Airliner crashes near Zurich airport
ZURICH A Swiss airliner with 33 persons on board crashed last night as it was approaching Zurich airport to land. At least 10 persons were killed and nine others were pulled from the wreckage, officials said.
Local authorities issued an urgent appeal for local residents to join the search for survivors from the Crossair Jumbolino, which went down in a wooded area in the suburb of Birchwil, some two miles east of the airport.
The cause of the crash the second to strike Crossair in less than two years was not known.
Gorbachev heads new party
MOSCOW The last of the leaders of the former Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, has been elected head of a new social democratic party in Russia, according to television broadcast station NTV.
The former Communist Party member, who steered the Soviet Union toward rapprochement with the West, will be the de facto head of the party, which is as yet untitled.
His own Unified Russian Social Democratic Party, formed two years ago, will coalesce with the Russian Social Democratic Party, led by Konstantin Titov, who has been named group president.
Fischer wins Greens’ support
BERLIN Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer won the backing of his Greens party yesterday for sending German troops to aid the war on terrorism, averting the risk of a government collapse.
A national party conference passed a motion endorsing the troop pledge after an emotional plea for support by Mr. Fischer, who demanded solidarity with the United States and warned the Greens that they would risk political oblivion by bringing down Germany’s center-left coalition.
“This is a clear mandate,” said Greens lawmaker Albert Schmidt, who supported sending troops.
The vote signaled a fresh move away from the Greens’ anti-war roots and also bolstered Mr. Fischer’s position as his nation’s chief diplomat.
Syria frees Islamist political prisoners
DAMASCUS, Syria The Syrian government yesterday freed 113 political prisoners, mostly Islamists, a human rights group representative said.
The prisoners were released by presidential pardon at midday and belonged mainly to the banned Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Tahrir group, the president of the Syrian Human Rights Committee, Aktham Naisse, said.
Robber linked to pregnancy
BRASILIA, Brazil Fallen Mexican pop star Gloria Trevi is carrying a baby boy, local media reported yesterday, while police say a convicted bank robber is the father, though he denies raping her.
Jailed since January, Miss Trevi, who is seven months pregnant, is seeking refugee status in Brazil while fighting extradition to Mexico, where she is wanted on charges of corruption of minors and statutory rape.
The question of how she got pregnant has captivated audiences in both countries. Miss Trevi has said she was raped in prison, but authorities believe she was artificially inseminated.
Britain protests to Zimbabwe
LONDON British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw yesterday threatened diplomatic action against Zimbabwe after Harare accused journalists, including four working for British newspapers, of aiding terrorists.
The British High Commission in Zimbabwe has lodged an official protest over the threat to journalists who reported the beatings of whites, Mr. Straw said.
And he said he would be consulting European Union and Commonwealth colleagues about further action against President Robert Mugabe’s government.
A government spokesman had said Friday that Zimbabwean correspondents for Britain’s Daily Telegraph, the Times, the Guardian, and the Independent newspapers distorted truth and assisted terrorists through their reports.