won by President Laurent Gbagbo.
Joined by his wife, Mr. Ouattara arrived in Ivory Coast's capital, Abidjan, from Gabon aboard a private jet lent by Gabonese President Omar Bongo.

Journalists' deaths alarm news watchdog
VIENNA, Austria Governments must do more to bring to justice those who prey on the world's journalists, the International Press Institute (IPI) said yesterday, expressing alarm over the slayings of 53 journalists so far this year.
Ten journalists were killed in Colombia, eight in Afghanistan and three each in Palestinian-held areas and in the Philippines, the Vienna-based watchdog organization said. Journalists were killed in 23 other countries, IPI said, noting that this year's death toll is rapidly approaching last year's toll of 56 slayings.
IPI Director Johann P. Fritz said the recent killings in Afghanistan were prompting more news organizations to pool information on potentially dangerous assignments and to adopt common safety guidelines in an effort to reduce risks.

Poles, Czechs seek speedup of EU talks
WARSAW The Polish and Czech prime ministers said yesterday they wanted to speed up negotiations with the European Union to ensure they could join the 15-nation bloc in 2004, PAP news agency reported.
"We have discussed speeding up negotiations to complete them next year so our countries join the European Union in 2004," PAP quoted Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller as saying.
Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman, who was on a one-day visit to Warsaw, welcomed recent Polish steps to remove stumbling blocks in the talks with Brussels.

Tsar's love letters returned to Russia
MOSCOW Some 3,000 letters written by a lovelorn Tsar Alexander II have been returned to Russia in exchange for documents belonging to the Rothschild family, the head of the Russian state archive said yesterday.
The historic letters, written when the Russan monarch was already his 50s, were to Princess Yekaterina Dolgorukova, then not yet 20.

Royal birth imminent; Japan ponders heir
TOKYO Japanese Crown Princess Masako entered a hospital late yesterday to give birth to a possible, and long-awaited, heir to the world's oldest monarchy.
Princess Masako, 37, smiling and wearing a blue collarless dress with a gold leaf-shaped broach, waved to applauding neighbors as she and her husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, were driven by limousine from their royal residence to the austere hospital in the main palace compound in central Tokyo.
If the baby is a boy, he will be second in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne and the first male born in the imperial family since 1965, when Prince Naruhito's younger brother, Prince Akishino, was born.

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