- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2002

Bahrain won't help in war against Iraq
TEHRAN Bahrain, a key U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf region, joined Iran yesterday in opposing American military action against Iraq.
"Iran and Bahrain declare their determined opposition to any unilateral military action against Iraq," said a joint statement issued at the end of a two-day visit to Tehran by Bahrain's king, Sheik Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
The statement, carried by the official Islamic Republic News Agency, called for respecting "Iraq's territorial integrity and noninterference in Iraq's internal affairs."
Bahrain is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

British couple held in schoolgirl deaths
SOHAM, England A sleepy rural English town plunged into mourning for two missing schoolgirls yesterday after a couple were arrested on suspicion of the girls' murder and two bodies were found in countryside nearby.
The disappearance two weeks ago of 10-year-old best friends Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman from Soham in eastern England sparked one of Britain's biggest manhunts and held the country on tenterhooks.
But the arrests of a 28-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman on suspicion of murder and the discovery of the bodies extinguished hope that the girls were alive.

Former PLO treasurer calls Arafat corrupt
JERUSALEM A former treasurer of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who fled to London last week, accused Yasser Arafat of transferring millions of dollars of international donations into a personal account, according to interviews published yesterday in Israeli newspapers.
The ex-treasurer, Jawad Ghussein, 71, accused Mr. Arafat of moving up to $8 million to his personal account every month, the newspaper accounts said.
In interviews from London, Mr. Ghussein spoke to Ha'aretz and Yediot Ahronot, two leading Israeli dailies. Mr. Ghussein said he had documents to support his contentions, though none was cited in the articles.

Invasion talk won't get Iraq inspections
LONDON Threats of a U.S. invasion will not help persuade Iraq to allow investigators in to verify whether Baghdad has eliminated its weapons of mass destruction, the chief U.N. arms inspector said yesterday.
In an interview with British Broadcasting Corp., Hans Blix reiterated earlier statements that Iraq's latest overtures about allowing teams of U.N. arms inspectors to return were not acceptable as they stood but said Baghdad might eventually agree.
"If the Iraqis conclude that an invasion by someone is inevitable then they might conclude that it is not very meaningful to have inspections," Mr. Blix said.

Floods kill hundreds in South Asia
PATNA, India Deadly snakes slithered in floodwaters as 24 persons in eastern India died from bites, drowning or from being crushed by crumbling houses as rain and raging floods wreaked havoc in South Asia, officials said yesterday.
The latest deaths in India's Bihar state have raised to 935 the number of people who have died in Bangladesh, India and Nepal since the monsoon season began in June. About 23 million people in the neighboring nations have been displaced.
In China, the death toll from summer storms approached 1,000, with torrential rains triggering landslides and floods.

Boat with defectors due in south port
INCHON, South Korea Some 21 North Koreans, including children, found on board a fishing boat were being taken into a South Korean port early today after telling maritime police that they wished to defect, police said.
The incident could pose a threat to progress made last week between the two Koreas, which held their highest level talks in four months aimed at repairing relations strained by a bloody naval clash in the same waters in June.
One man is 70 and the youngest is an 8-year-old girl, police said in a statement. The official said all of them appeared to be healthy.

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