- The Washington Times - Friday, June 15, 2001

150 hurt as unrest hits high in Algeria

ALGIERS — Riot police fired tear gas as hundreds of thousands of protesters tried to reach the presidential compound yesterday during a march sparked by nearly two months of bloody unrest. At least 150 persons were injured.

LCI French television reported between two and four deaths in violent confrontations. An Algerian journalist reporting for LCI, Baya Gacemi, said she had heard gunfire but couldn´t say where it was coming from. A police commander, speaking on condition of anonymity, denied shots were fired.

Hospital officials said at least 150 persons were injured, six critically, in the "march for democracy" protest, which was called by representatives of Algeria´s minority Berber population and supported by numerous opposition political parties.

Indonesia tanker capsizes off Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A tanker capsized in a busy sea lane between Malaysia and Singapore, spilling toxic chemicals into a fish-farming ground, authorities said yesterday.

The MT Endah Lestari tanker, carrying 660 tons of the industrial solvent phenol, began tilting shortly after leaving the port of Pasir Gudang at the southern tip of the Malay peninsula early Wednesday, officials said.

The captain called for assistance, but as the Indonesia-registered ship was being towed away from the sea lane toward shallow water it rolled onto its side, about 100 yards from land.

Former Reagan aide rejects Sudan post

Chester Crocker, a leading African affairs official during the Reagan administration, said yesterday he has decided to reject an offer to become the Bush administration´s special envoy for Sudan.

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell had turned to the veteran diplomat for help on Sudan, seeing it as a high priority issue because of widespread suffering resulting from war and famine.

Manila abandons talks with Muslim rebels

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — The government said yesterday it has stopped trying to negotiate with Muslim extremists holding more than two dozen hostages, sending reinforcements to search a southern island and hunt down the insurgents.

Meanwhile, after three days of searching, there was still no sign of the body of an American hostage the rebels claimed to have beheaded. The government said the rebels may have been lying.

Interior Secretary Joey Lina, in charge of police, said there was "a strong possibility" that Guillermo Sobero of Corona, Calif., was still alive.

World Bank chief says Africa needs billions

NEW YORK — Africa needs billions of dollars in aid to help a generation of forward-thinking leaders pull their countries from a downward spiral of poverty and disease, the World Bank president said yesterday.

James Wolfensohn told the Council of Foreign Relations that a group of leaders in sub-Saharan Africa don´t want to be dependent, and he urged the world to create a partnership with them.

He said assistance was especially needed because Africa is ravaged by AIDS.

Fujimori faces charge of drug cover-up

LIMA, Peru — A congressional commission investigating corruption in Peru has recommended charging ex-President Alberto Fujimori with covering up drugs deals, a legislator on the panel said yesterday.

"The charge against Fujimori is covering up drugs trafficking because he illegally pardoned the daughters of the owner of [major fishing company] Hayduk, who had been tried for drugs trafficking," the legislator, Anel Townsend, told Reuters.

Mr. Fujimori is in self-exile in Japan.

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