- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 24, 2002

Yugoslavia probes arms aid to Iraq
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia Yugoslavia has opened an investigation into businesses that may have violated a U.N. arms embargo on Iraq, a source close to the federal government in Belgrade said yesterday.
Frustrated by a failure to heed warnings, the United States and its NATO allies went public Tuesday with evidence that the Bosnian Serb aircraft firm Orao was supplying military equipment to Iraq via a Yugoslav state company.
"It was engines for Soviet-era MiG-21 warplanes," the source said. Belgrade reacted to the charges by firing a deputy defense minister and the director of Yugoslavia's state import-export company Jugoimport. It also ordered Jugoimport to close its office in Baghdad.
Orao is owned by the Defense Ministry of Bosnia's Serb Republic.

Belarus throws out reformist Russian
MOSCOW A prominent reformist Russian lawmaker was detained and then thrown out of neighboring Belarus yesterday, prompting Russia to express "bewilderment" and demand an explanation.
The lawmaker, Boris Nemtsov, returned to Moscow and blamed Belarus' hard-line President Alexander Lukashenko for the incident.

Bomb injures 7 in Nepalese capital
KATMANDU, Nepal Suspected Maoist rebels detonated a bomb near a shop selling motor parts in a business district in the Nepalese capital yesterday, injuring seven persons, police said.
No one has taken responsibility for the blast, but police blamed Maoist guerrillas fighting against the constitutional monarchy.

Media restrictions considered in Russia
MOSCOW Russia's media would be restricted in reporting on anti-terrorist operations and could not carry rebel statements under a bill passed by parliament's lower house yesterday.
The limitations would likely affect coverage of the war with separatists in Chechnya, which officials refer to as a "counterterrorist operation."

Cuban dissident gets EU rights prize
STRASBOURG, France The European Parliament has awarded the European Union's top human rights prize to Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, chief promoter of a reform initiative in the communist-run Caribbean island state.
The initiative, known as the Varela Project, became the most serious internal political challenge to date faced by Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Mr. Paya gets $48,830 with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, which will be presented at a ceremony in December.

Bahrain rally urges election boycott
MANAMA, Bahrain Tens of thousands of people attended a rally in support of a boycott of the first parliamentary elections in nearly 30 years in this Persian Gulf nation.
Four political parties are calling for the boycott of today's elections to express opposition to recently adopted changes to the constitution.
An estimated 30,000 people attended the rally, mostly Shi'ite Muslims, a nation of some 400,000 people.

Ferry victim families sue Senegal government
DAKAR, Senegal Families of victims killed in Africa's deadliest ferry disaster have filed a lawsuit against the Senegalese government, accusing it of manslaughter and negligence, the plaintiffs' attorney said.
The suit was filed by an association representing families of 300 victims of the MS Joola. About 1,000 people were killed when the overloaded ferry capsized Sept. 26 off the coast of West Africa.

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