- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 29, 2002

U.S. choppers fired on in Philippine mission
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines Muslim gunmen opened fire on two U.S. Pave Hawk helicopters in the southern Philippines, but were driven off when the crew returned fire, Philippine military officials said early today.
No one was hurt in the incident, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
It was the first time that U.S. troops deployed in the southern Philippines to help fight the Abu Sayyaf insurgency have come under attack.
The military officials said the two helicopters were taking supplies to a location on the island of Basilan when they were fired upon.

German officials warn al Qaeda is still alive

FRANKFURT, Germany German security officials said yesterday that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network is still active in the country, regrouping and recruiting militants capable of carrying out terrorist attacks.
At a gathering of European security officials in Bonn, senior members of Germany's security services echoed recent U.S. government warnings that a threat of attacks remains.
The head of Germany's national police said thousands of al Qaeda members are active worldwide and a "noteworthy number" are in Germany.

O'Neill seeks aid for poor countries
KAMPALA, Uganda Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill said yesterday that poor African nations needed all the help they could get and dismissed concerns that massive aid flows could destabilize currencies.
Mr. O'Neill said he was aware of a "baloney theory" that aid above a certain level could destroy a country's currency.
"I can't tell you what I think a bogus idea that is. It really is equivalent to saying 'we have starving people, but we need to let them starve, because if we take your food aid, it'll hurt our economy,'" he said.
Mr. O'Neill is touring Africa with rock star Bono.

Kuchma allies win in Ukraine elections
KIEV Allies of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma yesterday won the top positions in the ex-Soviet state's new parliament, prolonging the veteran leader's grip on the chamber and ensuring reformers were left in the cold.
The widely expected move looked set to prolong Mr. Kuchma's conservative approach toward vested business interests and to thwart Western pressure for change in Ukraine, strategically situated between an expanding European Union and Russia.
Volodymyr Lytvyn, Mr. Kuchma's former chief of staff and the head of a party created to push the president's views forward prior to a March parliamentary election, was elected speaker of the chamber with 226 votes cast in favor and none cast against.

NATO grounds Serb air force
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina Bosnia's NATO-led peacekeeping force grounded the Bosnian Serb air force yesterday and suspended its commander for spying on alliance planes flying over the Balkan country.
A spokesman said the commander of the NATO-led Stabilization Force (Sfor) had banned until further notice all movement and training of the Bosnian Serb air force and air defense, limiting its activities to administrative work.
The move came after Sfor raided a Bosnian Serb radar site in northwestern Bosnia last week, seizing equipment and documents suspected of being used to observe peacekeepers' communications.

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