- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 2, 2002

U.S. senator wants more Afghan peacekeepers
KABUL, Afghanistan A U.S. senator said yesterday that talks with Afghan officials convinced him the international peacekeeping force in this unstable nation should be expanded.
"I was very reluctant before visiting Afghanistan, and now I feel there's no choice but to expand," Sen. Robert G. Torricelli, New Jersey Democrat, told the Associated Press.
Mr. Torricelli, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also said he expects U.S. military forces to remain in this country for several years because it will take a long time to build a national Afghan army.

Mugabe to crush all civil protests
HARARE, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, declared the winner in disputed voting last month, vowed to crush any civil uprising against his rule and dismissed calls for a rerun of the election, state radio reported yesterday.
Mr. Mugabe said the government will not tolerate attempts to make Zimbabwe ungovernable "by those bent on causing chaos, especially those who did not agree" with his election victory.
The radio said Mr. Mugabe was addressing a victory party Sunday in his home district of Zvimba, 25 miles southwest of Harare.
The National Constitutional Assembly, a reform alliance that includes the main opposition and human rights, labor and church organizations, has called for street protests this coming Saturday.

Catholic bishop quits over sex scandal
BELFAST One of Ireland's most popular Roman Catholic bishops announced his resignation yesterday over allegations he had protected a pedophile priest.
Bishop Brendan Comiskey, who represented the diocese of Ferns in southeast Ireland, made his announcement in Dublin the day before a documentary was to be shown in Ireland about a priest who the church acknowledges sexually assaulted dozens of boys in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Rev. Sean Fortune committed suicide in 1999, shortly before he was to stand trial.
Bishop Comiskey said he would present his resignation in person to the Vatican later this week.

Chinese spaceship returns to Earth
BEIJING China's third unmanned spaceship returned to Earth on Monday and was pronounced "technically suitable for astronauts," the government said the latest step in its patriotism-streaked effort to become the third nation to put people in space.
The Shenzhou III landed on schedule at 4:51 p.m. in central Inner Mongolia, a region in northern China, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. It had taken off nearly seven days before from a desert launchpad in northwestern China's Gansu province.
Xinhua quoted top officers at the China Manned Space Program, which is overseeing the series of test flights, as pronouncing the Shenzhou craft "technically suitable for astronauts."

Pearl murder suspects protest jailhouse trial
KARACHI, Pakistan Four men accused of kidnapping and killing Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl are challenging the government's decision to try them behind prison walls, arguing yesterday that a closed trial violates Pakistani law.
Ahmed Omar Saeed accused of masterminding the Jan. 23 kidnapping and three accomplices are scheduled for trial April 5 before an anti-terrorism court on charges of murder, kidnapping and terrorism. Citing security reasons, the government ordered the trial be held at the jail.

Czech hotel collapses killing Polish tourists
PRAGUE Five Polish residents were killed and another one was feared dead when a four-story section of a Czech hotel collapsed Monday, police said.
A senior police officer said rescue workers recovered five bodies from the ruins of the 12-year-old building in Louny, about 45 miles northwest of the capital, Prague.
"Five people were found dead and another one is missing and thought to be buried under the rubble," district police director Miloslav Solc said by telephone from the scene. "They were all Polish citizens.

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