- The Washington Times - Monday, February 12, 2001

Gunmen kill 27 in northern Algeria

ALGIERS Assailants opened fire on a shanty town in northern Algeria, killing at least 27 persons, half of whom were children, security sources said yesterday.

The raid took place near Berrouaghia, 60 miles south of the coastal capital of Algiers, on Saturday evening, the sources said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Thirteen children between 6 months and 18 years old were among the 27 bodies found near the scene, a hospital official said.

The area of Saturday's attack is a stronghold of the radical Armed Islamic Group a name that has become synonymous with massacres that have plagued this North African nation.

Canadian leader begins China visit

BEIJING Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien raised human rights concerns with Chinese leaders yesterday and oversaw the signing of an agreement on legal reforms at the start of a visit focusing on Chinese-Canadian business ties.

Mr. Chretien met with Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and watched as officials signed a series of pacts at the Great Hall of the People, the government headquarters in Beijing.

Leading a 500-member trade delegation, Mr. Chretien told Mr. Zhu he hoped the visit would replicate the success of a similar trip in 1994 and "lead to a lot of good business cooperation between Canada and China."

Protesters demand president's ouster

KIEV, Ukraine Chanting and carrying a giant Ukrainian flag, protesters marched through the capital yesterday to demand the ouster of President Leonid Kuchma, accusing him of playing a role in the disappearance of an opposition journalist.

The third demonstration in a week came hours before Mr. Kuchma welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived last night for talks. Rising tension about the missing journalist has embarrassed the Ukrainian president and forged an unlikely alliance between nationalist and leftist forces.

Critics claim Mr. Kuchma played a role in the disappearance of Heorhiy Gongadze, a journalist who reputed high-level corruption and disappeared in September.

Mine blast kills four in Chechnya

GROZNY, Russia A convoy of Russian police hit a mine and then came under attack by Chechen rebels in the capital, Grozny, killing four policemen, officials said yesterday.

Two police vehicles were traveling in the Oktyabrysky district of the city on Saturday when one of the armored personnel carriers detonated the mine. Chechen guerrillas hiding in a nearby nine-story building then opened fire on the policemen, a spokesman said.

Young woman sails into record books

LES SABLES D'OLONNE, FRANCE Ellen MacArthur eased her yacht Kingfisher over the Vendee Globe finish line last night and became the youngest and fastest woman to sail around the world.

The 24-year-old sailor was also the highest-placed Briton to finish a solo nonstop, round-the-world race and the first woman to reach the podium. She finished in second place behind Michel Desjoyeaux, who sailed in on Saturday.

Miss MacArthur completed the race in 94 days, four hours, 25 minutes and 40 seconds.

U.S. woman killed in robbery attempt

MEXICO CITY An American woman was shot and killed in an attempted robbery on the outskirts of the Mexican capital, authorities said yesterday.

The victim, identified as Helen Garnes, 63, died from a bullet wound to the neck Saturday after resisting her attackers, a Public Security Ministry spokesman said. Local press reports said Miss Garnes was a resident of Atlanta.

Two men attacked Miss Garnes in the capital's San Angel neighborhood, a popular destination for tourists because of its weekend craft bazaar, the spokesman said. The attackers fled and have not been located.

Burmese fighting spills into Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand Heavy fighting between Burmese troops and a rebel group spilled into Thailand yesterday, killing two civilians and injuring at least 37 soldiers, the Thai army said.

The fighting erupted in at least three Burmese border areas between Burmese soldiers and the Shan State Army, a guerrilla group fighting for independence for the ethnic Shan minority.

There was no word on casualties from the Burmese side, and the Burmese government would not comment on the fighting.

Whales beach themselves in Japan

TOKYO Fifty melon-headed whales ran ashore yesterday on a beach near Tokyo, and about 20 died despite efforts by surfers to turn them back to sea.

The whales were among a group of 300 that appeared off the coast of Japan. The whales measured about 8 feet long and weighed about 352 pounds on average, said Akihiro Iwakami, an official of Oarai Aquarium in Ibaraki state.

Twenty-eight of the surviving whales went back to sea. The aquarium took the remaining two.

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