- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Al Qaeda complicity suspected in blasts

BALI, Indonesia Investigators piecing together evidence in the Bali nightclub bombings disclosed yesterday that the main bomb was made of ammonium nitrate, a compound stockpiled by an Islamic extremist group allied with al Qaeda.

Though police stopped short of saying that the bomb was made and planted by Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been blamed for a series of bombings in Southeast Asia in recent years, the use of ammonium nitrate reinforces suspicions about the group's involvement.

About 190 people died in the Oct. 12 bombings, and a U.S. consular official said yesterday that the dead include seven Americans two whose remains have been identified and five who are missing and presumed dead.

Sharpton urges black Britons to vote

LONDON The Rev. Al Sharpton took a break yesterday from his campaign for the U.S. presidency to encourage young black Britons to become more involved in the British electoral process.

Mr. Sharpton said that he was in Britain to urge politicians to address racism and ensure greater black and minority ethnic representation in Westminster.

Black communities have some of the lowest registration and voting levels in the United Kingdom.

Opposition strike shuts down Caracas

CARACAS, Venezuela An opposition strike calling for the resignation of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez led to closures of shops, schools, banks and businesses across the oil-rich nation yesterday, piling pressure on the left-wing leader who refuses to quit.

The 12-hour stoppage sharply reduced business activity and traffic in Caracas and other cities, but energy officials said that key oil production and exports were unaffected. Venezuela is the world's fifth-largest crude oil exporter.

Yugoslav non cooperation angers Hague prosecutor

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia The chief prosecutor at a war crimes tribunal of the United Nations, angry at Yugoslavia's failure to cooperate fully, warned Belgrade yesterday that she would take the issue to the U.N. Security Council.

Carla Del Ponte met Yugoslav Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic and Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic to demand anew the arrest of former Bosnian Serb army Cmdr. Ratko Mladic and other fugitives hiding in Yugoslavia.

"I am very disappointed about the cooperation of Belgrade. We have some cooperation but there remain many obstacles," Mrs. Del Ponte said. "We have so many fugitives who are under arrest warrants but who have not been arrested."

Bahrain king backs democratic rule

MANAMA, Bahrain In a nationwide address yesterday, Bahrain's king urged political parties planning to boycott the Persian Gulf nation's first parliamentary elections in almost 30 years to reverse their decision.

At least four parties, including the influential Shi'ite Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, said that they would boycott the polls on Thursday because they are unhappy with Bahrain's new constitution.

Bahrain's push toward the creation of democratic rule sets it apart in a region where only one other nation Kuwait holds legislative elections.

Chocolate Pinocchio shines at festival

PERUGIA, Italy Chocolate statues, cocoa-flavored pasta, even solid chocolate "Pinocchio" noses were some of the sweets on display at an annual, weeklong festival dedicated to the food of the gods.

An estimated 30,000 people converged on the Umbrian city of Perugia, about 100 miles north of Rome, for the first weekend of the Eurochocolate festival. The theme this year is chocolate and cinema.

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