- The Washington Times - Friday, June 14, 2002

Taiwan is obtaining early-warning radar

TAIPEI, Taiwan This island off east China will receive 11 Lockheed Martin long-range early-warning tactical radars to boost its air-defense capability against rival China, Jane's Defense Weekly reported yesterday.

The arms deal involves seven long-range radars and four tactical transportable radars, the latest issue of Jane's quoted Taiwan defense sources as saying.

2 charged in murder of Sakhalin general

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia Two persons were charged yesterday in connection with the murder of a Russian border guard chief who died of burns after arsonists hurled Molotov cocktails into his apartment, prosecutors on the Pacific island of Sakhalin said.

Gen. Vitaly Gamov, 39, died in a Japanese hospital a week after the May 21 assassination attempt.

The two suspects arrested in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, were taken to a police detention center last week, the prosecutors' office said.

Hundreds of Afghans denied refugee status

CANBERRA, Australia More than 300 Afghan asylum seekers shipped to Nauru by Australia last year have been refused refugee status, and fears mounted yesterday that a boat carrying others was lost at sea.

The United Nations rejected 219 Afghans and Australia refused another 108, most of whom were among 433 persons rescued in August after their boat began sinking between Australia and Indonesia.

Australia said improved conditions meant many refugee claims were no longer valid.

Indonesian confirms funding of militias

JAKARTA, Indonesia A former official in East Timor during Indonesian rule said yesterday that provincial authorities had funded pro-Jakarta militias that attacked independence activists in 1999.

"There was an amount set aside from the provincial budget that was used to pay the Voluntary Security Force," Raja Karina Brahmana, former East Timor provincial secretary, told a human rights trial here. The force comprised village-level security units and later anti-independence paramilitaries.

Weekly notes

Japan will explain a tax-reform program to its partners in the Group of Eight industrial democracies this weekend. Economists are not sure the plan, designed to stimulate Japan's economy, will be implemented because of divisions in the government and ruling coalition. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told the government last week to proceed with major tax reforms to boost consumption and investment as part of the fight against deflation in the world's No. 2 economy. Exit polls showed South Korea's conservative opposition Grand National Party swept most key local government elections yesterday, winning a test of the public mood ahead of December's presidential election. In an election that faced stiff competition for voter attention from the World Cup soccer finals being co-hosted with Japan, voter turnout was a record low 43.9 percent.

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