- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Zimbabwe elections scheduled for March
HARARE, Zimbabwe Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said yesterday presidential elections would be held in March next year, but he did not give a specific date.
Mr. Mugabe told a visiting ministerial team from the 14-member Southern African Development Community.
Mr. Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain in 1980, faces his biggest political challenge from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by former union leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
The MDC was narrowly defeated by Mr. Mugabe's ruling party in parliamentary elections last year that were marred by political violence, including the seizure of hundreds of white-owned farms.

Muslim feast set for Sunday
BEIRUT The Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Ramadan month of fasting, will take place on Sunday, Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim authority Sheik Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah said yesterday.
Sheik Fadlallah has depended for years on astronomy to determine the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast from dawn until dusk.
Sunni Muslim clerics some years calculate the lunar position slightly differently, so the timing of Eid al-Fitr can vary from place to place in the Middle East.

Liberians recapture town from rebels
MONROVIA, Liberia Liberian troops again clashed with rebels near the border with Guinea yesterday, recapturing a northern town just a day after rebels occupied it, the government said.
Defense Minister Daniel Chea said his soldiers had driven rebels from Weasua, about 75 miles north of the capital, Monrovia. The fighting sent at least 15,000 residents fleeing last week.
On Sunday, they arrived in Sawmill about 60 miles northwest of Monrovia after trekking three days on foot, many with cooking utensils and foam mattresses on their backs.

Haitians protest before funeral
PETIT-GOAVE, Haiti Several hundred anti-government protesters were dispersed by anti-riot police yesterday just before the planned funeral of a murdered journalist.
Police used bludgeons and tear gas on protesters who chanted slogans denouncing the Lavalas party of President Jean Bertrand Aristide.
The demonstration was held ahead of the funeral of Brignol Lindor, a 26-year-old broadcaster who was killed with machetes Dec. 3 in Petit-Goave, southwestern Haiti.
A grass-roots organization close to Mr. Aristide claimed responsibility for the murder.

Six convicted in canyoning disaster
INTERLAKEN, Switzerland A Swiss court convicted six persons of manslaughter yesterday for organizing a 1999 whitewater trip in which 18 thrill-seeking tourists and three of their guides were killed.
The court found three managers and three senior guides at Swiss extreme sports company Adventure World were culpably negligent for going ahead with a "canyoning" trip down a narrow gorge near the Swiss Alpine resort of Interlaken after a violent storm broke out.
The three managers got five-month suspended sentences and fines of $4,500 each. The guides got shorter suspended sentences and smaller fines.
Canyoning is like whitewater river rafting without a raft and includes elements of mountaineering. Participants wear padded wet suits to slide down rocky fast-flowing rivers.

Italy backs arrest warrant
ROME Under intense European pressure, Italy caved in yesterday and endorsed a pan-European arrest warrant, ending an embarrassing stalemate with its EU partners in the battle against terrorism. The agreement was announced at a news conference by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.
Italy's reluctance to endorse the sweeping warrant, seen as an important weapon against terrorism, had left it isolated from its partners in the European Union.

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