- The Washington Times - Monday, January 28, 2002

Honduras re-establishes relations with Cuba
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras In his last major act in office, President Carlos Flores Facusse has re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba after a 40-year hiatus.
"In our times, no country can live alone," the foreign ministry said in a brief communique late Saturday announcing the restoration of relations, which were set to take effect Saturday.
Mr. Flores Facusse, of the Liberal Party, handed over power at midday yesterday to the National Party's Ricardo Maduro, who won election to a five-year term in November.
Honduras broke relations with Cuba in 1962 when the island nation was expelled from the Organization of American States.

Afghan villagers claim wrongful attack
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan Distraught villagers trekked to Kandahar yesterday to complain to Afghan authorities that U.S. Army Special Forces killed innocent persons in a raid last week.
The delegation from the remote town of Khas Uruzgan said they set out on the 100-mile journey just hours after the attack Wednesday night in which Pentagon officials said about 15 persons were killed, 27 captured and a large number of weapons destroyed during a raid on a Taliban arms depot.
Villagers, however, claimed U.S. forces bombed their town hall and clinic, and killed and arrested men loyal to Afghanistan's U.S.-backed interim leader, Hamid Karzai.

15 children threaten suicide over asylum
WOOMERA, Australia Fifteen children at a detention center are threatening to commit suicide as asylum seekers who are on hunger strike upped the ante against the Australian government today.
Hunger strikes are now being held at four of the detention centers Australia uses to house asylum seekers while their claims are processed.
The unaccompanied children, from ages 12 to 17, informed their lawyers at the Woomera Detention Center of their plan late yesterday, said Robert McDonald, a member of the Woomera legal group.
Woomera is the biggest and most isolated Australian immigration center. Formerly a rocket range, it is now being examined as a possible site for a nuclear waste dump.
Lawyers representing the detainees claim 370 inmates at Woomera are refusing food, although the immigration department said 162 men, 14 women and five children, mostly Afghans, were taking part in the protest.
Thirty-five of the detainees have stitched together their lips to protest what they say are delays in processing their asylum claims and the living conditions at the detention centers.

Israeli Arab minister resigns in scandal probe
JERUSALEM Israel's first Arab Cabinet minister, whose nomination had spawned hopes for rapprochement between the country's Jewish and Arab citizens, resigned yesterday amid reports he would face corruption charges.
Salah Tarif, a minister without portfolio from the Labor party, is suspected of passing to a senior Interior Ministry official $5,000 from a Palestinian businessman who was trying to obtain Israeli citizenship, according to Israeli media reports.
Mr. Tarif has emphatically denied the complaints since they surfaced last year, but media reported last week that Attorney General Eliakim Rubinstein was preparing to remove Mr. Tarif's immunity so he could be indicted.
Mr. Rubinstein's office said a statement on the matter would be issued shortly.

Dalai Lama gets care for lump in stomach
BOMBAY Looking weak but still smiling, the Dalai Lama was admitted into a Bombay hospital yesterday after doctors detected a lump in his stomach.
Wearing his red Buddhist robe, the supreme leader of Tibetan Buddhists walked into Lilawati Hospital with the help of aides.
A spokesman said doctors were taking X-rays and conducting ultrasound and blood tests. The test results are expected today.

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