- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2002

North Korea seeks new talks with Seoul
SEOUL North Korea's leadership has made an appeal for new official talks with the rival South while seeking to blunt U.S. influence in any reconciliation.
The communist North froze contacts with the South and the United States last year, but senior ruling party leader Yang Hyong-sop made the appeal for new talks at a special meeting in Pyongyang yesterday, which was widely reported by the state-controlled media.
"In order to warm inter-Korean relations it is imperative to seek authorities-to-authorities dialogue and all forms of nongovernmental talks and contacts and work harder to boost them," Mr. Yang said at the meeting.
He indicated that the North was ready to talk to whomever takes over from the South's president, Kim Dae-jung, after an election in December.

Russia protests meeting with Chechen
MOSCOW Russia's Foreign Ministry said yesterday it summoned the British Ambassador Roderic Lyne to protest a London meeting with an envoy of Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov.
"This London meeting with a representative of Aslan Maskhadov, Ahmed Zakayev, is an act against Russian-British cooperation, notably in the fight against international terrorism," the ministry said.
A British official told RIA-Novosti news agency that the Chechen official was received at an unspecified date by British officials "as someone close to Maskhadov who has had contacts with the Russian authorities."
The government temporarily withdrew the media bill last week to make some "reasonable" amendments after parliament's legal committee said it was unconstitutional.

Yemen shuts down Islamic study center
SAN'A, Yemen The Yemeni government has shut down a religious study center, officials said yesterday, and plans to deport about 80 students and teachers who were arrested for overstaying their visas.
The move appeared to be part of a crackdown on Islamic fundamentalism in Yemen site of the deadly October 2000 attack on the USS Cole that has been blamed on Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
Education Minister Fadel Abu Ghanem told the Associated Press yesterday that the government decided three weeks ago to close the Dar Al-Hadith institute, located in a tribal region where Yemeni forces had been searching for suspected al Qaeda members.

Fashion world cheers Saint Laurent's finale
PARIS The fashion world turned out to cheer Yves Saint Laurent yesterday as the 20th century's towering fashion figure displayed a dazzling chronology of his best looks from tuxedos to safari outfits to glamorous satins and chiffons in his final haute couture show.
Thousands crowded the plaza outside the Georges Pompidou Center to get a glimpse of the 2,000 invited guests. Then they stayed to watch the show on two giant video screens erected outside.
Inside the cavernous building, Mr. Saint Laurent presented four decades of clothes: some originals, many updated classics and a few new designs. Woven throughout was perhaps Mr. Saint Laurent's defining garment: the "smoking," or tuxedo.
Mr. Saint Laurent, 65, stunned the fashion world two weeks ago when he announced he was ending his glorious and turbulent career, partly in disgust over what he saw as an industry ruled by commercial rather than artistic motives. He also spoke of his past battles with drugs, depression and loneliness.

Peru sets up office to study UFOs
LIMA Peru's air force has set up a nationwide system to track UFOs, whose flashing lights seem to be distracting pilots and radar operators from doing their jobs.
The Anomalous Air Phenomena Investigations Office (OIFFA) was set up last month to keep a nationwide file of UFOs reported by both military and civilian pilots over the years, and to investigate the reports.
Ufologists say Peru is home to "hot zones" of activity of UFOs that are said to be drawn by Peru's Nazca Lines enormous land drawings that can only be observed from the air.

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