- The Washington Times - Monday, December 2, 2002

Western jets strike, inspections continue
BAGHDAD Iraqi officials said four persons at oil company offices were killed yesterday when Western warplanes bombed southern Iraq, but the U.S. military said the attack was aimed at Iraqi air defenses.
The strike came as U.N. arms specialists conducted a fourth day of inspections, examining an agricultural facility previously linked to a biological-weapons program and military complexes associated with reported nuclear programs near Baghdad.
Residents of the southern port city of Basra told Reuters news agency by telephone that Western planes had bombed administrative offices of the state-run Southern Oil Co. on the outskirts of the city about noon.

Evacuated foreigners tell of Liberian looters
ABIDJAN Foreigners evacuated from western Ivory Coast said yesterday that rebels were looting houses and shooting randomly in the streets in violence that appeared to involve Liberian militants.
French forces yesterday flew 160 persons mostly French and Lebanese merchants, and business people from the key cocoa city of Man near the Liberian border to Ivory Coast's commercial capital, Abidjan.

Beaches coated with oil slick
NEMINA Globs of tarry oil washed up on Spain's northwest coast yesterday, but high winds and strong currents kept most of an enormous, multimillion-gallon slick bobbing on the horizon.
The toxic sheen floated in the waves off the Galician coast. The region has been mopping up its beaches and rocky coastline for two weeks since the first slick from the sunken tanker Prestige washed ashore.

Nightclub fire traps, kills 47
CARACAS A fire at a crowded downtown Caracas nightclub killed 47 persons and injured at least eight others, Globovision television reported yesterday.
The fire erupted shortly before midnight Saturday at La Guajira nightclub, a small dance club on Avenida Baralt in the Venezuelan capital, the network said.

Women, children die in stampede for aid
GAIBANDHA At least 30 women and children were killed and hundreds injured in a stampede when thousands of poor people scrambled for clothes being handed out in a northern Bangladesh town yesterday, police said.
The stampede happened outside an abandoned jute mill, where the charitable distribution was planned. The crowd surged into the compound as guards opened its gates, causing the stampede.

Government urges end to U.S. flag burning
MANAMA Bahrain urged its citizens yesterday to refrain from burning the American flag during protests, saying it harmed the interests of the Gulf Arab state, which is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.
In a demonstration by hundreds of Bahrainis in a Muslim Shi'ite village on Friday, some burned U.S. and Israeli flags in a show of support for Palestinians.

Beijing celebrates Putin's visit
BEIJING Russian and Chinese flags flew side by side in Tiananmen Square yesterday as Beijing prepared for a visit from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is turning his attention to the East after improving ties with Western countries following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Mr. Putin was due to arrive in Beijing shortly after midnight for a visit he said he hoped would further strengthen relations with China as it undergoes a change in leadership.

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