- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 15, 2001

Indonesian rivals continue protests

JAKARTA, Indonesia Supporters and opponents of Indonesia's embattled head of state pelted each other with rocks and bottles yesterday in a third day of protests, as the administration faced new accusations of financial impropriety.
About 1,200 students opposed to President Abdurrahman Wahid marched past a downtown campus loyal to him and demanded he resign. At least three Wahid supporters were badly beaten in the subsequent clashes, witnesses said. Meanwhile, about 1,000 supporters rallied outside the presidential palace.
Legislators, who want to impeach the president over two corruption scandals, said yesterday they would investigate what they claimed was the suspicious transfer of $300,000 in cash to Mr. Wahid's entourage at the start of a pilgrimage this month to Islam's holy city of Mecca.

Criticism of Israel on closures mounts

RAMALLAH, West Bank Palestinians protesting Israel's chokehold on West Bank towns briefly overran a roadblock yesterday as criticism of Israel's closure tactics mounted.
In its first meeting since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took office last week, Israel's security Cabinet eased restrictions that have prevented Palestinians from traveling within the West Bank and Gaza.
Israel claims the unusually tight closure in recent days of Ramallah, a political and commercial center, was intended to prevent planned terrorist attacks. The strategy sparked debate within Israel, with critics arguing that collective measures only radicalize the Palestinians and increase support for violence.

Haider renews attacks on Jewish leader

VIENNA Austrian far-right leader Joerg Haider, defying a barrage of criticism at home and abroad, renewed his attacks on the leader of the country's Jewish community yesterday.
In an interview with NEWS magazine, he said Jewish leader Ariel Muzicant had stabbed Austria in the back during Holocaust compensation negotiations, used his political connections to help his business and did not belong "in the spectrum of democratic forces."
Referring to Mr. Muzicant's plans to sue over a recent attack that was widely condemned as anti-Semitic, the populist firebrand said, "I consider it a distinction to be sued by Muzicant."

U.S. probers awaited in Kuwait bombing

KUWAIT CITY A U.S. investigation team headed by a three-star general was due in Kuwait today to start examining how a U.S. jet killed five American soldiers and a New Zealander in a desert bombing exercise.
"The Americans will be here early Thursday and investigation work will immediately start," Kuwaiti Defense Minister Sheik Jaber Hamad Sabah said yesterday.
He said that his country had formed a three-man investigation team of its own, expressing satisfaction with U.S. steps taken since the accident Monday night.

Bubonic plague kills 11 in Zambia district

LUSAKA, Zambia Bubonic plague spread by flea-infested rats has killed at least 11 persons and sickened 30 others in eastern Zambia in the past week, authorities said yesterday.
Emergency medical teams have been sent to Zambia's Patauke district, the state Central Board of Health said.
The disease is usually fatal within days if not treated immediately, board spokesman Ben Chirwa said. Victims suffer swollen glands and fever.

Egypt hostage taker frees 4 tourists

LUXOR, Egypt An Egyptian tour guide early today released four German tourists he had held for more than three days in a desperate bid to end a child custody dispute, police said. He then surrendered peacefully.

A police official at the scene who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the release and surrender but would not immediately give further details.

Hours before, Ibrahim Ali Sayyed Moussa had said he regretted threats he made to kill his hostages unless his German wife brought the couple's two sons back from Germany. During a mobile telephone call earlier to the Associated Press, Mr. Moussa said he would end the drama.

At about 2:30 a.m., witnesses saw a man being led to a police van in a residential neighborhood near the ancient Karnak temple in the modern tourist city of Luxor.

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