- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2002

Israel halts construction of Nazareth mosque
JERUSALEM Israel yesterday decided to halt construction on a large mosque that sits next to the main Christian shrine in Nazareth, the town of Jesus' boyhood. The project had angered Christian groups worldwide including the Vatican who said it is disrespectful to Christians.
The decision by Israel's security Cabinet was likely to anger Muslims, and police in Nazareth, a town of 70,000 in northern Israel, were braced for protests.
The mosque construction began several weeks ago, just outside the Basilica of the Annunciation, the largest church in the Middle East, which is built on the spot where tradition says the Angel Gabriel foretold the birth of Jesus.

Violence erupts near Belfast school
BELFAST Violence flared in a flash-point district of Belfast yesterday, close to a Roman Catholic girls school at the center of ugly clashes last year between security forces and Protestant protesters.
A police spokesman told Reuters news agency that trouble erupted during the afternoon as parents went to collect pupils from the Holy Cross Primary School in north Belfast, and escalated after the children had left for the day by bus.
It was not clear how the violence started, but Catholic parents said the trouble broke out after some of them were jostled as they went to collect children from school.

3 dead, 54 hurt in Tajikistan quake
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan A strong earthquake that rippled out from mountains east of the capital of Tajikistan yesterday killed three persons, injured 54 and destroyed dozens of houses, Tajik officials said.
The temblor occurred at 11:46 a.m. and had a force of 7.0 on the Richter scale, the officials said.
Its epicenter was registered about 150 miles east of the capital, Dushanbe.

Britain plans to deploy Gurkhas in Afghanistan
LONDON Britain yesterday said it has put 120 of its elite Gurkha soldiers on standby to go to Afghanistan next week to join British-led peacekeeping troops there.
News reports said defense chiefs believe the Nepalese fighters, renowned for their fearlessness during 185 years of service in the British army, will be able to gain the trust of Afghans because they come from the same region and have good language skills.

Lockerbie appeal to be televised
LONDON The appeal of the Libyan secret agent convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing will be televised, although broadcasters will not be allowed to show evidence from witnesses, Scottish authorities said yesterday.
Judges did not allow cameras into the initial nine-month trial of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, who was acquitted.
But a spokesman for the Scottish government said they had thought differently about the appeal.
"The BBC applied to televise it, and the court found no reason to turn them down.
Other broadcasters should make an application to the clerk of the court in Edinburgh if they want to televise it," a spokesman said.
Megrahi was jailed for life for killing 270 persons in the Pan Am jumbo jet bombing after the trial at a special criminal court at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands.
The full appeal hearing is due to kick off at the former U.S. military base Jan. 23.

Belgian court rejects Rwandans' appeal
BRUSSELS Belgium's supreme court yesterday rejected appeals from two Rwandan nuns and a businessman convicted of war crimes during the central African nation's 1994 genocide.
The three were given jail sentences of up to 20 years in June after a landmark trial under laws authorizing Belgian courts to try war crimes committed abroad

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