- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 19, 2002

Irish vote again on EU expansion
DUBLIN The Irish go back to the polls today to vote a second time on the Nice treaty on EU enlargement in a crucial referendum that could make or break the European Union's bold plans to expand into the once-communist east.
Polls open across Ireland at 9 a.m. and will remain open for 12 hours; the results will not be known before late tomorrow, government officials said.
Closely watching the outcome will be 10 nations in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Regional governor shot dead in Moscow
MOSCOW The governor of a gold-rich Russian region was gunned down yesterday by a contract killer at morning rush hour not far from the Kremlin in an attack described by authorities as an attack on state institutions.
Valentin Tsvetkov, 54, governor of the far eastern Magadan region, was shot on Novy Arbat, a wide road lined with casinos, bars and fashion shops.
Police said the killer, who shot Mr. Tsvetkov in the head as he spoke on his mobile phone near the Magadan region's Moscow office, also tried to shoot Magadan's vice governor but missed.

German gunman takes school students hostage
WAIBLINGEN, Germany A teenage gunman seized four sixth-graders yesterday at a school in southwestern Germany and demanded $1 million ransom. Hours later, he laid down his weapon and surrendered after freeing the hostages unharmed, police said.
The standoff at the Friedensschule, or Peace School, in Waiblingen, near Stuttgart, ended at 9:20 p.m. About five hours after the standoff began, the 16-year-old former student freed two of the hostages. The final two were released two hours later.

Spain's top diplomat in Iraq resigns
MADRID Spain's Foreign Ministry said yesterday it would take disciplinary action against its former top diplomat in Iraq, who resigned saying he could not support his government's pro-U.S. stance in the crisis with Baghdad.
Fernando Valderrama, 51, the Spanish charge d'affaires in Iraq since August 2000, told reporters he had stepped down Thursday because he opposed Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's stated position that Spain would endorse a U.S. attack on Iraq even without a U.N. resolution.

First space shuttle successful in Japan
TOKYO Japan's space shuttle successfully lifted off at Christmas Island in the South Pacific on its first test flight, soaring for five miles before landing with only a slight jolt, Japan's space agency announced yesterday.
The 10-minute flight was the latest success for the country's beleaguered, cash-strapped space program. The delta-wing space shuttle, an unmanned jet-powered craft, took flight Thursday from the National Space Development Agency's tiny tracking outpost on Christmas Island. The craft cruised at 130 mph, reaching an altitude of nearly 2,000 feet before gliding back to Earth.

U.N. suspends food aid to Zimbabwe districtHARARE, Zimbabwe The U.N. food agency yesterday suspended the distribution of relief supplies in a southwest Zimbabwe district because of political interference by President Robert Mugabe's ruling party, a statement said.
The World Food Program said the decision followed the seizure of 3 tons of food aid by members of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front in Insiza.


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