- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 15, 2003

INDONESIA

Bomb rocks parliament complex

JAKARTA — A bomb exploded at Indonesia’s parliament yesterday, spraying nails and concrete over a wide area in an attack that came just days after police caught nine suspected Muslim militants and seized a huge cache of explosives.

The blast also follows parliament’s passage last week of a bill paving the way for Indonesia’s first direct presidential election in 2004. Security analysts said yesterday they saw a growing threat of political assassinations ahead of the vote.

Police called the bombing a “terror” attack, although parliament was in recess and no one was hurt. Damage was minor.

CYPRUS

Divided nation ratifies EU membership

NICOSIA — Cyprus ratified its membership in the European Union yesterday, a step that could heal or cement the Mediterranean island’s decades-old partition.

Less than a year before the European Union admits 10 new member states in its biggest enlargement yet, Cyprus is running out of time to end an ethnic division spilling well beyond its shores.

Cyprus, which will become a southernmost outpost of the European Union when it joins in May, will have its membership restricted to its southern two-thirds controlled by the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government. Without reunification, EU membership stops at a U.N.-controlled buffer zone straddling a cease-fire line splitting Cyprus’ ethnic Greek and Turkish communities.

IRAN

Oil field discovery one of world’s largest

TEHRAN — Iran has made a major new oil find containing estimated reserves of more than 38 billion barrels, making it one of the world’s biggest undeveloped fields, a senior oil official was quoted as saying yesterday.

Abolhasan Khamoushi, general director of Iran’s Oil Development and Engineering Co., told the Kayhan evening newspaper that the find, combining three neighboring oil fields, had been discovered close to the southern port city of Bushehr.

CUBA

‘Troubadour’ Segundo dead at 95

HAVANA — Compay Segundo, one of Cuba’s oldest “troubadours” and charming front man for the Buena Vista Social Club group, died early yesterday. He was 95.

Mr. Segundo, whose real name was Francisco Repilado, died of kidney failure at his home in Miramar, Havana. The guitarist and singer will be buried in his native Santiago in eastern Cuba.

Mr. Segundo, who was born in 1907 in Siboney, outside Santiago, enjoyed a second youth traveling around the world and recording two albums of his own.

KYRGYZSTAN

World tour ends in deadly crash

GENEVA, Switzerland — A Frenchman on a six-year world motorcycle tour aimed at promoting humanitarian cooperation died in a crash in Kyrgyzstan just months before he was due to complete it, the International Red Cross said yesterday.

Gerard Starck, 57, a volunteer for the French Red Cross, had visited 149 countries since setting off on his tour in 1997, Red Cross spokeswoman Nazira Baratbayeva said in the Central Asian country.

He took photographs and passed on greetings and presents between staff of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in a bid to promote cooperation between the Christian and Muslim humanitarian missions.

At the time of his death, Mr. Starck had tallied some 124,300 miles on his motorcycle.


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