- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 11, 2002

Russia, Germany reach deal on Soviet-era debt
WEIMAR, Germany Russia agreed yesterday to pay Germany $440 million to settle Soviet-era trade debts to the former East Germany, resolving a dispute that had lasted years and marking the high point of a two-day summit.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the accord, and a deal to end an export credit-insurance wrangle, after talks, strolls in the picturesque town of Weimar and a joint talk-show appearance.
Mr. Putin, who said the issue was unusual because it involved two governments that had since collapsed, agreed to pay Germany $308 million this year and the rest in the next two years. The two sides had until now failed to agree on an exchange rate for settlement.

Chavez sees strike as plot to oust him
CARACAS, Venezuela A national strike ground into its second workday yesterday, angering President Hugo Chavez, who called it a conspiracy to oust him as another army general became the latest to slam the president publicly.
"The key element that we have to analyze and realize is that this is not a strike, but a move by the rotten and corrupt oligarchy and their allies," Mr. Chavez told a 2,000-strong crowd of supporters late Tuesday.
"There's a conspiracy afoot to try to bring down Hugo Chavez," the president added after union and business leaders extended their strike against his policies by a day.
Army Gen. Nestor Gonzalez, who commands no troops, meanwhile, called Mr. Chavez a liar yesterday, referring to the controversy over the presence of Colombian rebels in Venezuela.

Hague court frees Bosnian Serb suspect
THE HAGUE One of twin Bosnian Serb brothers charged with beating prisoners to death at a Serb-run camp during the Bosnian war will be released for lack of evidence, the Hague war-crimes court said yesterday.
Judges ordered the immediate release of Nenad Banovic, who was accused with his brother, Predrag, of crimes against humanity in Bosnia's notorious Keraterm detention camp in 1992, after granting a prosecution motion to drop charges against him.
The 32-year-old twins were arrested in Belgrade and handed over to the court in November. The court indicted the twins in July 1995.

Albright seeks new debate on aid
Eradicating terror in the name of national security was the topic as former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright led 150 ambassadors, members of Congress, labor and business leaders and researchers at an international development conference on Capitol Hill yesterday.
Mrs. Albright said she wanted a new discussion on foreign aid, but instead preferred to call it "national-security support." She said the traditional way of viewing aid is a rich-versus-poor issue.
"Poor people are not stupid, but are capable of wealth creation, not just [being] passive recipients," Mrs. Albright said.
A key topic of the session was how to deliver aid with greater efficiency, Mrs. Albright said. Instead of delivering foreign aid to top echelons of a government, the group recommended local distribution to accomplish a more-equitable allocation of aid.

German millionaire ordered extradited
CAPE TOWN, South Africa Fugitive German multimillionaire Jurgen Harksen yesterday lost a nine-year legal battle to avoid extradition from South Africa to his home country to face more than 300 charges of fraud and tax evasion.
The Cape Town Magistrate's Court ordered his extradition, but Mr. Harksen also faces six embezzlement charges in South Africa, which means that if tried and found guilty, he could serve time in a South African prison before being extradited.
In recent years, Mr. Harksen had on technical grounds successfully appealed two similar extradition orders, appearing in court more than 30 times.
Mr. Harksen, a permanent resident of South Africa, was the subject of an extradition request by Germany in 1994 after starting an investment scheme known as Scan 100 in 1986, which promised fantastic returns. At the time, he called himself Jurgen Harksen von Hesselstein.

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