- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2002

State Department rejects visa for Cuban official
The State Department has denied a visa for a top Cuban government official who had been planning to visit the United States to promote a book he has written, a U.S. official said yesterday.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said the visa request by Enrique Oltuski, deputy minister for fisheries and the merchant marine, was received too late to be processed before his scheduled arrival.

Gbagbo loyalists storm rebel stronghold
YAMOUSSOUKRO, Ivory Coast Heavy explosions and the crackle of machine guns terrified residents of Ivory Coast's second-largest city yesterday as government forces smashed through rebel lines in a long-promised offensive against insurgents who have seized half the country.
Encouraged by government advances on the eastern side of Bouake, young people with sticks and stones chased heavily armed rebel fighters through streets and set fire to the bodies of four rebel fighters found lying on the ground, a witness said.

Paris mayor recovering from knife wound
PARIS Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe was in stable condition but remained in intensive care yesterday after a man described as a deranged homophobe stabbed him during an all-night public party at City Hall during the weekend.
Mr. Delanoe, a homosexual Socialist elected last year, suffered abdominal injuries from the attack early Sunday. But he insisted the French capital's festival must go on even as he was taken to the hospital.

Malaysia issues warrant for U.S. terror suspect
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Malaysia issued an arrest warrant yesterday for a suspected American militant believed to be hiding here after U.S. authorities charged him back home for conspiring to support al Qaeda.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad suggested the lack of an extradition treaty between the countries could make it difficult for Malaysia to send Ahmed Ibrahim Bilal to the United States if he is caught.
But other officials confirmed later that the United States had revoked his passport, making it easier to deport him for violating immigration charges if he is arrested.

Kashmiri Muslims rally against Jerry Falwell
SRINAGAR, India Thousands of Muslims in India's Jammu-Kashmir state demonstrated in the streets yesterday to protest remarks by the Rev. Jerry Falwell in which the conservative religious leader said the founder of Islam was a terrorist.
Mobs shouted anti-American slogans, threw stones at passing vehicles and forced shops to close in some places as Islamic groups called for a daylong strike to protest what they called "derogatory and blasphemous remark" by Mr. Falwell in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS.

N. Korea considers troop cutbacks
TOKYO North Korea is considering trimming its vast military and stepping down from a state of war readiness along its border with South Korea, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported yesterday.
Quoting Russian government sources, the agency said Pyongyang had unofficially notified Moscow of its plan in September.

U.S. bishops head to Vatican for talks
VATICAN CITY Top U.S. Roman Catholic bishops will come to the Vatican this weekend for talks centered on child sex scandals that have rocked the United States, Vatican sources said yesterday.
The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Wilton Gregory, and his deputy, William Skylstad, are expected to stay for a week as part of a regular, twice-yearly visit to the Vatican by the U.S. church hierarchy.
But their trip almost certainly will coincide with the release of a Vatican response to rules adopted by the U.S. bishops.

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