- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 11, 2003

GERMANY
Algerians convicted in terrorism plot
FRANKFURT Four Algerians, three of whom admitted training in terror camps in Afghanistan, were convicted yesterday of plotting to bomb a French market and sentenced to prison terms of 10 to 12 years.
The four were convicted of weapons violations and conspiracy to commit murder and to plant a bomb, capping a trial that opened under intense scrutiny last year but did not expose the inner workings of terror network al Qaeda in Europe as prosecutors had hoped.
Prosecutors said the defendants were part of a network of predominantly North African extremists called the Nonaligned Mujahideen, with ties to al Qaeda.

SIERRA LEONE
War crimes court charges seven
FREETOWN A special court in Sierra Leone yesterday charged seven persons, among them notorious rebel leader Foday Sankoh, with war crimes including murder, rape and other acts of terror.
The prosecutor for the U.N.-backed court said the seven were indicted for crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian law committed during Sierra Leone's 10-year war, one of the most brutal in modern African history.
The war, marked by such atrocities against civilians as limb amputations and mass rapes, was declared over in January 2002, after U.N. peacekeepers disarmed more than 47,000 rebels and pro-government militia fighters.

CHINA
Workers protest to seek benefits
BEIJING Hundreds of workers at a state-owned textile factory in China's far northeast took to the streets yesterday to demand back pay and unemployment insurance, a labor group and a government official said.
A city official in Jiamusi, in Heilongjiang province, confirmed that hundreds of workers petitioned peacefully in front of City Hall yesterday. Officials took the protesters back to the factory compound for negotiations, he said by telephone.

CYPRUS
Talks to reunite island collapse
THE HAGUE A last-gasp attempt by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to reunite Cyprus before the divided island enters the European Union seemed on the brink of failure early today after marathon talks.
Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos emerged from more than 15 hours of meetings blaming his Turkish-Cypriot counterpart, Rauf Denktash, for yet another setback in the decades-old dispute.
"There is no result because Rauf Denktash did not accept the proposal that the U.N. secretary-general submitted," the Greek-Cypriot leader told reporters.
Mr. Annan had summoned Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Denktash to the Dutch capital in a bid to persuade them to put a U.N. peace plan to their voters in separate referendums on March 30.

CUBA
EU opens office to boost aid, trade
HAVANA The European Union opened a diplomatic office in Havana yesterday in what officials from the bloc said was a new start that could lead to a surge in aid to Communist-run Cuba.
The European Union is Cuba's largest trading and investment partner, and its main international aid donor. The latest move could increase EU aid to the island tenfold, a European diplomat here said.
But relations have been strained by European criticism of the lack of democratic rights in one-party Cuba.

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