- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 7, 2002

Farrakhan in Iraq to seek peace
BAGHDAD Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan arrived in Baghdad for a two-day visit yesterday to discuss steps that could be taken to avert a possible U.S. military campaign against Iraq.
"Our purpose here is to see the people of Iraq, hopefully the leadership, and to see what we can do to possibly stop a war," Mr. Farrakhan told reporters on his arrival in Baghdad.
The United States has warned Saddam he faces unspecified consequences if he does not allow the return of U.N. weapons inspectors, who left ahead of 1998 allied air strikes launched to punish Iraq for blocking inspections.
Iraq, during a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Vienna, Austria, on Friday, refused to let inspectors back in.

German Islamist had access to police records
HAMBURG, Germany A suspected Islamic militant arrested in northern Germany worked as an archivist and had access to police records, a police spokesman said yesterday.
He said that a search of computer records ordered after September 11 showed the man had contact with three of the suicide hijackers who took part in the attacks.
Identified only as Abdelkahim Y. and thought to be a Moroccan, the 41-year-old archivist was arrested Wednesday in a bookshop where he had based an illegal credit- card business.

Islamic school leaders protest new rules
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Islamic clerics, representing thousands of religious schools in Pakistan, threatened yesterday to stage nationwide demonstrations to protest new laws that would regulate their finances and the enrollment of overseas students and prevent the teaching of Islamic extremism.
After attending a meeting with top government officials to discuss the new rules, the heads of religious schools gave the government two weeks to withdraw the new regulations or face the protests.
Pakistan's religious schools gave birth to the Taliban movement in neighboring Afghanistan.

Carter to mediate Venezuelan conflict
CARACAS, Venezuela Former President Jimmy Carter headed to Venezuela yesterday for talks to avoid violence between President Hugo Chavez's supporters and opponents who remain skeptical about Mr. Carter's chances of success.
"It is my hope that the Venezuelan government and opposition groups will pursue constructive talks to settle immediate pressing differences," Mr. Carter said in a statement released by the Carter Center in Atlanta.
Mr. Chavez invited Mr. Carter, hoping the former U.S. leader could convince business, labor, news media and civic leaders to rejoin government-sponsored reconciliation talks that began after a brief April coup.

Drug-war hiatus in Peru temporary
LIMA, Peru Peru's top anti-drug official said the government hopes to soon resume a recently suspended program to wipe out illegal coca cultivation.
"It won't be very long. From our point of view, the sooner the better," Nils Ericsson told reporters. "In no way have we canceled the program."
Facing protests by thousands of coca farmers, Peru's anti-drug agency agreed June 28 to suspend efforts to eradicate coca, the raw material of cocaine, in the Huallaga River valley in the eastern Amazon region.

Malaysia rescues smuggled babies
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Malaysian police have rescued 13 babies and arrested seven suspected members of a baby-smuggling racket, a newspaper reported yesterday.
The Berita Harian newspaper quoted Mohd Yusoff Jaafar, police chief of Sarawak state on Borneo island, as saying the group had been selling babies for the past six years for $1,000 to $4,700.


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