- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2001

Hong Kong bars Falun Gong members
HONG KONG — Authorities reportedly barred at least 70 Falun Gong followers from entering Hong Kong in advance of an appearance today by Chinese President Jiang Zemin — prompting some critics to accuse them of doing Beijings bidding at the expense of free speech.
Police used bolt cutters to remove seven pro-democracy demonstrators who chained themselves to a flagpole.
Falun Gong is outlawed as "evil" in mainland communist China. But the meditation and exercise sect remains legal in Hong Kong, much to the consternation of pro-Beijing politicians there.

Washington condemns Assads remarks
The United States yesterday condemned remarks about Jews made by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday during Pope John Paul IIs visit to his country, a State Department spokesman said.
"Our view is that these comments are as regrettable as they are unacceptable. Theres no place from anyone or from any side for statements that inflame religious passions and hatred," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.
At a welcoming ceremony as the pope arrived on his first trip to Damascus, Mr. Assad said that Jews betrayed Jesus Christ and tried to betray and kill the Prophet Mohammed. On Sunday, Israeli President Moshe Katzav called Mr. Assad an anti-Semite.

Repaired nuclear sub leaves Gibraltar
GIBRALTAR — A repaired British nuclear-powered submarine left Gibraltar yesterday, nearly a year after it docked on Spains southern tip.
The HMS Tireless departed with 116 crew members aboard. Its destination was not immediately known.
The Tireless arrived in Gibraltar on May 19, 2000, after a crack was found in its cooling system. Its presence provoked concern and anger from residents and from Spaniards who said they feared an environmental disaster and staged repeated protests demanding the vessel be repaired in Britain.

Angolan rebels attack town, kill 79
LUANDA, Angola — In their boldest attack in months, UNITA rebels overran a town near the capital, killing 79 persons and interrogating foreign aid workers, officials said yesterday.
About 200 rebels attacked Caxito, a town of 50,000 people about 35 miles north of Luanda, at dawn on Saturday, the army said in a statement.
The statement did not provide casualty figures, but an aid official in Luanda who was in contact with colleagues in Caxito said 79 persons, including soldiers, police officers and civilians, were killed.

Worlds biggest plane completes test flight
KIEV — The worlds biggest plane successfully completed its first test flight yesterday in Ukraine after being modernized, officials said.
The giant An-225 Mriya first flew in December 1988 and was intended to transport the former Soviet Unions Buran space shuttle. However, it was grounded after the Buran program was canceled.
The six-engine plane has a wingspan of 291 feet and a cargo compartment 142 feet long. It is capable of carrying 275 tons of cargo 2,800 miles. By comparison, the C-5 Galaxy, the largest plane in Americas military fleet, can carry 135 tons of cargo.

Castro visiting Iran for first time
TEHRAN — Cuban President Fidel Castro arrived in Tehran last night for a three-day official visit, his first to Iran.
Mr. Castro, leading a large delegation of officials and businessmen, was greeted at the airport by Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmud Hodjati, Foreign Ministry officials and a group of Cubans residing in Iran.
The Cuban leader is due to meet with Iranian President Mohammed Khatami this morning during a ceremony at the Saad-Abad Palace in northern Tehran.

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