- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 27, 2002

CANADA
Chretien aide resigns for calling Bush moron
OTTAWA The top aide to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien who called President Bush a "moron" resigned yesterday, saying the controversy generated by the comment had made her position untenable.
Francoise Ducros, Mr. Chretien's communications director, had been under intense pressure from opposition politicians and the media since making the remark last Wednesday during a conversation with journalists at a NATO summit in Prague.
Mrs. Ducros, a 40-year-old lawyer known for her combative and often abrasive manner, first offered her resignation last Friday but Mr. Chretien refused to accept it, saying the remarks had been private.

SOUTH KOREA
Reformist rights lawyer leads rival in polls
SEOUL Reformist Roh Moo-hyun maintained his lead over conservative rival Lee Hoi-Chang in opinion polls released today after the former human rights lawyer unified a broad center-left coalition behind his campaign.
A JoongAng daily survey gave Mr. Roh a 43 percent to 35 percent margin over Mr. Lee, while SBS-TV had Mr. Roh leading Mr. Lee 46 percent to 39 percent.
The polls are ostensibly the last to be published in South Korea ahead of the Dec. 19 vote as opinion surveys are banned under election law during campaigning, which kicked off Wednesday.
Mr. Roh emerged as the single candidate for his Millennium Democratic Party.

GERMANY
Israel likely to get Patriot missiles
BERLIN Germany's ruling Social Democrats and Greens signaled yesterday they were likely to approve a request by Israel for Patriot missiles, denying that such a delivery would conflict with their vocal opposition to a war with Iraq.
The Defense Ministry said Israel long had expressed interest in acquiring Patriot missiles from Germany and had renewed its request a week ago. The Israeli Embassy said the request was made a year ago, but had won new urgency due to the Iraq crisis.
The U.S.-built Patriots, designed to intercept and shoot down incoming ballistic missiles, failed to protect Israel against 39 Scuds fired by Iraq during the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

SUDAN
Officials, rebels to meet in Washington
KHARTOUM The Sudanese government has received an official U.S. invitation to meet next month in Washington with the southern rebel movement, Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail said yesterday.
The meeting with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) aims at preparing the next round of peace talks, due to resume in the Kenyan town of Machakos in January, Mr. Ismail told reporters.
"It offers an opportunity for exchanging ideas on controversial issues, for bringing the positions of the two sides closer ahead of the next round of talks in Machakos.

RUSSIA
Large satellite lost after launch
MOSCOW The world's largest communications satellite was lost yesterday after it went into the wrong orbit following its launch on a Russian rocket, the Russian space agency said.
It was the biggest setback yet to Russia's satellite-launching program, which Moscow has seen as a potential cash cow for its depressed space industry. The failure follows the Oct. 15 explosion of an unmanned Soyuz-U rocket, also carrying a satellite, half a minute after liftoff.
The nearly 6-ton Astra-1K satellite, manufactured by France's Alcatel Space Corp. for Societe Europeene des Satellites of Luxembourg, was launched atop a Proton rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.


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