- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Militia, students clash in Tehran

TEHRAN Clashes among Islamic militia and groups of young people defying a ban on rallies erupted in the Iranian capital yesterday on the anniversary of the July 1999 student unrest, an Agence France-Presse correspondent reported.

The violence broke out as security forces in riot gear tried to disperse about 5,000 to 6,000 students and others who gathered at the Tehran University campus and in nearby streets.

8 Jordanians on trial for arming Palestinians

AMMAN, Jordan Eight Jordanians went on trial yesterday before the state security court here on charges of smuggling arms and explosives to Palestinians in the West Bank.

Court sources said the eight pleaded not guilty to the charges, which in Jordan can carry the death sentence. The defendants, six of whom live in the southern port city of Aqaba, are charged with smuggling arms to the West Bank.

They were rounded up between January and May, the court sources said.

Riyadh restricts more jobs to Saudis

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia Seeking to provide more jobs for Saudis amid growing unemployment, the government has reserved 22 more job categories for its citizens and warned private establishments against employing foreigners in those posts.

The decision by Social Affairs and Labor Minister Ali al-Namlah instructs labor offices not to authorize the hiring of non-Saudis in jobs including administrative managers and their assistants, procurement managers, secretaries, switchboard operators, storekeepers, tourist guides, automobile salesmen and public relations jobs.

Tunisian appeals sentence for satire

TUNIS, Tunisia An Internet journalist today is to appeal his 28-month prison sentence for publishing a satirical online magazine critical of the government.

In the first trial of an Internet dissident in the North African country, Zouhair Yahyaoui, 34, was convicted by a Tunisian court in absentia on June 20 of disseminating false information and of fraudulent use of the Internet.

The founder of the Web magazine Tunezine had refused to appear last month. His lawyers said he was protesting not having a fair trial, particularly because the court had taken no account of his complaints of being tortured during questioning by police.

Tunezine is a play on the name of the country and that of three-time President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who won landslide support in a May 26 referendum to seek two more terms in office and permanent immunity "for all acts" he has or may commit as president.

Weekly notes

Lebanon formally requested yesterday an extension for the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) patrolling the Israeli border amid fears U.S. opposition to the new International Criminal Court will lead to disbandment of the 3,630-member peacekeeping unit by the end of the month. UNIFIL's mandate has been renewed every six months since its creation in 1978. Syrian Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass yesterday slammed the "interference of foreigners" in the Palestinians' choice of leader, a reference to calls by Israel and the Bush administration for Yasser Arafat's ouster. Gen. Tlass' comments came in a meeting with Nayef Hawatmeh, leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, that militant group said.

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