- The Washington Times - Monday, October 7, 2002

Sharon tells his Cabinet to keep mum on Iraq
JERUSALEM Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told his ministers yesterday to keep quiet on a potential U.S. strike against Iraq because of concerns that their remarks could hamper Washington's efforts to win Arab support for such an attack.
An Israeli diplomatic source said Mr. Sharon was trying to address fears that such remarks could hinder U.S. attempts to build an international coalition, including Arab states, to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Mr. Sharon made the request after the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported yesterday that Washington was expected to warn Israel three days before attacking Iraq.

Afghan government hails U.S. liberation
KABUL, Afghanistan On the eve of the anniversary of U.S. air strikes, Afghanistan's government said yesterday that the military campaign had brought liberation, hope and opportunity to the country.
But Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, speaking ahead today, on the first anniversary of the raids against Taliban rulers and al Qaeda militants, said many challenges remained.
In the past year, he said, the al Qaeda network was put to flight, and there were significant improvement in security and stability, despite the assassination of two ministers, an attempt to kill President Hamid Karzai and a bomb blast in the capital last month.

Talks with Pyongyang will go on, says U.S.
TOKYO U.S. special envoy James Kelly told Japanese officials yesterday that the United States was committed to dialogue with North Korea.
In Pyongyang's first comment on Mr. Kelly's three-day visit to North Korea last week, state radio was quoted as saying that the country was prepared for talks on U.S. security concerns if the United States abandoned its hostile attitude.

Paris mayor stabbed as colleagues party on
PARIS A man authorities described as a deranged homophobe stabbed Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe at an all-night party at City Hall early yesterday, inflicting a small, non-life-threatening abdominal wound.
Mr. Delanoe, a Socialist homosexual elected last year, insisted to aides while lying bleeding on the parquet floor that the French capital's festival continue until dawn, officials said.
Police detained a 39-year-old French Muslim they named as Azzedine Berkane. The suspect told police he felt victimized by politicians and said his strong religious views made him "reject homosexuality as unnatural."

Iran's Khamenei wants crackdown after kiss
TEHRAN Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei yesterday called on police to crack down on immoral behavior in public after protests over a kiss at a film awards ceremony.
Actress Gohar Kheirandish kissed the forehead of Ali Zamani and shook his hand as he collected the top director's prize at a ceremony last week in Yazd. Under Iran's strict Islamic laws, physical contact between unrelated men and women is forbidden.
Clerical leaders in Yazd organized a street protest after the kiss, and conservative media accused the pair of harming Islam.

Ivory Coast troops attack rebel stronghold
BOUAKE, Ivory Coast Ivory Coast troops began a major offensive yesterday against the rebel stronghold of Bouake, the west African nation's second-biggest city, attacking with heavy weapons, according to Agence France-Presse.
Sounds of heavy weapons and machine-gun and rifle fire on the eastern fringes of Bouake and in the north of the city home to a million people echoed through its center.
As night fell, tracer fire could be seen streaking through the dusk.
The attack came as President Laurent Gbagbo went back on a promise to sign a cease-fire with the rebels soldiers who have returned from exile, and mutineers telling west African mediators in Abidjan, the main city on the Atlantic coast, that he would not put his elected government on the same footing as the insurgents.

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