- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 29, 2001

Portuguese president dissolves parliament
LISBON Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio dissolved parliament yesterday and called an early general election to be held on March 17.
Mr. Sampaio said in a televised speech to the nation that he had decided in talks with parties and advisers that no party in the current parliament was capable of forming a new government after Prime Minister Antonio Guterres resigned last week.
Parliamentary elections were due in October 2003, when the four-year term won by Mr. Guterres' Socialist Party in 1999 was to expire.

EU publishes list of terror groups
BRUSSELS The European Union yesterday published names of organizations and people it considers terrorists, fulfilling a post-September 11 pledge to agree on a list of extremist groups it sought to eradicate.
Published without fanfare or official comment in the bloc's official journal, the list includes groups active in the Basque region, Northern Ireland and the Middle East. Many of the same groups appear on a U.S. "terrorist exclusion list" published earlier this month.
EU diplomats who have spent weeks drawing up the list agreed not to include any political parties, a European Commission spokesman told reporters.

Bishop imprisoned by China dies at 83
VATICAN CITY Monsignor Mattia Pei Shangde, a Roman Catholic priest loyal to the pope who was imprisoned by Chinese authorities after the Vatican and Beijing severed ties, has died. He was 83.
Monsignor Pei, considered by some the unofficial bishop of Beijing, died Dec. 24 of kidney failure at a hospital in the city of Zhangjiakou, in Hebei province near Beijing, according to the news service of the Vatican's missionary arm, Fides.
He had been under house arrest since April and had been under surveillance at the hospital, Fides said.
Monsignor Pei was one of millions of Chinese Catholics who remained loyal to the pope after the Vatican and Beijing broke formal relations in 1951.

Nigerian police arrest 7 in official's killing
LAGOS, Nigeria Police said yesterday they have arrested seven suspects in connection with the killing of Nigerian Justice Minister Bola Ige.
"We are still collating our facts from all over the federation, but these arrested seven suspects are obvious possibilities in the crime," a police spokesman said.
Gunmen shot and killed Mr. Ige, 71, a close friend of President Olusegun Obasanjo, at his home in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, on Sunday evening.
A 27-year-old man, whose identity is yet to be revealed, has confessed to taking part in the killing.

Nepalese army kills eight Maoist rebels
KATMANDU, Nepal Nepalese soldiers killed eight Maoist guerrillas and raided a rebel weapons factory in separate battles against militants fighting to end the Himalayan kingdom's constitutional monarchy, the Defense Ministry said yesterday.
Six guerrillas, including a woman, died in a gunbattle in far western Nepal, the ministry said. In the south, soldiers raided a rebel "weapons factory," killing one guerrilla and wounding two more. Another rebel was killed in a separate battle elsewhere in the west.

Natural disasters killed 25,000 this year
FRANKFURT, Germany Natural disasters caused at least 25,000 deaths worldwide in 2001, more than double the previous year, the world's largest reinsurer said yesterday.
Putting total economic losses at $36 billion, Munich Re said catastrophes related to extreme weather were a result of continued global climate change.
It said the 2001 figures with 14,000 people killed in an earthquake in India in January alone compared with 10,000 deaths the previous year and losses of around $30 billion.

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