- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Kostunica fires army chief

BELGRADE Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica yesterday sacked the chief of the army, Gen. Nebojsa Pavkovic, who had been appointed to the key post by former Belgrade strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Mr. Kostunica's Cabinet issued a statement announcing that Gen. Pavkovic had been relieved of his duties and replaced by Gen. Branko Krga, the Tanjug news agency reported.

Gen. Pavkovic had been quoted earlier by Tanjug as saying that his dismissal was imminent and that pressure for his removal stemmed from the "negative influence of some parts of the U.S. administration."


Firearms register worldwide increase

GENEVA The number of small arms, ranging from pistols to shoulder-fired rocket launchers, in civilian and military hands around the world jumped about 16 percent to 639 million in 2001, a survey showed yesterday.

Those weapons legally owned by civilians, mainly handguns and hunting rifles, totaled 378 million, up 25 percent from the number documented in a similar report issued a year ago. There is no figure available for illegal weaponry.

But Geneva's Graduate Institute of International Studies, author of the reports, said that the jump in the number of civilian-owned arms probably owed more to improvements in information gathering than to a real rise.

The United States accounted for 220 million to 230 million of the total number of small arms stockpiled worldwide, the editors of the report told at a news conference.


Kenya searching for 'killer' giraffe

NAIROBI, Kenya A violent giraffe emerged yesterday as the chief suspect in the mysterious death of a U.S. tourist at a luxury hotel in Kenya over the weekend, police said.

The middle-aged tourist, who was travelling alone, "was found dead [Sunday], with a cut behind the ear and one on the forehead and multiple [other] injuries," at the Aberdare Country Club, about 100 miles north of Nairobi, police spokesman Peter Kimanthi said.

"It is suspected that he was attacked by male giraffe chasing female giraffe. The male is being tracked down with a view to examine its hooves to see if it's the one," Mr. Kimanthi said.


G-8 food preparations cause police to fall ill

CALGARY, Alberta Dozens of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers working at the site of the G-8 summit this week became nauseated early yesterday, and some were taken to a hospital.

Constable Rob Dunnett of the RCMP said the officers at Nakiska camp, inside the security zone established at a Kananaskis resort, where the summit begins tomorrow, "fell ill with symptoms commonly associated with food poisoning" during the night.

The cause of the outbreak was not known, he said.

The Group of Eight is made up of seven leading industrialized nations and Russia.


Muslims denounce post-attack campaign

KHARTOUM, Sudan A purportedly "unfair" campaign against Islam in the wake of the September 11 attacks and the Middle East crisis will top the agenda of an Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting starting here today.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said the first regular OIC ministerial meeting in the country will be attended by his counterparts or representatives from the 57 members of the organization.

The three-day meeting, to start today under the banner of "Solidarity and Dialogue," also will be attended by Arab League chief Amr Moussa and a number of justice and religious ministers from various states, he said.

The minister, in comments published in the press yesterday, confirmed that the "unjust campaign against Islam" since the hijacked-airliner attacks in the United States would be one of the main themes of the talks.

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