- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 16, 2002

Mystery fever hits British troops
BAGRAM, Afghanistan Eighteen British soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been struck by a contagious but unidentified fever, and 350 people have been quarantined to prevent its spread, the top British commander in the coalition said yesterday.
Brig. Roger Lane said the 18 ailing men were all medical personnel serving at the main allied air base at Bagram, about 30 miles north of the capital, Kabul.
At the Pentagon, spokesman Lt. Col. David Lapan said no U.S. or other coalition personnel in Afghanistan are known to have come down with the fever. Col. Lapan said the exact nature and cause of the illness has not yet been determined.

Berlin police boost security for Bush
BERLIN The Berlin city government said yesterday it feared violence from splinter groups could disrupt next week's visit by President Bush.
Security officials expected peaceful protests by tens of thousands of demonstrators organized by a group calling itself "The Axis of Peace" during Mr. Bush's visit next week. But they are also bracing for violence from extremists.
"There are some groups calling for violence, which we've monitored," said Henreke Morgenstern, a spokeswoman at the city's Interior Ministry.

Former minister forms Hungary government
BUDAPEST Peter Medgyessy, a 59-year-old former socialist finance minister, will form Hungary's new government, its fourth since the fall of communism and one that will lead the nation of 10 million into the European Union.
President Ferenc Madl formally asked Mr. Medgyessy yesterday to head a new center-left coalition at the opening session of parliament after general elections last month
The Socialists, promising stability and unity after a bitter and divisive election campaign, have prepared a 100-day program of big pay raises for health care workers and teachers, higher pensions, and tax cuts for lower income workers.

Algeria bomb blast kills five in market
ALGIERS Five persons were killed and about 30 were wounded when a bomb ripped through a packed market yesterday in Algeria's restive Berber-speaking Kabylie region, provincial officials and hospital sources said.
The bomb exploded in the small town of Tazmalt, 50 miles from Kabylie's second city of Bejaia.
No one claimed responsibility for the blast, the worst in a series of attacks in recent weeks that authorities have blamed on Islamic rebels.

Vietnam removes Communist candidate
HANOI Vietnamese election officials yesterday removed a senior Communist Party official from the ballot for national elections because of accusations he helped a gang lord, an official said.
Two other candidates a provincial governor and a provincial deputy party secretary were also removed from the ballot, just four days before Sunday's elections, the National Assembly Election Council said.
In Vietnam's single-party system, all candidates must be approved by the Fatherland Front, an umbrella organization controlled by the Communist Party.

Gas leak threatens Chinese mine workers
BEIJING At least 18 mine workers were feared dead after a gas leak in central China's Hunan province yesterday, state media said.
The accident happened yesterday afternoon at the Xinyuan coal mine in the Wentang township, according to local officials who rushed to the scene to help rescue efforts, the Xinhua news agency said.
Accidents in Chinese mines are common, with more than 5,000 killed in the first 11 months of 2001, according to official figures. Independent experts believe the number of deaths may in fact reach 10,000 a year.


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