- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Two Palestinian leaders arrested in West Bank

RAMALLAH, West Bank Israel detained two Palestinian political leaders yesterday, pressing ahead with its policy of arrests in the West Bank even as Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer prepared to hold new security talks with Palestinian Interior Minister Abdel Razaq Yahya.
The army captured three members of the militant Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in the West Bank city of Ramallah, two of them senior political leaders, Palestinian security sources said.
The PFLP assassinated Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi last year in retaliation for the Israeli assassination of one of its leaders.

Basque police seize party offices
BILBAO, Spain Basque police armed with a judge's closure order seized the offices of pro-independence party Batasuna in the Basque city of Bilbao yesterday after breaking through a human barricade of party militants.
The raid by Basque Ertzaintza police marked the first Basque-on-Basque confrontation in the clampdown on Batasuna, escalating Madrid's campaign to shut down the party for its support of ETA (Basque Homeland and Liberty), western Europe's most active guerrilla group.

Court expanded to hear Bhutto bid
KARACHI, Pakistan A Pakistani judge approved a government request yesterday to enlarge the tribunal that will hear former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's petition to run in upcoming elections.
Syed Saeed Ashhad, chief justice of the Sindh High Court, ruled that a five-member tribunal, including himself, will decide whether to hear the appeal at a hearing tomorrow. The Sindh High Court is the highest appeals court in the Sindh province.
Mrs. Bhutto's attorney, Kamal Azfar, did not object to the request but questioned why the government didn't make it earlier in the case.

Verdict delayed in Pakistan gang rape
DERA GHAZI KHAN, Pakistan A Pakistani court has delayed a verdict in the high-profile trial of 14 men facing the death penalty over a gang rape.
The judge at the special anti-terrorism court in the central town of Dera Ghazi Khan said he would not hand down his verdict until Saturday, police Inspector Habib Khan told Reuters news agency on leaving the courtroom yesterday.
Four men have been on trial for rape and 10 members of a traditional village jury also are being tried on charges of ordering the rape on June 22 as punishment for a family dispute in Meerawali, a small village nearby in the central province of Punjab.

Election loss prompts Labor leader to quit
DUBLIN The leader of Ireland's Labor Party announced his resignation yesterday in the latest aftershock from a general election that weakened opposition voices.
Labor chief Ruairi Quinn became the second opposition party leader to quit since the May 17 triumph of Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, whose ruling Fianna Fail party extended its dominance.

Floods threaten Indian villages
PATNA, India Hundreds of villagers fled their homes in the eastern Indian state of Bihar yesterday, after officials in neighboring Nepal were forced to open the floodgates of a dam threatened by rising water, officials said.
The Gandhak and Ganges rivers were gushing after water was released from the Balmikinagar Dam, which had been threatened because of dangerously high water levels behind it.
Across South Asia, about 25 million people have been forced from their homes in an enlarged version of what is an annual exodus to escape monsoon flooding.

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