- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 31, 2001

GI will deny rape in Okinawa case

TOKYO — The American Air Force sergeant charged with raping a Japanese woman on the southern island of Okinawa will plead not guilty when his trial opens next month, his attorney said yesterday.

Staff Sgt. Timothy Woodland is accused of raping the 20-year-old woman in a parking lot in the central Okinawan town of Chatan last month. His trial is to convene Sept. 11 at Naha District Court.

Sgt. Woodland, 24, has insisted under questioning that he had consensual sex with the woman. He faces at least two years in prison if convicted in a case that has strained U.S.-Japanese ties.

Jailed scholar returns to Hong Kong

HONG KONG Less than a week after mainland China deported an American academic convicted of spying for Taiwan, he returned to Hong Kong yesterday to try to resume teaching despite objections from Beijing's allies here.

Li Shaomin's arrival was viewed by pro-democracy forces as a victory for Hong Kong's autonomy, which they say has been compromised many times in the four years since Britain returned its former colony to China.

But it was still not clear whether Mr. Li can return to his job as a professor of marketing at the City University of Hong Kong.

Typhoon slams into Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan At least 46 persons were killed and 150 were missing after Typhoon Toraji smashed into east and south Taiwan, triggering the worst mudslides and floods in 50 years, officials said early today.

Hundreds of homes and thousands of acres of farmland were destroyed in Toraji's rampage yesterday, causing millions of dollars in damage, the National Fire Administration (NFA) said.

NFA Director Chao Kang said the district of Hualien was the worst hit by mudslides, while the Nantou region suffered serious flooding as water from swollen rivers inundated farmland.

Capital menaced in Polish flood

KAMIEN, Poland — Thousands of workers scrambled to reinforce dikes with sandbags and evacuate villages yesterday, ahead of a 65-mile-long flood wave coursing down Poland's largest river.

The brown waters of the Vistula River rose above alert level in the capital, Warsaw, flooding beaches, gardens and sports centers inside the city's dikes.

The surge has threatened dozens of villages in central Poland after weeks of storms and floods that killed at least 25 persons and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage in the south.

Georgians march for slain newsman

TBLISI, Georgia — Several thousand Georgians attended a demonstration yesterday to protest the slaying of a popular TV anchorman.

An estimated crowd of 3,000 including journalists brought the capital to a standstill before attending a Mass at Sioni Cathedral to mourn Georgy Sanaya, 26, found fatally shot in his apartment last week.

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze canceled a foreign visit when he learned of the shooting and pledged that the killing would be solved, while opposition parties say the slaying was meant to intimidate the press.

London's 'Tube' on the block

LONDON — England's High Court yesterday backed a government plan to partially privatize London's underground rail network, despite concerns the proposal could undermine safety on the world's oldest subway rail system.

A packed courtroom heard the judge dismiss a judicial challenge to the ruling Labor Party's plans from London Mayor Ken Livingstone. The mayor has said the plan is "fatally flawed" and could jeopardize passenger safety.

Under the government's plans, private-sector companies would contribute the bulk of an $18.5 billion investment in the system, known as the "Tube," over 15 years in what the government calls a public-private partnership to overhaul the increasingly creaky network.

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