- The Washington Times - Friday, June 13, 2003


U.N. health group eases SARS ban

GENEVA — The World Health Organization lifted SARS warnings against travel to mainland China except Beijing yesterday, in a further sign the sometimes fatal disease is being tamed.

But it kept up its call to avoid unnecessary trips to the Chinese capital and to Taiwan, the only places in the world still subject to travel warnings, because of lingering worries about severe acute respiratory syndrome there.

The WHO, the United Nations health agency, also expressed new concern about Toronto, the only spot outside Southeast Asia where SARS has killed, after a visitor from North Carolina caught it in Canada’s business capital.


Delegates cut deal on new constitution

BRUSSELS — European Union delegates hammered out a compromise yesterday for a draft constitution that details how the coalition of nations will be run as it adds members and evolves into what many hope will be a world power to rival the United States.

The draft, completed after 16 months of often intense debate, does not resolve key issues such as whether to give individual EU nations the right to veto foreign policy or tax decisions, and it does not include a mention of Europe’s Christian heritage as the Vatican and others had requested.

Delegates to the 105-member drafting convention agreed to leave out the contentious issues so the draft would be ready for debate in time for an EU summit next week in Greece.


Regime may free opposition leader

TOKYO — Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained by the ruling military for the past two weeks, might be released later this month, an official in Burma’s Foreign Ministry told Japanese media yesterday.

Thaung Tun, director general of the ministry’s political department, was quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying that Mrs. Suu Kyi could be released if the situation in Burma “returns to normal.”

Burma’s military government took Mrs. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, into what it called “protective” custody during a trip to the north May 30, after a clash between her supporters and government forces


Seoul hardens stand on communist North

SEOUL — South Korea warned yesterday that a further escalation of nuclear tensions by North Korea would disrupt joint economic projects that could bring sorely needed investment to the communist North.

The warning by South Korean Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun indicates a toughening of Seoul’s stance toward North Korea in tandem with the United States, Japan and Australia, which have been increasing pressure on the North to abandon its development of nuclear weapons.

“If the North worsens the nuclear situation, it will inevitably affect exchanges and cooperation between South and North Korea,” Mr. Jeong said yesterday.


War-crimes suspect seized in Belgrade

BELGRADE — Serbian special forces arrested a top war-crimes suspect wanted in connection with a massacre of 200 civilians in Croatia in 1991 early yesterday after a night of violent clashes between police and hard-line nationalists.

Former Yugoslav army Col. Veselin Sljivancanin, one of the “Vukovar Three” indicted in the killings, was seized at his Belgrade home shortly after midnight, after a 10-hour standoff.

His arrest, after several years in hiding, came just two days before the deadline on a U.S. ultimatum for Belgrade to arrest war-crimes suspects to free up more than $120 million in aid.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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