- The Washington Times - Monday, November 25, 2002

INDONESIA
Bin Laden recordings linked to Bali bomb
JAKARTA Police yesterday found video recordings of speeches by Osama bin Laden and other extremist Islamic propaganda at two houses once rented by the man suspected of masterminding last month's bombings in Bali.
The discovery appeared to strengthen growing suspicion that Islamic radicals sympathetic to bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network were behind the Oct. 16 blasts that killed almost 200 people, mostly foreign tourists.
Police Lt. Col. Bambang Hameru said the houses in central Java were once rented by Imam Samudra, who was arrested Thursday, and several people suspected of being his accomplices.
Police say he has confessed to planning the bombings.

CHINA
U.S. Navy vessel's visit ends 19-month freeze
QINGDAO The United States and China moved toward renewing strained military ties yesterday with a carefully staged visit by a U.S. warship to this port city in eastern China.
The port call by the USS Paul F. Foster was the first by an American Navy vessel since last year, when Beijing and Washington blamed each other for a plane crash. Military ties all but froze after the April 2001 collision between a U.S. Navy spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea.
The two nations plan a number of contacts in coming weeks to achieve a gradual warming of relations that began when Beijing expressed sympathy after the September 11 terror attacks in the United States and cooperated with American anti-terrorism efforts.

SWITZERLAND
Refugee proposal loses by slimmest of margins
GENEVA Voters yesterday rejected stringent new asylum laws that would have closed Switzerland's borders to all but a trickle of refugees, defeating the nationalist proposal by the thinnest margin in Swiss voting history.
Just 50.1 percent of voters, or 1,120,967 persons, rejected the proposed law, while 49.9 percent, or 1,118,213, were in favor. The close vote served to highlight growing anti-immigration sentiment in Europe.
The plan, drawn up by hard-line members of the Swiss People's Party, would have expelled refugees arriving via any persecution-free country in practice, any of Switzerland's neighbors.
The government had worried the law would set the neutral nation on a collision course with the rest of Europe.
INDIA
Kashmir attack called message to leadership
JAMMU Security forces used rocket launchers this morning to end the siege of two Hindu temples by Islamic militants in India-controlled Kashmir, police said. Twelve persons, including two rebels, were killed.
Security forces killed one militant at the Raghunath Temple and another at the nearby Panchvaktar Temple in Jammu, the state's winter capital.
Attacks during the weekend killed more than 40 people, including 12 persons in a bus blown up by a land mine. The rebels said the land-mine blast was a message to Kashmir's new chief minister, who has vowed to bring peace to the only Muslim-majority state.
SOUTH KOREA
Two contenders remain in race for president
SEOUL South Korea's presidential race narrowed to two main contenders yesterday after human rights lawyer Roh Moo-hyun won a primary contest to head the liberal ticket in next month's election.
The Dec. 19 vote will pit ruling party candidate Mr. Roh against Lee Hoi-chang of the conservative opposition party.
Mr. Roh defeated South Korean soccer chief Chung Mong-joon in a poll of supporters that followed a televised policy debate on Friday.
Mr. Roh polled 46.8 percent to Mr. Chung's 42.2 percent.
The two agreed to merge their campaigns this month after newspaper polls showed that neither was likely to defeat Mr. Lee in a contest among three candidates.


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