- The Washington Times - Friday, August 9, 2002

EU raps U.S.-Romania deal on crimes court

BRUSSELS The European Union yesterday said it deplored Romania's sealing a deal with the United States to prevent Americans from being turned over to a new war crimes court.

Romania, an aspirant to join the European Union and NATO, was the first country to sign such a deal. EU officials said they were concerned that other East European candidates for membership of both blocs were under pressure from Washington to follow suit.

Brussels and Washington remain divided on the International Criminal Court, which the United States vehemently opposes, fearing hostile nations will abuse it to bring politically motivated cases against Americans.

Blair, Chirac rebuff Belgian defense plan

BRUSSELS British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac, in a joint letter, have rebuffed a call by Belgium for the European Union to seal a mutual defense pact.

Mr. Blair and Mr. Chirac were responding to a letter from Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt last month that called for bold new steps in European Union military integration to counter what he called "a risk of renationalization of defense policies."

The Blair-Chirac letter made no mention of Mr. Verhofstadt's proposal for the European Union to include a mutual-security guarantee in a proposed constitution. It instead focused on the need to boost military spending an area in which Belgium is near the bottom of the European Union table.

Pakistan halts Buddhist peace march

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan The Japanese leader of a Buddhist peace march through Pakistan, Kashmir and India said yesterday that Islamabad had withdrawn permission for the march and was now holding the marchers "under virtual house arrest."

Japanese monk Junsei Terasawa said the marchers were being confined at a museum in the ancient Buddhist town of Taxila, about 18 miles west of Islamabad, for two days, guarded by about 100 soldiers.

The three-month march by 30 Buddhists was to coincide with the 57th anniversary of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. It comes at a time when nuclear-armed Pakistan and India remain locked in a military standoff.

Dalai Lama's brother meets Tibet officials

LHASA, Tibet The elder brother of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, met local officials on a visit to Tibet this year, the region's Communist Party boss said yesterday.

Party Secretary Guo Jinlong declined to say whether Gyalo Thundup, who visited China in 2000 but was not allowed into Tibet, brought any message from the Dalai Lama or was acting as an intermediary in a dialogue with Beijing.

'Mad Dog' Adair's son shot as 'punishment'

BELFAST The teenage son of Northern Ireland's most notorious Protestant extremist was shot in both legs in a punishment-style attack, police said yesterday.

Jonathan Adair, 17, was attacked late Wednesday in west Belfast's Lower Shankill district, the stronghold of his father, Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair, who commands the Lower Shankill unit of the outlawed Ulster Defense Association.

The motive for the attack was not clear. Police said it was carried out by either Mr. Adair's own group or the smaller, rival Ulster Volunteer Force.

Vietnam's top spy, Vu Ngoc Nha, dies

HANOI Vu Ngoc Nha, a spy for communist North Vietnam who was a close friend and adviser to two South Vietnamese presidents before he was unmasked by U.S. intelligence during the Vietnam War, has died at age 74.

Mr. Nha died Wednesday after a long illness at his home in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, his family said yesterday. Mr. Nha's exploits were made famous in a biography by Huu Mai titled "The Adviser."

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