- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 2, 2002

Argentina to end freeze on banking
BUENOS AIRES Argentina's government announced a plan yesterday to slowly phase out a hated banking freeze, offering savings account holders a choice of bonds maturing in three to 10 years.
Critics complained the plan makes thousands of Argentine depositors wait for years to extricate their savings, but Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna insisted it was the only way to end the freeze.
Finding a way out of the financial restrictions has been a key hurdle for the caretaker government of President Eduardo Duhalde, who is trying to turn around Argentina's worst-ever recession.
Reports suggest Argentina is seeking $9 billion in emergency aid. But it first must meet several conditions set by the International Monetary Fund, including a commitment by Argentina's 23 provinces to slash provincial deficits 60 percent.

Gambia leader back after long exile
BANJUL, Gambia Gambia's first post-independence leader returned from exile yesterday, nearly eight years after Americans whisked him away as coup forces approached the presidential mansion.
Gambian authorities kept Dawda Kairaba Jawara's return a low-key affair, blocking the former leader from the view of about 150 well-wishers who had come to the West African nation's airport to greet him. Mr. Jawara arrived on a regular commercial flight from Britain.
Mr. Jawara, now in his late 70s, became Gambia's first prime minister after independence from Britain in 1965. Capt. Yahya Jammeh, currently the elected president of a civilian government, led junior military officers in a coup against Mr. Jawara on July 22, 1994.

Freedom urged for aging ayatollah
TEHRAN Iran's parliamentary speaker called yesterday for freeing Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, the disgraced ex-successor-designate of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, from his 5-year-old house arrest.
"In my opinion, the house arrest must be lifted," Mehdi Karubi told reporters.
Ayatollah Montazeri, 80, was disgraced in a power struggle to succeed Ayatollah Khomeini, who died in 1989, 10 years after founding the Islamic republic. Ayatollah Montazeri has been locked up in his home in the Shi'ite holy city of Qom since 1997.

Ethiopia hires Chinese to build giant dam
BEIJING A Chinese company that helped build the massive Three Gorges Dam has been chosen for Africa's largest hydroelectric project, a dam on a Nile tributary in Ethiopia, state-run media in China reported.
The China National Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Corp. won a $224 million contract to help build the dam on the Tekeze River, the official Xinhua News Agency said late Friday.
The company, a state-owned electrical engineering concern, was one of the key builders of the world's largest hydroelectric project the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in central China.
The dam in Africa will be 33 feet taller than the Chinese dam.

Wolfowitz warns of terrorism in Asia
SINGAPORE Touting the U.S. anti-terror agenda to Asian security officials, the deputy defense secretary warned yesterday that the region is being targeted by Muslim terrorists who want to impose "a medieval, intolerant and tyrannical way of life."
"While New York and Washington may be thousands of miles away, the terrorists have Asia in their sights as well," Paul Wolfowitz told at a regional security conference here.
His speech to defense ministers and other representatives from Asian and Pacific nations was meant to enhance support in the region for the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

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