- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Top German minister faces perjury probe

FRANKFURT, Germany Frankfurt prosecutors formally opened an investigation yesterday into whether Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer lied when he testified that he had no contact with known terrorists as a young radical in the 1970s.
Mr. Fischer, who arrived in Washington yesterday for an official visit, enjoys immunity as a member of the government, but prosecutors said yesterday a parliamentary committee did not challenge their probe.
Called as a character witness in the trial last month of a colleague from his days as a radical activist, Mr. Fischer testified he never had contact with members of the violent Red Army Faction, an assertion challenged by others.

Burmese junta figure killed in crash

RANGOON, Burma One of the most powerful generals in Burma's military junta was killed yesterday in a helicopter crash that left 14 others missing, the government said. A Cabinet minister and seven junta officials are among them.
The military helicopter carrying 22 officials and seven crew members crashed into the Salween River in southeastern Burma. Lt. Gen. Tin Oo, 67, was going to the city of Pa-an to inspect a bridge.

Iranian opposition details clashes

NICOSIA, Cyprus The armed Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin said in a statement last night that it killed two Iranian intelligence ministry agents during clashes in the western city of Ilam.
"Two undercover intelligence ministry agents in the city of Ilam, who were involved in identifying the Mojahedin, were punished by the Mojahedin's operational units," the statement said.
The statement said clashes broke out Sunday night pitting the Mojahedin against Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Sharon's government blocked by feuds

JERUSALEM A political battle within Israel's Labor Party yesterday delayed efforts by Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon to form a coalition government with the hope of making peace with the Palestinians.
Political infighting has raged among Labor leaders since Mr. Sharon crushed outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a prime ministerial election Feb. 6.
Mr. Barak has come under scathing criticism from erstwhile Labor allies for his political failures and for seeming to backtrack on an election night announcement of a withdrawal from politics.

Montenegro edges toward breakaway

PODGORICA, Yugoslavia The parliament of Montenegro, Serbia's estranged partner in the Yugoslav federation, approved rules yesterday for a referendum on independence expected to be called by the end of June.
Supporters of President Milo Djukanovic, who favors independence, backed the referendum bill. But deputies from the main opposition party said it was unfair, and they were ready to boycott the referendum.
Western governments have also appealed to Mr. Djukanovic not to pursue his independence plans, fearing another change of borders in the Balkans could cause fresh instability in the region. Mr. Djukanovic has rejected the fears as unrealistic.

Huge counterfeit sting nets Philippine cop

MANILA Police and U.S. officials seized $2 trillion in counterfeit U.S. bonds and arrested one suspect, a top Philippine police official said early today.

Seized were about $2 trillion in fake U.S. Federal Reserve bonds in denominations of $100 million and $500 million, along with counterfeit German and Argentine bonds valued at about $6 billion, officials said.


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