- The Washington Times - Friday, May 31, 2002

Turkey may lift emergency rule

ANKARA, Turkey Turkey's military-dominated National Security Council said yesterday that emergency rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast should be lifted a move urged by the European Union which is demanding improvements in human rights.

The council also said other reforms to pave the way for Turkey's membership in the European Union should be accelerated.

Turkey has maintained emergency rule, giving police and the judiciary broad powers, in four southeastern provinces since 1987 in response to a violent campaign by Kurdish separatists.

Colombia's next leader plans Washington visit

BOGOTA, Colombia Colombian President-elect Alvaro Uribe, who is seeking a wider U.S. role in ending his country's 38-year-old guerrilla war, will visit Washington June 18 to 20, his aides said yesterday.

The conservative Mr. Uribe, who won a landslide victory in Sunday's election pledging a tough line against Marxist rebels and right-wing paramilitary groups, has also said he wants more money from international lending bodies to tackle his country's widespread poverty.

Israeli faces charges of aiding suicide attack

JERUSALEM An Israeli woman and her Palestinian husband drove a suicide bomber to an Israeli city last week, where he blew himself up, killing two Israelis and injuring 51, Israeli security officers said yesterday.

It was the first reported instance of an Israeli Jew knowingly helping Palestinians carry out a suicide attack.

On the same trip, the couple took along a Palestinian woman who was to have blown herself up as Israeli ambulance crews arrived at the scene of the bombing in Rishon Letzion. But the second bomber changed her mind and backed out.

2003 challenge to Arafat announced

RAMALLAH, West Bank A prominent Palestinian academic said yesterday that he would challenge Yasser Arafat in elections the leader has promised by early 2003 as part of reforms demanded by many Palestinians.

Abdel-Sattar Qassem, a political science professor, said he was running because Mr. Arafat had not met Palestinian aspirations for independence and had allowed corruption to "spread into every corner of Palestinian Authority's institutions."

Mr. Qassem declined to talk about an alternative political agenda, saying only, "It is necessary to think about means other than this one."

Intelligence cooperation said to suffer

BERLIN Information sharing between American, Russian and European intelligence agencies has slipped after an initial surge scenario the post-September 11 terrorist attacks, a senior U.S. senator said yesterday.

Wrapping up meetings with intelligence officials in Russia, Poland and Germany, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham, Florida Democrat, said he felt less information was being exchanged now than during the first months after the attacks.

Russian beauty in blue rules the universe

MOSCOW Russians reveled yesterday in the news that a sharp-shooting St. Petersburg policewoman was crowned Miss Universe, saying it was about time the world took notice of the women who grew up behind the Iron Curtain.

Oxana Fedorova, a 24-year-old senior police lieutenant who grew up in the provincial town of Pskov, won the diamond-studded tiara late Wednesday at the pageant in Puerto Rico, beating 74 other hopefuls.

"It means they have officially recognized what is absolutely obvious and we already knew: that Russia has beautiful women," said Lena Myasnikova, editor of the Russian edition of racy style bible Cosmopolitan.

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