- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 18, 2002

Zimbabwe war vet charged and released

HARARE, Zimbabwe A leader of Zimbabwe's liberation-war veterans, Andrew Ndlovu, who is charged with threatening members of the country's Indian community, was released on bail yesterday pending his trial.

A Harare court ordered Mr. Ndlovu, who was arrested Wednesday with a dozen other former combatants, to pay bail of about $1,820 and report to police twice a week.

With the strength of President Robert Mugabe behind them, veterans of the war for Zimbabwe's independence from 1972 to 1979 have led the often-violent occupation of commercial farms owned mainly by the small white minority.


N. Korean couple reaches Seoul

SEOUL A North Korean couple flew into South Korea yesterday, six days after they sought refuge in the Canadian Embassy in Beijing in one of a string of dramatic defections, airline officials said.

The young married couple increased to 33 the number of North Koreans to reach the South through third countries since March, when a spate of dashes into foreign diplomatic missions in China began.

As the latest refugee arrivals brought one asylum saga to an end, China and Japan continued to wrestle with a diplomatic deadlock over five North Koreans dragged from a Japanese consulate by Chinese police.


Art-theft suspect caught; art missing

STRASBOURG, France A man suspected of stealing more than 172 art objects and paintings from museums and galleries around Europe has been caught, but many of the treasures perhaps worth about $900 million might have been destroyed by the suspect's mother, officials say.

Pascal Schultz, a prosecutor in the eastern city of Strasbourg, said he ordered a section of a canal in the region drained Thursday to search for stolen items it is reported the mother tossed into the water after she learned of her son's arrest.

Stephane Breitwieser, 31, was arrested in November in Switzerland and remains jailed there, according to Rolf Koch, spokesman for the Lucerne police.


Turkey's prime minister back in hospital

ANKARA, Turkey Turkey's 76-year-old prime minister was hospitalized yesterday for a second time this month, sparking fears of political instability and sending the stock market plummeting.

Doctors said Bulent Ecevit had a broken rib and had inflammation in his leg and would be hospitalized for at least a week. But they stressed he had no serious ailment.

Mr. Ecevit, who heads the Democrat Leftist Party, has struck a balance among the three partners in the coalition governing this secular Muslim country. If he were to withdraw from the political scene, it could put in doubt an economic-recovery program backed by the International Monetary Fund.


Sierra Leone opposition charges election fraud

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone Sierra Leone opposition activists accused President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah's party of election fraud yesterday as results pointed to a big win for the man credited with ending a decade of brutal war.

Foreign observers have given a general thumbs up to elections Tuesday, which were made possible by the deployment of a U.N. peacekeeping force to the impoverished West African country of 5.3 million people.

But opposition activists said the observers did not see fraud and widespread intimidation of voters, party workers and candidates in the ruling Sierra Leone People's Party strongholds in the south and east.


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