- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Gunman kills eight in Paris suburb
PARIS A gunman killed eight persons and injured 18 others when he opened fire in the town hall of the Paris suburb of Nanterre early today after a council meeting, the emergency services announced.
Eight of the injured were said to be in grave condition.
A Nanterre police source said the gunman opened fire with an automatic pistol during a council meeting a little past midnight.
"The shooting left eight people dead, eight very gravely injured and 10 others in serious condition," said local fire services chief Christian Decolloredo.
No information was immediately available on the identity of the victims.

South Korea to buy 40 Boeing fighters
SEOUL South Korea has chosen to buy Boeing Co.'s F-15K fighter jet over the French Rafale for a bitterly disputed major defense deal, Yonhap News Agency reported today.
The Defense Ministry would not comment on the report, but a spokesman said "there will be a formal announcement on the contract soon."
Defense Minister Kim Dong-Shin took part in a National Security Council meeting on Wednesday that media reports said would decide the $3.2 billion FX project to buy 40 fighters. Boeing and Dassault have been fiercely disputing the contract.

Unions in Italy call general strike
ROME Italy's three largest unions called a general strike yesterday for April 16 to protest government plans to reform employment laws, pushing the country toward its worst labor dispute in two decades.
As tensions between the ruling conservative coalition and trade unions escalated, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi responded by saying the government was willing to hold further negotiations with unions, but was committed to plans to reform Italy's labor market.
The government insists that its labor reform is necessary to boost job-market flexibility and to bring Italian laws into line with European norms. Unions say the planned changes will make it easier for companies to fire staff.

Sect leader sentenced in Japan in child deaths
TOKYO The leader of a Japanese sect, who claimed that he could cure sick children through prayer, was sentenced yesterday to seven years in prison for causing the deaths of a premature baby and a 6-year-old boy by depriving them of medical care.
Junichiro Higashi and his accountant, Akemi Togashi, were jailed for negligence, said a spokesman for the Miyazaki District Court in southern Japan.
The members of the Kaeda Juku sect had taken custody of the boys in the late 1990s, promising the parents that their prayers had the power to heal. Without medical care, the 6-year-old who had kidney problems and the frail newborn soon died.

Indian police disperse Kashmir protest
SRINAGAR, India Police fired tear gas from armored jeeps yesterday to disperse stone-throwing protesters demanding the release of a Kashmiri independence leader arrested on terrorist charges.
Yasin Malik, leader of the Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front, which favors the Himalayan region's separation from India, was arrested as he held a news conference Monday after police detained a woman with $100,000 in cash reportedly intended for him.
Mr. Malik was hospitalized yesterday after his first court appearance, his sister, Laali Malik, told the Associated Press.

India approves anti-terrorism law
NEW DELHI Parliament passed an anti-terrorism bill yesterday after a long, raucous debate in a rare joint session, in which the opposition charged that the measures will curtail civil rights.
The government has said the legislation is crucial for fighting Islamic militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, whom India blamed for a Dec. 13 attack on Parliament.
To push the bill through strong opposition, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee called together both houses of Parliament to vote only the third such joint session since India's independence in 1947.


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