- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 22, 2002

Chirac's Gaullist party dissolved in France
VILLEPINTE, France France's new center-right leaders officially disbanded President Jacques Chirac's 26-year-old Gaullist party yesterday to make way for a broader party that restored their conservative majority.
But in a videotaped message, Mr. Chirac urged his supporters not to let go of values inherited from Gen. Charles de Gaulle's unshakeable belief in France's status as a unique world power.
Brushing away nostalgia, conservatives buried Mr. Chirac's Rally for the Republic (RPR) party to loud applause and a shower of red, white and blue confetti, paving the way for the creation of the Union for the Presidential Majority (UMP), an umbrella party of the right, on Nov. 17.
A towering figure whose authority came from his call for French resistance to Nazi occupation, Gen. De Gaulle founded France's 5th Republic in 1958, dominated it nearly up to his death in 1970 and retains to this day a strong hold on French minds.

Yemeni raid nets 4 al Qaeda suspects
SAN'A, Yemen Yemen is holding four Yemeni men on suspicion of links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network following a shootout between the suspects and security forces.
A security official said one of five suspects, identified as Yahya Saleh Mejali, also known as Abu Saif, died in the hospital, and a second suspect and two security officers were being treated for wounds after the gunfight broke out late Friday when forces raided the men's hide-out in a northern suburb of the capital, San'a.
Yemen on Wednesday dismissed reports that U.S. Special Forces could carry out covert operations in Yemen against militants believed to have fled Afghanistan. The Arab state said it would use only its own troops to hunt down al Qaeda suspects.

Kurd linked to al Qaeda offers to talk with U.S.
OSLO The leader of a Kurdish extremist group with suspected ties to al Qaeda is willing to talk to U.S. investigators, his lawyer said in a letter to the U.S. Embassy in Norway.
Lawyer Arvid Sjoedin said his client Mullah Najm al-Din Faraj Ahmad, who is being detained in the Netherlands, wants the talks to be held in Norway, where he was given refugee status in 1991.
Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar, was arrested by Dutch police at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport last week on his way to Norway. He is the head of Ansar al-Islam, or Supporters of Islam, an anti-American group of several hundred fighters based in Kurdish areas in northern Iraq.

14 killed, candidate attacked in Kashmir
SRINAGAR, India Kashmir's tourism minister survived a second assassination attempt, and at least 14 persons were killed yesterday in a surge of violence ahead of the second round of elections Tuesday in the disputed Himalayan state, police said.
Sakina Yatoo, who is also a ruling-party candidate in state legislative elections, was on her way to a campaign stop 40 miles south of the state's summer capital, Srinagar, when her motorcade was hit by a remote-controlled bomb.
Gunmen then surrounded her car and opened fire, killing two of her bodyguards and a local resident, but Mrs. Yatoo survived unhurt, apparently because the car was armored, a police spokesman said.

Ivory Coast forces head for clash with rebels
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast Soldiers barreled north yesterday toward the two rebel-held cities of Bouake and Korhogo heading to what is expected to be a full-scale battle against forces behind the West African nation's bloodiest-yet military uprising.
In Abidjan, Ivory Coast's main city, paramilitary police set fire to a mainly Muslim neighborhood, near the scene of fighting in Thursday's failed coup. Residents many workers from Burkina Faso and other Muslim countries said paramilitary police were setting fire to their makeshift shacks, beating the occupants and leading them away.

U.S. livestock flown to Cuban farm fair
HAVANA The first U.S. livestock to be sold to communist Cuba in more than four decades were air freighted to Havana yesterday, ahead of the first food fair by American farmers eyeing the Cuban market.
The crated pairs of buffalo calves, pigs, sheep, dairy heifers and a breeding beef bull and heifer will be on display at the U.S. Food and Agribusiness Exhibition in Havana running from Sept. 26 to 30.
Cuban President Fidel Castro, 76, said Friday he planned to visit the fair and meet with executives of such agribusiness giants as Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland Co.


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