- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2003

Challenger scores win in election surprise
VILNIUS Conservative challenger Rolandas Paksas scored an upset victory in a presidential runoff election yesterday, unseating the incumbent by a wide margin that may unsettle leaders of the European Union.
Mr. Paksas, a former prime minister, rejected suggestions that he is a populist radical in the mold of France's Jean-Marie Le Pen, though some critics say he could pose a risk to Lithuania's hopes of joining the European Union next year.
He had been given little chance of unseating the much older Valdas Adamkus, who has steered the former Soviet Baltic state toward NATO and EU membership while rebuilding ties with Moscow.
With votes from nearly all polling stations counted, the election commission said Mr. Paksas, leader of the Liberal Democrats, had 55 percent to Mr. Adamkus' 45 percent.

Gunman steals plane, threatens to hit bank
FRANKFURT A man stole a small aircraft at gunpoint yesterday and flew it over downtown Frankfurt, circling skyscrapers and threatening to crash into the European Central Bank. He landed safely after about two hours and was arrested.
The man, apparently a German, told a television station that he wanted to call attention to Judith Resnik, a U.S. astronaut killed in the 1986 post-launch explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.
Military jets chased the stolen, two-seat motorized glider as the man began circling slowly above Frankfurt's banking district.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from the main railway station and dozens more from several skyscrapers.
Sharon links campaign to prospects for peace
JERUSALEM Israel's election campaign heated up yesterday as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in his strongest attack yet against his main rival, Amram Mitzna, called him a novice who could endanger peace efforts.
Official campaigning starts tomorrow with the beginning of party broadcasts on national television, but Mr. Sharon, leader of the Likud Party, unleashed an early offensive.
The premier lashed out at Mr. Mitzna, head of the Labor Party, at the weekly Cabinet meeting when television cameras were allowed in for his opening remarks.
"There are cracks in the Palestinian side, and I see a real opportunity for beginning a political process," Mr. Sharon said. "I will not let this opportunity slip from our hands because of the mistakes, rooted in inexperience, of Mr. Mitzna."

Jenkins dies at 82; was a Labor stalwart
LONDON Roy Jenkins, a former Labor Party minister who helped shape modern British politics and a former president of the European Commission, died at home at age 82, the government said yesterday.
Prime Minister Tony Blair led tributes to Mr. Jenkins, describing him as "one of the most remarkable people ever to grace British politics."
In a career spanning more than 50 years, Mr. Jenkins held some of the most senior positions in government but never became prime minister.

Weekend attacks leave 56 dead
ALGIERS Islamic militants ambushed a military convoy in northeast Algeria and attacked families near the capital in a bloody weekend that claimed at least 56 lives, Algerian media reported yesterday.
The ambush Saturday night reportedly killed 43 soldiers and seriously wounded 19, the deadliest assault suffered by the Algerian military in at least five years.
In the other attack, Islamic militants killed 13 persons from two families overnight Saturday in Zabana, 30 miles south of the capital, the official news agency APS reported.

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