- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Sudan offers halt of rebel bombings
KHARTOUM, Sudan Sudanese President Omar Hassan Bashir offered yesterday to temporarily stop bombing rebel positions for four weeks in a meeting with former Sen. John Danforth, President Bush's special envoy to the conflict.
"We offered to declare a voluntary, unilateral cessation of aerial bombing for four weeks as a test," Bashir's top adviser on the conflict, Ghazi Salah el-Din Atabani told reporters after leaving the meeting between Mr. Bashir's advisers and the Danforth delegation.
Mr. Atabani said he hoped the move would "prepare the atmosphere for a comprehensive cease-fire."

Nepal Buddhists worship new king
KATMANDU, Nepal Nepali Buddhists worshiped King Gyanendra yesterday as an incarnation of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, in an ancient ceremony that takes place once every 50 years.
Thousands of Nepalis lined the streets to watch the 54-year-old monarch being driven in a limousine to the Samyak Puja translated "auspicious worship" ceremony near the Swyambhunath Temple, the main Buddhist landmark in Katmandu. King Gyanendra became king last June after his popular brother, King Birendra, and most members of the royal family were slain by Crown Prince Dipendra, who later killed himself.

Anti-immigrant leader quits her party post
SYDNEY, Australia Maverick politician Pauline Hanson, who founded Australia's anti-Asian One Nation Party, resigned as its leader yesterday, saying she needed time to concentrate on clearing her name of fraud accusations.
The decision took many party members by surprise, but political analysts had been predicting Miss Hanson's exit after One Nation failed to win any seats in national elections late last year.
Miss Hanson, 47, and former One Nation director David Ettridge have been charged in connection with the fraudulent registration of the political party in 1997. The pair are to appear in court in April to face charges carrying a maximum 10-year sentence. Both have pleaded not guilty in a pretrial hearing.

Police, troops guard N. Ireland school
BELFAST Police and troops surrounded schools in a flashpoint area of Belfast yesterday after death threats against Roman Catholic teachers by Protestant guerrillas.
Armored police Land Rovers lined the road outside the Catholic Holy Cross Girls' Primary School scene of a 12-week Protestant protest last autumn and security forces were in evidence at other schools in the north of the city.
Rioting erupted last week after clashes between Catholics and Protestants near Holy Cross school. There also were ugly scenes at other schools in the district.

Saudis defend destroying fortress in Mecca
ANKARA, Turkey Saudi Arabia acted in the interests of Muslim pilgrims by razing an Ottoman-era fortress near shrines in Mecca, the Saudi ambassador said yesterday in defense of an action that outraged many Turks.
The Saudi government tore down the castle several weeks ago to make way for a trade center, hotel and underground parking lot to serve the millions of pilgrims who make the annual trek to Mecca, the holy city in Saudi Arabia.
The 200-year-old Ajyad Castle would be reassembled elsewhere.

U.N. negotiator arrives in Iraq, seeks new deal
BAGHDAD A senior U.N. official arrived in Iraq yesterday for talks on the troubled "oil-for-food" humanitarian program.
Benon Sevan, executive director of the program and a U.N. undersecretary-general, will stay three weeks in Iraq to discuss the program with U.N. and Iraqi government officials during his first trip to Baghdad since August 2000.
The oil-for-food program allows Iraq to sell oil to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods for Iraqis enduring 11-year-old U.N. sanctions imposed after Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The U.N. Security Council has approved in principle a "cash component" from Iraq's oil revenues so it can pay workers to upgrade its battered oil industry equipment.

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