- The Washington Times - Friday, February 9, 2001

Bin Laden trial by Islamists proposed

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Afghanistan's Taleban rulers are prepared to allow Osama bin Laden sought by the United States on terrorism charges to be tried by Islamic clerics, perhaps in a third country, Pakistan's interior minister said yesterday.

The Taleban move was its latest attempt to try to appease the United Nations, which has imposed sanctions on Afghanistan's rulers to press demands that they hand over bin Laden for trial in the United States or a third country.

The United States accuses bin Laden of masterminding the bombing of its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. He is also a suspect in last year's bombing of the USS Cole, in which 17 American sailors were killed.

Disaster predicted on Guinea relief

NEW YORK A U.N. relief official warned yesterday that, lacking protection from armed rebels, efforts to feed and shelter about 200,000 refugees trapped in Guinea's rain forests would collapse.

"Without a secure environment, this humanitarian operation is in danger of collapsing," said Soren Jessen-Petersen, assistant high commissioner for refugees. "Without humanitarian organizations around, without access to people in need, without access to food and medicines, the consequences could be very catastrophic."

The West African nation shelters about 350,000 refugees from Sierra Leone and another 125,000 from Liberia.

Students, police clash in Ivorian capital

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast Clashes between demonstrating students and police officers continued for the second day here yesterday, with several students arrested and one reportedly shot and wounded, a student leader told Agence France-Presse.

Denis Xavier Houphouet said student Lakoun Kone was "shot and wounded" while another student leader, Jean-Marie Abe, was badly beaten on Thursday.

"More than a dozen students were arrested by the Marcory police and taken to an unknown location," he added. But an officer at the station in the Marcory district of Abidjan dismissed the students' version of events.

Ethnic Albanians snub Belgrade's peace plan

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia Ethnic Albanian rebels fighting Serbian security forces along the southern boundary with Kosovo yesterday rejected a peace plan proposed by Belgrade, raising the specter of heavy Serbian intervention in the volatile region.

But the head of the ethnic Albanian Party of Democratic Action, Riza Halimi, insisted that talks to find a political solution in the area would go ahead.

"The negotiations will indeed take place. We are in favor of dialogue. It's of vital importance for us," he said.

2 Chinese reporters posted in Taipei

TAIPEI, Taiwan Two reporters for China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency arrived in Taiwan yesterday to become the mainland's first correspondents based on the island.

Taiwan's agreement to let China station reporters on the island adds to slowly warming ties between the two sides. They separated in 1949 amid civil war and have no official relations.

Rapper draws protests outside English concert

MANCHESTER, England About 100 protesters gathered yesterday outside a concert by Eminem, shouting for the American rap star to "stop the bigotry, stop the hate."

Eminem's arrival in Britain was a hot topic on television news programs and talk shows because of violent lyrics about homosexuals and women on his Grammy-nominated album "The Marshall Mathers LP."

Homosexual-rights activists and feminist groups expressed their displeasure with the 28-year-old rapper's songs by demonstrating outside the sold-out Manchester Arena, the site of his first of three British shows.

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