- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 20, 2001

Jammeh is re-elected in Gambia balloting

BANJUL, Gambia President Yahya Jammeh's main rival in Gambia's presidential election conceded defeat yesterday as results showed the 36-year-old former coup leader was poised to win outright.

With votes counted in 46 of 48 districts, Mr. Jammeh had won 52.56 percent of ballots cast while human rights lawyer Oussainou Darboe had 33.12 percent meaning Mr. Jammeh would have enough votes to avoid a runoff.

"I have just phoned President Jammeh congratulating him for his victory, in the interest of peace and democracy," Mr. Darboe told reporters in the capital, Banjul.

Dissident priest sentenced in Hanoi

HANOI Vietnam sentenced a dissident Catholic priest yesterday to 15 years in prison on charges he undermined the country's unity and violated a detention order.

Vietnam's Communist government earlier rejected a U.S. request for the release of the priest, the Rev. Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, saying his arrest was purely a Vietnamese internal affair.

Father Ly had urged in testimony to a U.S. government committee in February that the U.S. Congress delay ratification of a bilateral trade agreement until Vietnam eases restrictions on religion.

Prostitutes in Germany obtain job rights

BERLIN Prostitutes won legal recognition of their profession and social insurance and labor rights in Germany under legislation adopted by parliament yesterday.

Under the new law that goes into effect Jan. 1, prostitution will no longer be regarded as "contrary to good moral standards".

Sex workers of both sexes will also have a legal right to demand payment for services rendered and to receive the benefits of social insurance like other workers.

Spanish police arrest 3 separatist suspects

MADRID Police apprehended three suspected members of the outlawed Basque separatist group ETA yesterday, dealing a blow to its operations in San Sebastian, the second-largest city of the troubled northern Spanish region.

The raids in four towns in the region which ETA is seeking to make independent yielded 13 pounds of dynamite along with other explosives, detonators and bomb-making manuals, Interior Minister Mariano Rajoy said.

"We have eliminated a very important part of ETA's network in Donosti," he said at a news conference, using the Basque name for San Sebastian.

Macedonia debate eases NATO mission

SKOPJE, Macedonia NATO's mission in Macedonia will be easier now that the country's rival factions have agreed to restart a parliamentary debate on stalled reforms aimed at expanding rights for minority ethnic Albanians, an official said yesterday.

"Further postponement of the implementation of the peace accord would have put the country on a reverse path," said Maj. Timothy Dunne, NATO's spokesman in the capital, Skopje. "NATO will remain committed to helping return Macedonia to a safe and secure environment."

NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson and Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, negotiated a formula Thursday to bring lawmakers from the rival sides majority Macedonians and ethnic Albanians back to parliament next week for a debate on constitutional amendments meant to upgrade minority rights.

U.S. gives $11 million for Guatemala biosphere

GUATEMALA CITY The U.S. government says it will donate more than $11 million over the next three years to help Guatemala protect its jungles, rivers and volcanos.

The $11.159 million donation will go to ensure "better management of natural resources and conservation of the Guatemalan biosphere," the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City said in a statement Thursday.

Environmental Minister Carlos Caceres said the money would help preserve the Biosfera Maya, a 4.45-million-acre jungle reserve in Guatemala's northernmost state of Peten, home to the ancient Mayan city of Tikal.

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