- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Cubans defect after hearing pope

HAVANA Twenty-three of about 200 Cubans attending World Youth Day celebrations led by Pope John Paul II in Canada have defected, the Cuban Catholic Bishops Conference said yesterday.

"I have been informed that this development has embittered the rest of the delegation," bishops' conference director Orlando Marquez said in a statement.

Terror threat halts Israeli orchestra tour

JERUSALEM The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has canceled a U.S. concert tour, saying it has been unable to find an American security firm willing to guard its 100 musicians, a newspaper reported yesterday.

The orchestra was scheduled to perform next month in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, but called off the U.S. leg of its international tour when it couldn't organize a security company to protect its musicians, the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot said.

Afghan government foils car bombers

KABUL, Afghanistan A would-be assassin of Afghan leaders was intercepted in Kabul when his automobile, loaded with explosives, was involved in a traffic accident, national television reported yesterday.

The suspect had planned to crash his car into a vehicle or vehicles carrying members of the national leadership, the TV report said, citing a statement issued by the Afghan intelligence service.

Protestant rioters rampage in N. Ireland

BELFAST Police arrested two Protestant rioters yesterday during overnight clashes in central Belfast with supporters of the outlawed Ulster Defense Association (UDA).

Scores of Protestant men and teenagers threw rocks, bricks, gasoline bombs and homemade grenades during the three-hour melee.

Island peace treat delayed by ASEAN

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei Southeast Asian foreign ministers yesterday put off plans to sign a document to help resolve disputes on overlapping claims to South China Sea territories, the Malaysian foreign minister said.

"It cannot be signed here. There a lot of changes in the wording," Syed Hamid Albar told reporters after an informal meeting of ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Chechnya kidnapping prompts U.N. suspension

MOSCOW The United Nations indefinitely suspended aid operations in Chechnya yesterday after the kidnapping last week of a Russian aid worker in the breakaway republic, officials said.

U.N. spokeswoman Viktoria Zotikova said the aid programs would likely be resumed if the aid worker is released.

Protesters threaten Nigerian bodyguards

KANO, Nigeria Soldiers escorting President Olusegun Obasanjo fired into a crowd of protesters yesterday in the northern city of Kano. A number of people were wounded and some were feared killed, witnesses said.

At least six limp bodies were seen being hauled away.

Court dismisses suit over birth-control pills

LONDON Britain's High Court dismissed a lawsuit yesterday brought on behalf of about 100 women who claimed they had been harmed by the latest generation of birth-control pills.

The women argued the pills carried an increased risk of blood clots. The court ruled the women had not proven their case.

Saudi Prince dies in desert of thirst

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia A young Saudi prince died of thirst in the desert yesterday, the official media reported.

Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabeer, 25, was traveling through the kingdom's Rimah area. No other details were given.

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