- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 9, 2002

Bin Laden's deputy said to threaten attacks
LONDON In a taped interview, a speaker purported to be Osama bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, threatens attacks on the United States, its economy and its allies.
The authenticity of the audiotape, obtained by Associated Press Television News yesterday, could not be independently confirmed. It was not known when the tape was made, though it includes references to America's standoff with Iraq and a U.S. bombing in Afghanistan on July 1.
Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian regarded as a primary strategist of al Qaeda, disappeared in Afghanistan soon after the September 11 attacks. He is said to be alive, according to a satellite-telephone conversation reported to have been intercepted over the weekend by U.S. and Afghan intelligence.

Rebels hold out in Ivory Coast
YAMOUSSOUKRO, Ivory Coast Heavy gunfire shook Ivory Coast's second-largest city, where residents said rebels still were holding out yesterday against a government offensive aimed at crushing an insurgency that has split the West African nation in two.
The military said it has completely retaken Bouake, a city of 500,000 that rebels have held since a failed coup attempt on Sept. 19. The announcement prompted wild celebrations.
But the assertion of victory was disputed by the French military, which is providing logistical support to government forces, and by residents of Bouake, who said that the rebel forces still control the city.

U.N. asked to press Vatican on abuse
ROME Victims of sexual abuse by priests will take their complaints to the United Nations today, saying the Vatican has violated the U.N. treaty protecting children and demanding that the world body address the matter.
Catholics for a Free Choice, which has worked for years to unseat the Vatican at the United Nations, arranged the meeting in Geneva between victims of abuse and members of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The group says the Vatican has violated the 1989 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child by failing to protect children from known abusers through negligence and inaction.

Guatemala annuls rights convictions
GUATEMALA CITY A Guatemalan appeals court on Tuesday annulled the landmark conviction of three military men and a priest in the 1998 murder of Juan Jose Gerardi, a prominent bishop and human rights defender.
The three-judge panel ordered a retrial and said it annulled the convictions because of irregularities in the testimony of a witness.
Bishop Gerardi was bludgeoned to death in April 1998, two days after publishing a report blaming Guatemala's military for hundreds of massacres and other abuses during a 1960-1996 civil war.
A retired colonel, his captain son and a former army bodyguard were sentenced to 30 years each for the murder at trial in 2001. A Catholic priest was sentenced to 20 years as an accomplice.

Venezuela clamps down before anti-Chavez rally
CARACAS, Venezuela Venezuela's armed forces tightened security in the capital yesterday, fearing threats against leftist President Hugo Chavez as tensions mounted in advance of an anti-government march planned by opposition leaders for tomorrow.
Mr. Chavez said during the weekend that security agents had uncovered another such attempt, fueling rumors of another military rebellion in the world's fifth-largest oil-exporting nation.

Southern Africa wants ivory-ban exemption
GABORONE, Botswana Southern African countries plan to step up their campaign to win international support for allowing some sales of raw ivory, despite a ban aimed at protecting endangered elephants, an official said yesterday.
Five of the 14 members of the Southern African Development Community want to sell about 80 tons of ivory, arguing that their elephant populations are so large that they are causing environmental damage and destroying vegetation that other animals need to survive.

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