- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Taiwan legislature backs nuclear plant

TAIPEI, Taiwan Opposition lawmakers passed a resolution today demanding that Taiwan finish building its fourth nuclear plant, a move that could bring the island closer to resolving months of political feuding and gridlock.

Passing with a 134-70 vote, the resolution accused the government of "ignoring the constitution and causing political turmoil" by canceling the partially built nuclear plant in October.

The next step could involve a round of deal making with the government, which has said it was not legally bound by the resolution but would negotiate a new agreement.

For three months, the minority government and legislature have been wrangling over the $5.4 billion nuclear plant, which the new administration wants to scrap as part of a plan to create a nuclear-free Taiwan.

Gunman seizes plane, then is overpowered

BOGOTA, Colombia A gunman commandeered a plane with 31 persons aboard in Colombian rebel territory yesterday and forced it to fly to the capital, where it sat on the tarmac in an hours-long standoff.

The hostage crisis ended late yesterday after the hijacker was overpowered by a passenger, according to a television report.

Gen. Hector Fabio Velasco, the commander of the air force, said the hijacker was a leftist guerrilla. But an air force officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the gunman told the control tower over the radio that he was a rebel deserter.

RCN television reported that the hijacker was demanding another plane to fly him out of the country, but officials did not immediately confirm the report.

Poland vows to raise armed force standards

WARSAW One-third of Poland's armed forces will meet NATO standards by 2006 and defense spending will be stabilized at the level of 1.95 percent of gross domestic product, according to a defense modernization program adopted by the government yesterday.
"By 2006, one-third of Polish soldiers will be fully equipped with NATO-compatible weapons and communications which will allow us to cooperate with NATO forces," Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek told journalists.
The program also guarantees "stable financing for the Polish armed forces at 1.95 percent of gross domestic product for six years," he added. Poland spent 2.04 percent of GDP on defense last year.

Czech aide in Havana for talks om arrests

HAVANA The president of the Czech Republic's Senate sought in Havana yesterday to break a diplomatic deadlock over the fate of two prominent Czechs arrested in Cuba after meeting local dissidents.
Petr Pithart, who arrived on the communist-ruled Caribbean island Monday night, was expected to press for the two men's release in meetings with officials from President Fidel Castro's government, diplomatic sources said.
"Today he is holding interviews with the Cubans," a Czech diplomat said, but he declined to give further details.

Enraged Albanians clash with peace unit

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Yugoslavia Ethnic Albanians enraged by the killing of a teen-ager clashed yesterday with NATO peacekeepers and police, who fired stun grenades and tear gas to keep them from storming a bridge leading to their town's Serbian community.
The latest violence flared a day after the death of the 15-year-old ethnic Albanian, killed when attackers tossed hand grenades at a home and set it on fire. Two other Kosovo Albanians were injured in the attack, which set off a riot.
"Regrettably, crowds of people in the south, apparently frustrated by the killing of an Albanian yesterday, continued to ignore … appeals for calm," said U.N. spokesman Michael Keats.

Yeltsin hospitalized; infection feared

MOSCOW Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin was rushed to a hospital yesterday with a fever and a suspected viral infection a reminder of the health problems that plagued him during his presidency.
Mr. Yeltsin was taken to the government's Central Clinical Hospital on the western outskirts of Moscow with what doctors believed was an "acute viral infection," said his aide, Valentin Shevchenko, according to Russian news reports. An intensive course of treatment will take at least several days, he said.
Mr. Shevchenko said Mr. Yeltsin's temperature was measured at 100.4 and he was hospitalized to "avoid risks." He said there were no signs of any heart ailment, and his blood pressure and pulse remained normal.

Former president of Zimbabwe freed

HARARE, Zimbabwe Former President Canaan Banana, jailed for sodomy, was freed four months early after receiving time off for good behavior, prison authorities said yesterday.
He was released Monday from a prison hospital outside Harare, where he was being treated for high blood pressure.
The Methodist minister and professor of theology served as ceremonial president of Zimbabwe after independence in 1980 until 1987, when that post was abolished and Prime Minister Robert Mugabe became executive president.

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