- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 8, 2002

IRAN
Thousands rally for reform; 60 held
TEHRAN Baton-wielding security forces arrested at least 60 persons in the Iranian capital yesterday as thousands gathered in and around Tehran University to call for political reform.
The demonstration, which coincided with National Students Day, was the most significant sign in recent weeks that ordinary Iranians were willing to join students in the largest pro-reform protests in the Islamic Republic in more than three years.

TAIWAN
Opposition mayor re-elected in Taipei
TAIPEI A political superstar many hope will be Taiwan's next leader thrashed the ruling party's candidate yesterday in a mayoral election, winning re-election in the capital.
Harvard-educated Ma Ying-jeou was returned as mayor, winning 64 percent of the vote, while Lee Ying-yuan of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party got 36 percent, according to final results.
President Chen Shui-bian's party won the mayoralty of Taiwan's second-largest city, Kaohsiung, where Mayor Frank Hsieh pulled off a narrow victory, winning 50 percent.

GEORGIA
Chechens detained; 5 rebels killed
TBILISI Georgia, under pressure from Moscow to halt rebel activity on its territory, said yesterday that it had detained scores of Chechens and killed at least five guerrillas linked to deadly blasts in Russia three years ago.
As part of what it calls a broad anti-terrorism operation, Georgia also extradited to Russia a man Moscow says belongs to a group of Chechens behind the 1999 blasts that killed more than 300 people across Russia, Itar-Tass news agency said.
In the biggest crackdown against Chechens in Georgia in recent years, authorities took in dozens of foreigners, including Hizri Aldamov, the chief representative of the Chechen exile community in Georgia.

CANADA
Diplomats expelled in Russian spy row
OTTAWA Canada and Russia have both recently expelled two of each other's diplomats for purportedly engaging in activities inconsistent with their status, a term that is shorthand for spying, officials said yesterday.
In Ottawa, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Russia had this week ordered two Canadian diplomats to leave Moscow but denied the suggestion they had been spying.
Moscow reacted after Ottawa decided a few weeks ago to insist on the withdrawal of two Russian diplomats who had "been involved in activities in Canada inconsistent with their diplomatic status," the spokesman said.

CUBA
Dissident physician arrested again
HAVANA Cuban dissident physician Oscar Elias Biscet, set free a month ago after serving a three-year jail term, was arrested again for organizing a human rights discussion group, his wife said yesterday.
Dr. Biscet and 11 others were arrested Friday when they tried to meet in the Havana suburb of Lawton to discuss the human rights situation in Communist-run Cuba, according to his wife, Elsa Morejon.

SOUTH AFRICA
Mandela returns to tribal roots
QUNU Nelson Mandela donned the traditional dress of his tribe for the first time in more than 40 years yesterday for a wedding celebration uniting three of South Africa's most powerful tribal nations.
Mr. Mandela, 84 and walking with difficulty, briefly upstaged the bride by wearing a calico tunic and wrap trimmed in black, an elaborate bead necklace and a beaded headband.
His spokeswoman, Zelda la Grange, said the former president had not worn the traditional attire of his Tembu tribe since the 1962 trial that began Mr. Mandela's 27-year imprisonment.

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