- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2002

NETHERLANDS
Islamists on trial in U.S. Embassy plot
ROTTERDAM Four Islamic militant suspects accused of plotting blasts at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and a Belgian air force base went on trial here yesterday.
Prosecutors said the accused two Algerian-born men, a French and a Dutch national were members of a militant group. They are charged with complicity to plan murder. Videos featuring al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden were found at their Rotterdam homes last year, authorities said.

BRITAIN
London, Paris to close camp for refugees
LONDON An asylum camp on France's northern coast that became a magnet for refugees trying to reach Britain is to close this month, earlier than planned, Paris and London said yesterday.
The Sangatte camp near the Channel port of Calais from which many refugees have staged dramatic entry attempts into Britain will shut down this month instead of in April.
Under the deal announced yesterday, Britain will take in about 1,000 Iraqi Kurds, who will be given work visas, as well as some 200 Afghans with relatives in the United Kingdom.

MONACO
U.S. nurse imprisoned in arson deaths
MONTE CARLO An American nurse was convicted yesterday in the arson deaths of billionaire banker Edmond Safra and another nurse, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Ted Maher, who was convicted of arson leading to death, said he set the fire as part of a plan to rescue Mr. Safra and become a hero.

BRITAIN
Firefighters suspend strike, seek arbitration
LONDON Firefighters said yesterday they were suspending their national strike and would begin talks on settling a pay dispute amid signs that their protest was having little impact.
Fire Brigades Union leader Andy Gilchrist said the group's executive council decided to suspend an eight-day strike scheduled to begin tomorrow and seek independent arbitration with employers.

SOUTH KOREA
Catholic priests fast to protest U.S. verdict
SEOUL Twenty Roman Catholic priests began a weeklong hunger strike yesterday to protest the acquittals of two U.S. soldiers whose vehicle struck and killed two South Korean girls.
The two soldiers were on a training mission when their armored vehicle struck the two 13-year-olds. They were acquitted of negligent homicide charges last month by U.S. military courts.

BURUNDI
Rebels sign cease-fire
ARUSHA, Tanzania Burundi's government and one of two main rebel forces signed a cease-fire early today to try to end a nine-year civil war, and African leaders told the other group to stop fighting as well or face sanctions.
Meeting in this northern Tanzanian town, President Pierre Buyoya of Burundi's interim government shook hands with Pierre Nkuruzinza, leader of the rebel Forces for the Defense of Democracy, after they signed the accord at a ceremony.
The cease-fire was signed after months of haggling over the terms of a truce to end a conflict that had claimed 300,000 lives in the small central African country.

VATICAN CITY
Pope condemns racism, xenophobia in speech
Pope John Paul II denounced racism, xenophobia and the "terrible crime" of human trafficking in a message yesterday, calling it a Christian duty to welcome immigrants.
The pontiff issued his message for the Roman Catholic Church's annual World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
The movement of millions of people from country to country has raised political and social tensions in many parts of the world.


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