- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 11, 2002

Defense minister fired after N. Korea shootout

SEOUL President Kim Dae-jung replaced his defense minister and six other Cabinet officers today in a shake-up after a deadly naval clash with North Korea.

The reorganization came days after the navies of the two rival Korean states fought a gunbattle near the disputed western sea border, in which four South Korean sailors were killed and 19 others wounded.

Retired Gen. Lee Jun, former commander of the South's largest field army, was named as defense minister.

The clash dealt a serious blow to the South Korean president's "sunshine policy" of engaging North Korea.

Musharraf schedules legislative elections

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf announced that legislative elections will be held Oct. 10, state television reported yesterday.

Interrupting its regular programming, Pakistan Television said the elections would be for the lower house of parliament, or National Assembly, as well as the four provincial legislatures.

Parliament was dissolved when Gen. Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup in October 1999.

Pope holds audience at summer retreat

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy Trying to conserve his strength, Pope John Paul II abandoned yet another tradition, staying at his summer retreat to deliver his general audience yesterday rather than traveling to the Vatican.

The weekly audience, held in the courtyard of his summer residence in this lakeside town southeast of Rome, was one of his shortest ever. While many public audiences last longer than an hour, this was barely 30 minutes another sign that the 82-year-old pontiff can no longer keep his previously grueling pace.

The pope, bowing to doctors who have been insisting that he slow down, has been steadily giving up other traditions.

Malaysia's Anwar loses court appeal

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Malaysia's former deputy prime minister vowed yesterday he would someday return to politics, after the country's top court rejected his last appeal of a corruption conviction.

Anwar Ibrahim urged his followers to remain steadfast even though he faces a six-year prison sentence and will be barred from politics for five additional years once he is released.

Anwar has long claimed that he was the victim of trumped-up charges to prevent him from challenging Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who had groomed him as his successor but then fired him.

Israeli, Palestinian die as fighting continues

JERUSALEM Palestinian gunmen fired on Israeli troops searching for smuggling tunnels yesterday along the sandy border with Egypt, killing an army lieutenant the first Israeli to die in the past 20 days of the Middle East conflict.

In a separate shooting, a Palestinian teenager was killed when Israeli soldiers fired on people throwing stones in the West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinians said.

Military helicopter crashes in El Salvador

ARMENIA, El Salvador A military helicopter crashed during a thunderstorm as it carried victims away from the scene of a highway robbery, killing all four soldiers and three civilians aboard, the army reported yesterday.

The crash occurred Tuesday night near this small town 30 miles west of the capital after a Salvadoran family was attacked on a road just across the border in Guatemala.

An 11-year-old girl was killed in the assault, and the helicopter appeared to have been helping the family return her body to San Salvador for burial.

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