- The Washington Times - Friday, November 15, 2002

Abu Sayyaf rebel said to admit bomb attacks
MANILA Authorities in the Philippines have arrested a Muslim rebel who has admitted to masterminding deadly bomb attacks in the south of the country, the military said yesterday.
The arrest helped foil planned attacks on government installations, foreign embassies and shopping malls here in the capital, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said after being presented with the suspect, Abdulmukim Edris.
Edris is said to head the explosives team and urban operations group of Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim separatist and kidnapping gang in the southern Philippines. He said he had been trained by two Yemenis, possibly linked to the al Qaeda terrorist network, a military statement said.

Indonesian soldiers tied to Papua killings
JAKARTA, Indonesia Special-forces soldiers are suspected of involvement in an ambush that killed two Americans in Papua province in August, a senior police officer said yesterday.
Brig. Gen. Raziman Tarigan, the Papua deputy police chief, said a native Papuan told police a week after the ambush that he knew the names of four of 11 soldiers involved in the attack. Gen. Tarigan told Agence France-Presse that police have photos of the four.
The deputy police chief identified the four as a captain, a first lieutenant and two privates, but said: "These people are intelligence operatives. They can use any name and rank they wish."

Taiwan lawmakers seek air links to mainland
TAIPEI, Taiwan Taiwanese lawmakers are scheduled to visit China next week to discuss problems stemming from planned chartered flights with the mainland after Taipei approved the trip, legislators said yesterday.
Lawmaker John Chang of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) told reporters he plans to visit the mainland on Thursday and will meet Chinese civil-aviation officials. With him will be other KMT parliamentarians and members of the opposition People First Party and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

Weekly notes
New Zealand announced yesterday that it will ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change by Christmas, now that the government has received final legal authority. Ratification was a campaign promise of the minority Labor-led coalition government in the midyear general election, but it needed the support of the Green Party to ensure final passage. So far, 98 nations have ratified the protocol, which is expected to come into force next year when Russia ratifies it. Late night whisky lovers with a passion for music are in for a shock if they go to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's southern metropolis. Local authorities have banned karaoke bars and discos from selling spirits with an alcohol content higher than 30 percent to curb drunken brawls and other "social evils," a euphemism for prostitution. Unlike Hanoi, the staid northern capital, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the country's entertainment playground with a raunchy reputation that dates to colonial days.


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