- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2002

U.S. in no hurry on NATO decision

Senior Bush administration officials told a House hearing yesterday that the much-anticipated decision on who will be asked to join NATO will not be made until the eve of the alliance's summit in Prague in November.

Robert A. Bradtke, deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs, told lawmakers the delay would give the nine NATO hopefuls in central and southeastern Europe the maximum amount of time to meet the military and political requirements for membership. President Bush has called for a "robust" round of NATO enlargement this year, but has not singled out individual states.

Slovakia, Slovenia, the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania are all candidates for membership.

Peruvian leader cancels trip over protests

LIMA, Peru Protests of the sale of government electricity companies spread to four more southern cities yesterday, prompting Peru's president to cancel a trip to the United States.

President Alejandro Toledo had planned to participate in a summit of Central American nations in Nicaragua before heading to Washington for meetings with U.S. officials.

Rioting in Peru's second-largest city, Arequipa, entered its sixth day yesterday, while a general strike in Tacna, 615 miles southeast of Lima, continued into its third day.

Protesters say Mr. Toledo reneged on a campaign promise not to sell off the electricity companies.

Pakistan to rein in Islamic academies

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Under pressure to move against terrorism, Pakistan announced new measures yesterday to strengthen control of the country's 8,000 Islamic religious schools.

The schools, known as madrassas, would be shut down and fined if they fail to register with a government oversight board.

Many of Pakistan's madrassas are considered key training grounds of Islamic militancy, and some produced Muslim scholars who later became central figures in the Taliban movement.

Gunmen kill 15 at Nigerian university

LAGOS, Nigeria Armed men stormed a university hall in Nigeria and opened fire on engineering students taking exams, killing at least 15 persons, witnesses and police said yesterday.

Officials at the University of Nigeria campus in Nsukka, near the southeastern city of Enugu, blamed Saturday's attack on members of a secret university society believed to be targeting a rival student group.

Hungarian leader admits spying for Communists

BUDAPEST Hungarian Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy admitted yesterday he had been a Communist secret-police counterintelligence officer over 20 years ago, but proposed to name those in public life who had held such posts.

Averting a political crisis over accusations from a rightist newspaper and the opposition that he worked for the secret police, Mr. Medgyessy told parliament he was a counterespionage officer at the Finance Ministry in 1977-82.

French farmer returns to jail

VILLENEUVE-LES-MAGUELONE, France Jose Bove, the French farmer who spent three weeks behind bars for wrecking a McDonald's restaurant, returned to prison yesterday to finish out his sentence.

The activist rode a tractor to the prison here near the Mediterranean city of Montpellier, where he was locked up and will remain for 40 days.

Bove, a sheep farmer, has become one of France's leading symbols of the anti-globalization movement. One of his main targets has been what he calls "foul food," including fast food and genetically modified crops.

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