- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 21, 2001

European envoys win Macedonia concessions
SKOPJE, Macedonia Top European envoys said they convinced Macedonia's political leaders to revive the stalled peace process and resume debate in parliament this week on political reforms that are part of an accord to end an ethnic Albanian rebel insurgency.
The envoys said they hoped all the reforms could be passed in parliament by month's end.
"I think that we've opened another window of opportunity for Macedonia to move forward with this unique and remarkable peace process," NATO Secretary General George Robertson said after several hours of talks Thursday with government and political leaders during a one-day visit to Skopje.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the government and leaders of the main parties have "accepted to restart debate" in parliament on Wednesday on constitutional amendments that would grant more rights to the ethnic Albanian minority.

Sakharov awards made with political motives
BRUSSELS The European Parliament awarded its Sakharov human rights prize last week to three persons for the first time, with an Israeli, a Palestinian and an Angolan sharing the prize.
Nurit Peled-Elhanan, an Israeli lecturer, and Izzat Ghazzawi, a Palestinian lecturer and writer, were recognized Thursday for efforts to reach a peaceful Middle East settlement. Don Zacarias Kamuenho, an archbishop in Angola, was given the award for work toward achieving peace and democracy in his country.
A European Parliament official told Reuters the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against New York and Washington had played a part in the European Parliament's decision to give the prize to the Israeli and the Palestinian over "concern about the situation in the Middle East."

Cell-phone thefts lead London street crime
LONDON Street crime in London was 31 percent higher over the past six months than during the same period last year, mostly because of a spike in mobile-phone thefts, police said last week.
There were 31,696 reported incidents of street crime in the British capital from April to September, compared with 24,129 the previous year, according to statistics released Thursday by Scotland Yard.
Officers pointed to mobile phone thefts for the sharp rise. Some 30 percent of street robberies involved the theft of a mobile phone and nothing else. There was no sign of any sophisticated resale network for the stolen phones, police said.

Slovenia won't return confiscated island
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia A small island has caused a sticky row between the Slovenian government and the Roman Catholic Church as Ljubljana continues to refuse church requests to denationalize historic Bled Island.
The church's Bled parish and the Slovenian government have been struggling for years over the island and the Church of the Assumption atop it, which were taken from the church decades ago by the communist regime.
Last week, the parish appealed an Oct. 4 decision by the Culture Ministry granting the parish control of the church but leaving the island under government authority, the STA news agency reported.
Slovenia's only island lies in the middle of the northwestern Bled Lake, one of Slovenia's most important tourist sites.

Weekly notes
French astronaut Claudie Haignere will lift off for the International Space Station today from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, accompanied by two Russian cosmonauts and her own personal mascot, a teddy bear. The Polish president's special adviser on European Union membership said yesterday in Warsaw, that he had high hopes of Poland joining the union by the year 2004. "There are good hopes of Poland becoming a member of the EU by the time of the European Parliament elections in 2004," Jan Truszczynski told a colloquium of foreign correspondents.

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