- The Washington Times - Monday, July 22, 2002

Pacific island abandons recognition of Taiwan
BEIJING The South Pacific island nation of Nauru opened diplomatic relations with China yesterday and cut ties with former ally Taiwan, China's Foreign Ministry said.
Nauru's swing represents a small win for Beijing in a years-long campaign to win over countries recognizing Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province that must be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.
The move reduces the number of countries that recognize Taiwan to 27 and has sparked accusations in Taipei that Beijing has sought to buy the tiny island's loyalty with financial aid worth up to $137 million.

Greece arrests two more suspects
ATHENS Police have arrested two more suspected November 17 terrorists, and said yesterday one was believed to be a hit man in four assassinations including those of a U.S. Air Force sergeant and a British brigadier.
Police now have a total of nine suspects in custody, including a suspected leader of the November 17 group, which has carried out bombings, assassinations and robberies with impunity for 27 years. They are searching for other November 17 members, believed to number a few dozen.
A magistrate yesterday began arraigning three of the first suspected November 17 terrorists, arrested in a police breakthrough against the group after a botched bombing on June 29.

Israelis fear shortage, buy bread
JERUSALEM Israelis scrambled to buy bread and other baked goods yesterday, fearing a shortage because of a six-day strike by flour mills, which were demanding a 20 percent increase in prices to offset the higher costs of U.S. wheat.
Baruch Turjeman, head of three of 18 flour mills in Israel, said they no longer could absorb the increased cost of importing wheat from the United States, where he said a poor crop this year had resulted in higher prices.
The government, which must approve the price increase, has made no immediate decision on the demand for a 20 percent price rise.
Meanwhile, many bakeries have run out of flour. Others bought flour on the black market.

Ukrainian coal disaster leaves six miners dead
KIEV, Ukraine A methane gas blast ripped through a colliery in Ukraine yesterday, killing six miners hundreds of feet below ground and injuring 14 in the ex-Soviet state's second such tragedy in two weeks.
A spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry in the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region said more than 400 miners had been evacuated from the Yubileinaya mine by dozens of rescuers.
The explosion occurred exactly two weeks after a fire raged through a coal mine in Donetsk, killing 35 miners. Hundreds of miners have since staged protests in the capital Kiev over poor safety conditions in the country's aging and deep coal pits.

Iraq, Iran swap remains of POWs
BAGHDAD Iraq and Iran yesterday exchanged the remains of more than 1,700 soldiers who died in the two countries' prisons after being captured in their 1980-88 war.
The hand-over, which took place at the Iraqi border post of Munthiriya, 110 miles east of Baghdad, included the remains of 1,166 Iraqis and 570 Iranians.
The exchange is part of efforts at normalizing relations between the neighbors, both of which have been branded by the United States as part of an "axis of evil."
An estimated 1 million Iranians and Iraqis were killed in the war.

Argentine icebreaker frees German vessel
BUENOS AIRES An Argentine navy icebreaker cleared the path toward open waters yesterday for a German research ship it extricated from thick ice off Antarctica where it had been trapped since early June.
Most of the 79 Russian scientists and 28 crew aboard the research ship Magdalena Oldendorff were rescued by helicopter on June 27, but a skeleton crew was left on board to maintain the ship.
The icebreaker Almirante Irizar reached the stranded research vessel Wednesday and pulled alongside for the first time Saturday, the Argentine navy's Web site said. The skeleton crew had been down to a week's worth of food and fuel when the icebreaker delivered supplies Friday.

Egyptian, Libyan leaders discuss regional issues
CAIRO Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held talks late yesterday on various bilateral and regional issues, including the African Union created early this month, an Egyptian official said.
Col. Gadhafi, who arrived in Cairo yesterday evening, also discussed with Mr. Mubarak the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Egypt's state-television quoted Egyptian Information Minister Safwat Sherif as saying.

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