- The Washington Times - Monday, August 26, 2002

Israel demands more from Palestinian police

JERUSALEM - An agreement calling for Israeli troops to withdraw gradually from Palestinian towns in exchange for security assurances cannot proceed unless the Palestinians do more to stop attacks, Israeli officials said yesterday.

Under the first security accord between the sides in more than a year, Israeli troops transferred control of the West Bank town of Bethlehem to the Palestinians last week and were slated to do the same in parts of the Gaza Strip.

Although no violence in Bethlehem was reported over the weekend, the army said it foiled a Palestinian attack on a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip and that troops in the area came under repeated fire.

Georgian troops move against Chechen rebels

PANKISI GORGE, Georgia - Georgian forces advanced into a remote corner of their Caucasian republic yesterday to root out anti-Russian rebels from neighboring Chechnya.

About 1,000 military personnel in armored personnel carriers were reported moving into the Pankisi Gorge, in what Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze called an operation against "criminals."

Russia has accused Georgia of tolerating the presence of Chechen separatists in Pankisi and has threatened to mount its own military operation.

Ex-soldier says Israel is soft on looters

JERUSALEM - A former Israeli soldier described yesterday how he and his comrades looted Palestinian property during a spring offensive in the West Bank.

The recently discharged soldier, interviewed under the assumed name "Danny," told Israeli radio that troops stole from Palestinian homes during the six-week-long sweep for militants.

"When it came to commanding officers, some knew about it, and some were involved. When it came to squad leaders, all of them knew and were involved," Danny said.

China to control export of missile technology

BEIJING - China said yesterday that it issued new regulations controlling the export of missile technology, taking steps to ease U.S. concerns about transferring sensitive equipment to Middle Eastern nations, particularly Iran.

The new rules set out a licensing system for exporting missile technology, requiring exporters to be registered and transfers to be approved by government regulatory bodies, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The White House praised the new export safeguards yesterday but made clear that many other weapons-related issues remained on the table between the two nations.

Zimbabwean president names hard-line Cabinet

HARARE, Zimbabwe - President Robert Mugabe announced his new Cabinet yesterday, firing the centrist finance minister and keeping hard-liners who have spearheaded harsh media controls and seizures of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe.

Simba Makoni, the finance minister, had urged restraint in land seizures and firm action by authorities to end the political violence that has crippled the economy.

He was replaced by Cabinet veteran Herbert Murerwa, brought in from the Industry and Trade Ministry, the state newspaper the Mail and state radio reported yesterday.

Mandela tells of losing family members to AIDS

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - South Africas revered former President Nelson Mandela revealed in comments published yesterday that he lost three young relatives to AIDS.

Mr. Mandela, who has promoted AIDS awareness since stepping down as president in 1999, told the Sunday Times newspaper that his niece and his nephews two sons had died of AIDS in the eastern Transkei region.

An estimated 4.7 million South Africans - one in nine - are HIV-positive, yet the disease remains highly stigmatized among rural communities.

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