- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 12, 2002

Organized crime links probed in Vietnam


HANOI Three top leaders of the Vietnamese Communist Party and government are under police investigation in connection with responsibility for and complicity in a large organized crime network uncovered in Ho Chi Minh City, state television reported late yesterday.

The judicial action was taken by the Supreme People's Prosecution against Tran Mai Hanh, former managing director of the official Voice of Vietnam radio; Bui Quoc Huy, former vice minister of police; and Pham Sy Chien, former deputy director of the Supreme People's Prosecution, according to the report.


Serbian court convicts four for war crimes

NIS, Yugoslavia A Serbian court yesterday convicted two officers and two former soldiers from the federal Yugoslav army for war crimes committed in Kosovo, meting out jail sentences of between three and seven years for the slayings of two civilians in 1999.

The court in the southern Serbian town of Nis found two officers and two soldiers guilty of murdering two ethnic Albanian civilians in Kosovo.


Indians riot over Falwell remarks

BOMBAY Five persons were killed yesterday in Hindu-Muslim rioting and police gunfire after riots broke out during a general strike to protest the Rev. Jerry Falwell calling the founder of Islam a terrorist. Forty-seven others were injured.

The rioters attacked each other during the strike called to protest what Mr. Falwell said on CBS television early this month. The conservative Baptist minister told the television network Islam's prophet "was a violent man, a man of war."


Six killed, 55 injured in Finland explosion

VANTAA, Finland An explosion collapsed part of a building at a suburban shopping mall yesterday evening, killing at least six persons and injuring 55, officials said.

Police said they didn't know what caused the blast at the mall in Vantaa, 10 miles north of Helsinki, but hadn't ruled anything out, including a possible bombing.

The glass-covered mall was packed with as many as 2,000 shoppers when the explosion erupted near a spiral staircase between the second and third floors, officials said.

"Glass fell down from the third floor, and children and parents were in total panic when they saw the injured people," shopper Orvokki Neuvonen said. "Mothers were screaming. Among the shattered glass were injured and unconscious people."


Castro faces McNamara on Cuban missile crisis

HAVANA Fidel Castro traded his customary fatigues for a black suit and tie yesterday and sat down across a table from missile crisis foe Robert S. McNamara, who said the Cuban leader, President Kennedy and Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev had saved the world from nuclear war.

"It was the best managed foreign policy crisis of the last 50 years," Mr. McNamara, the former secretary of defense, said in a brief statement at a conference.


Unionists push ouster of Sinn Fein

DUBLIN The Ulster Unionist Party made last-ditch pleas yesterday for Sinn Fein to be expelled from the Northern Ireland administration, but Britain and Ireland appeared resigned to pulling the plug on the power-sharing experiment.

Britain planned an announcement for Monday on the fate of the nearly 3-year-old administration.


TNT traces found on French oil tanker

AL MUKALLA, Yemen The French defense minister said yesterday investigators found traces of TNT on the French oil tanker that exploded in what authorities believe was a terrorist attack.

Specialists from France, Yemen and the United States have been trying to determine what caused the blast last Sunday on the Limburg, which killed one crew member.


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