- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 25, 2003

U.S. citizens abroad told to be ready to move
The State Department is sending a cable to embassies around the world telling Americans abroad to be ready to leave their resident country quickly in an emergency, officials said yesterday.
A senior official made no comment when asked if the cable was related to the possibility of a U.S.-led military campaign against Iraq, which Washington has threatened with war if it fails to give up its suspected weapons of mass destruction.

Rebels free reporter, keep 2 more hostage
BOGOTA An American writer and two hikers emerged smiling from the Colombian jungle yesterday after nearly a week in the custody of right-wing paramilitaries, while leftist rebels kept captive two foreign journalists working for the Los Angeles Times.
Robert Young Pelton, a free-lance writer and TV reporter, said he and his companions, Megan Smaker and Mark Wedeven, were not mistreated.
In a separate case, journalists and officials appealed to the National Liberation Army, known as the ELN, to release photographer Scott Dalton, 34, of Conroe, Texas; and reporter Ruth Morris, 35, a British citizen who was raised in the Los Angeles area.

New Cabinet minister killed in plane crash
NAIROBI Kenya's Labor Minister Ahmad Mohamed Khalif and two pilots were killed when a small jet carrying several ministers from an election victory party crashed into a pylon after takeoff yesterday, the government said.
Several other ministers from Kenya's new government were injured when the plane struck a pothole, careened into the pylon then plunged into a house near the airport in the western town of Busia, officials said.

West African leaders meet on peace deal
PARIS West African leaders meet in Paris today for a summit that host France wants to approve a peace plan to end four months of bloody civil war in its former colony of Ivory Coast.
French President Jacques Chirac, who will preside over the meeting, wants the leaders to underwrite the success of the peace plan, which rival Ivory Coast factions united to agree on yesterday after nine days of closed-door talks near Paris.
The plan would keep President Laurent Gbagbo in office but force him to share power with a new prime minister chosen by broad political consensus, delegates at the closed-door talks said.

Prominent dissident expelled to U.S.
BEIJING A former Chinese bureaucrat who served a prison term after calling for free elections has been expelled to the United States, activists announced today.
Fang Jue, who was released from prison last July but detained again before a major Communist Party meeting in November, was put aboard a United Airlines flight to Chicago yesterday afternoon, New York-based Human Rights in China said.

Shakespeare returns with some cuts
TEHRAN William Shakespeare has returned to an Iranian stage for the first time in more than a quarter century, a sign of a thawing in frosty Persian-Western ties.
The bard's tragicomedy, "The Winter's Tale," has been modified for conservative Iranian consumption, with embraces between male and female members of the Scottish Dundee Repertory Theater Company omitted from performances.
But Tehran theatergoers have been flocking to each of the play's performances since it opened Tuesday as part of an annual festival to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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