- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 2, 2001

Admiral sacked over Kursk sinking
MOSCOW The commander of the Russian Northern Fleet, Adm. Vyacheslav Popov, has been fired for making "serious mistakes" in connection with the sinking of the Kursk submarine 16 months ago, Interfax reported yesterday.
Adm. Popov, along with the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Northern Fleet, Mikhail Motsak, were relieved of their functions and demoted "for serious mistakes in organizing the fleet's maneuvers," Navy Chief Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov said, according to Interfax.
But Adm. Kuroyedov said that there was no direct link between the dismissals and the sinking of the Kursk.

Iraq OKs extension of food program
BAGHDAD Iraq accepts the extension of the "oil-for-food" program by the U.N. Security Council for another six months but will not agree to a new goods-review list designed to block imports with a military potential, Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said yesterday.
Iraq "will continue to implement the memorandum of understanding for an 11th phase as an extraordinary and temporary measure, not as a substitute for the lifting of sanctions," Mr. Sabri said in the first official reaction to the United Nations' renewal of the oil-for-food program on Thursday.
But Baghdad will not agree to any change in the 1996 memorandum, which established the humanitarian program, or any new restrictions on Iraqi trade, such as those featured in the goods-review list mentioned in the Security Council's renewal, Mr. Sabri said in a statement to reporters.

Mladic receives army protection
BELGRADE Bosnian Serb wartime commander Ratko Mladic, one of the world's most wanted men, is in Serbia and under Yugoslav army protection, a Serbian political source said yesterday.
The source said Mr. Mladic indicted by the U.N. International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for genocide during the 1992-95 Bosnian conflict was staying in a military facility secured by 80 army soldiers.
"He's in Serbia and is staying in a military facility," the source told Reuters, declining to give the exact location.
The source suggested Serbian authorities had made no attempt to arrest him, fearing a bloodbath and the absence of approval for such an operation at the federal level. Serbia is the dominant republic in the two-member Yugoslav federation.
The source's remarks appeared to support allegations by the chief war-crimes prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, who earlier this week accused Yugoslavia of shielding Mr. Mladic from justice.

Fox vows effort to boost economy
MEXICO CITY As he marked the end of a tough first year in office, Mexican President Vicente Fox said the challenge of guiding his country through difficult economic times would only make him work harder.
In a speech Friday in his home state of Guanajuato and a television interview that night, Mr. Fox acknowledged that his popularity had ebbed and that the global economic slowdown had made it impossible for him to meet economic goals this year.
Mr. Fox took office on Dec. 1, 2000, riding a wave of high expectations after Mexicans voted out the authoritarian Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that ruled the country for an unbroken 71 years.
But his initial momentum and popularity have faded. With his National Action Party (PAN) lacking a majority in Congress, Mr. Fox has been unable to push through key tax and energy reforms.

Argentina to cap cash withdrawals
BUENOS AIRES Argentina will convert peso bank deposits into dollars and temporarily limit cash withdrawals, the government said yesterday, amid fears that a run on banks by nervous savers could sink the shaky economy.
Worried Argentines lined up at banks and bled cash machines of pesos and dollars in downtown Buenos Aires on Friday, fearing their savings could be frozen as Latin America's No. 3 economy scrambles to avoid the messiest default in history on a $132 billion public debt.
Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo is due to detail the measures aimed at calming the public's fears its savings are about to be devalued while ensuring cash stays in the banking system.

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