- The Washington Times - Monday, June 18, 2001

Taiwan cuts ties with Macedonia

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan broke off diplomatic relations with Macedonia today after efforts to salvage its ties with the Balkan country failed, cutting the diplomatically isolated island´s allies to 28.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Chang Siao-yue told a news conference Taiwan would immediately end all economic aid to Macedonia.

Macedonian government spokesman Antonio Milosovski announced on June 12 that Skopje had switched diplomatic allegiance back to Beijing.

Macedonia switched recognition to Taiwan in 1999 in return for an investment deal but is now eager to regain China´s international support in dealing with a five-month ethnic Albanian insurgency along its border with Kosovo.

U.S. Marine shot, wounded in Liberia

MONROVIA, Liberia — A U.S. Embassy official was shot and injured yesterday by a Liberian security officer trying to stop a vehicle from crashing a security checkpoint, the Liberian government said in a statement.

The injured man was identified as Sgt. James Michael Newton, an American serviceman and the embassy´s assistant military attache. His hometown was not immediately available.

Foreign Minister Monie Captan met yesterday with U.S. Ambassador Bismarck Myrick and told him the Liberian government "expressed concern over the incident" and "regret" over Sgt. Newton´s injuries.

The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia couldn´t be reached for comment. A statement from the Liberian Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave no details on Sgt. Newton´s injuries, but said he was evacuated to Abidjan.

Cardinal Winning dies following heart attack

LONDON — Cardinal Thomas Winning, the staunchly conservative leader of Scotland´s Roman Catholics, died yesterday at the age of 76, church officials said.

Cardinal Winning died suddenly at his home, two days after being discharged from a Glasgow hospital where he had been recovering from a heart attack since June 8, Monsignor James Clancy said at a news conference. Church officials said it appeared he had suffered a second heart attack.

"His strong moral leadership and commitment to social justice were renowned," Prime Minister Tony Blair said in a statement. "His energy, commitment and passionate defense of the core values of the Catholic church and faith were recognized by all."

The cardinal made headlines in predominantly Protestant Britain for his conservative views toward abortion and homosexuality.

Egypt´s Copts protest story about cleric

CAIRO — Coptic Christians demonstrated in Cairo yesterday to protest a newspaper story about purported sexual misconduct by a Coptic cleric, security sources and witnesses said.

Between 2,000 and 4,000 Copts took to the streets outside a church to protest the way the story was presented by an Egyptian tabloid, saying it was insulting to Egypt´s Coptic minority, the sources and witnesses said.

The security sources said no casualties or arrests had been reported, but one protester told reporters that five persons were seriously hurt and five suffered minor injuries.

The weekly al-Nabaa published a story yesterday about a Coptic clergyman who was said to have exploited his position to gain sexual favors from women.

Indian police arrest suspect in bomb plot

NEW DELHI — Indian police said yesterday they had arrested another member of a group linked to Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden, which they suspect of planning to bomb the U.S. embassies in India and Bangladesh.

A police officer said the man, identified as Abbas Sheik, was picked up in the western city of Udaipur.

His detention followed police questioning of two men, including a Sudanese citizen, arrested in New Delhi on Friday carrying explosives. In Washington, a State Department spokesperson said the United States was looking into the arrests.

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