- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 8, 2001

Zimbabwe to honor deal on squatters
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe said it would honor a Nigerian-brokered deal to evict illegal squatters on white-owned farms, who have plunged the nation into economic chaos.
But skeptics were waiting for President Robert Mugabe's public seal of approval on a deal aimed at ending an 18-month land crisis in the southern African country.
Under the accord announced in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, Thursday, Zimbabwe agreed to stop landless blacks from invading white-owned farms in occupations Mr. Mugabe encouraged.
Former colonial power Britain agreed to co-finance compensation for farmers whose land would be handed to blacks.

Macedonian rebels surrendering guns

SKOPJE, Macedonia — Macedonia's precarious peace process edged into round two yesterday as hundreds more guerrillas disarmed after parliament grudgingly embarked on constitutional reforms sought by ethnic Albanians.
Albanian insurgents assembled in a highland meadow near the Kosovo border and handed NATO troops hardware ranging from AK-47 assault rifles to anti-tank rocket launchers, mortars, tank shells and a stolen Macedonian army armored personnel carrier.

Colombian drug lord loses his appeal
BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombian drug kingpin Fabio Ochoa yesterday lost his last hope of avoiding extradition to the United States to face charges that he helped smuggle cocaine worth $1 billion a month to the United States and Europe, the government said.
"He could be sent at any minute," a Justice Ministry official said. "There is nothing standing in the way of his extradition any more."

Putin willing to talk to disarmed Chechens
NAZRAN, Russia — In an abrupt change of course, President Vladimir Putin said yesterday the Kremlin is ready to negotiate with any separatist leader in Chechnya.
But he said that before talks could start, the rebels must disarm, give up the region's 10-year independence drive and surrender the insurgents most wanted in Moscow.
"I believe that talks are always better than actions involving the use of force, and we are ready for contacts with anyone," Mr. Putin said in the southern town of Kislovodsk, where he held talks about nearby Chechnya.

U.S. warns of threat to East Asian sites
The United States issued a warning to its citizens living in South Korea and Japan after getting information about a possible threat to U.S. military facilities and staff in the two Asian countries.
"We received information about a possible threat to U.S. military facilities or to establishments that are frequented by U.S. military personnel in Japan and Korea," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.
Mr. Boucher did not indicate where the threat came from or who was involved, but a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it was "Middle East-related."

Churches, mosques burned in Nigeria
ABUJA, Nigeria — Churches and mosques were burned in the central Nigerian city of Jos during violent clashes between Christians and Muslims that broke out shortly after Muslim prayers yesterday, state radio reported.
Authorities imposed a night curfew in response to the violence.
"A dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed on Jos, the Plateau state capital," the radio said, quoting a broadcast address by the state's governor.
It said the measure was "to check the uprising in the city and the suburbs."


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