- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 1, 2002

Suspicious object delays Paris-Washington flight

PARIS An Air France jet carrying 240 passengers from Paris to Washington made an emergency landing yesterday after its crew found a suspicious object on board, a company official said.

Flight AF028 landed late yesterday in the western French city of Brest, the official said. He said the object turned out to be harmless but declined to provide further details. He said the plane was to resume its flight.

Earlier in the day, the plane’s takeoff from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris had been delayed up to three hours because of security concerns, the official said.

Syria, four others to join U.N. council

UNITED NATIONS The powerful U.N. Security Council takes in five new members, including Syria, today to replace five nations whose two-year terms have expired.

The five new members are Bulgaria, Cameroon, Guinea, Mexico and Syria, a country on the U.S. list of states sponsoring terrorism. They are taking seats vacated by Bangladesh, Jamaica, Mali, Tunisia and Ukraine.

Current council members Colombia, Singapore, Mauritius, Ireland and Norway hold seats until January 2003.

The United States, Britain, Russia, France and China are permanent members of the Security Council.

Rwanda has new flag and anthem

KIGALI, Rwanda If symbols can heal, the process began in Rwanda yesterday as a new flag, national anthem and coat-of-arms were revealed at a gathering of national reconciliation 71/2 years after a half-million people died in state-sponsored genocide.

A trumpet played retreat as two army captains lowered the old red, green and yellow flag for the last time during a ceremony at Amahoro national stadium, where thousands of minority Tutsis sought refuge in 1994 during the 100-day slaughter by the Hutu majority.

The new flag has a golden sun with 24 rays on a field of green, yellow and blue. President Paul Kagame said the colors stood for prosperity, wealth, peace and happiness.

Ebola death toll rises to 22

GENEVA An outbreak of Ebola fever in the border region between Gabon and Congo has killed 22 victims out of 30 known cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said that 18 of the cases had been in Gabon and 12 in Congo, without giving a breakdown of the number of deaths from the disease in each country.

Zambian opposition demands fresh vote

LUSAKA, Zambia Zambia’s main opposition parties asked the country’s chief justice yesterday to reject election results favoring the ruling party and to order another vote.

The seven opposition parties accuse the governing Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) of rigging the results of Thursday’s election by stuffing ballot boxes and manipulating the vote count.

Results released by the Electoral Commission of Zambia from 139 of 150 voting constituencies showed Levy Mwanawasa, the MMD’s presidential candidate, leading his nearest rival by more than 31,000 votes.

The seven party leaders also asked the chief justice to delay the inauguration of the country’s next president, scheduled for tomorrow, until he has considered their petition.

Pope prays for strength to continue in papacy

VATICAN CITY Pope John Paul II prayed yesterday for the strength to continue in his papacy, which has seen a once robust, tireless pontiff lose energy and struggle with health problems.

“I ask God for the strength to carry on, until He wants me to, in faithful service to the Church of Rome and to the entire world,” John Paul said in his traditional New Year’s Eve homily, sparking applause and tears from the congregation in St. Peter’s Basilica.

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