- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 13, 2003

BELGIUM
Rights court rules Kurd's Turkish trial unfair
BRUSSELS Europe's top human rights court ruled yesterday that Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan did not receive a fair trial in a Turkish court.
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, said Ocalan was denied access to his attorneys and should not have been tried by a military judge. It also said he was not tried quickly enough.
The Turkish government said it would appeal. A Foreign Ministry statement said the reasons behind the decision were "not sound."

PHILIPPINES
Rebels said to plot reprisals for Iraq war
MANILA The Philippines said yesterday it uncovered a plan by Muslim rebels to stage reprisal attacks if the United States invaded Iraq, and suggested a radical Southeast Asian group might have been linked to a deadly blast last week.
Eight days after 21 persons were killed in the southern city of Davao, police said they arrested a man carrying two grenades and a mobile phone with numbers of extremists suspected of hatching a "diabolical plot to sow terror" in Manila.
The little-known Raja Solaiman Movement planned bombings "in case the United States and its allies attack Iraq" and to support the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said Reynaldo Velasco, head of Philippine National Police operations in the capital.

ISRAEL
Poll shows surge in Palestinian poverty
JERUSALEM A Palestinian poll released yesterday shows that living conditions have plummeted to new depths.
The poll, conducted by the University of Bir Zeit near the West Bank town of Ramallah, showed that almost 80 percent of Palestinian families were living on a daily income per person of between 10 cents and $2.

GAZA STRIP
Suicide bomber's kin get money from Saddam
GAZA CITY Palestinian families one related to a suicide bomber and 22 others whose relatives were killed by Israel received $245,000 in checks from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein yesterday.
The family of a Palestinian suicide bomber received a check for $25,000, and 22 families of militants killed in fighting or of civilians killed during Israeli army operations or air strikes got $10,000 each.
Leaders of a pro-Iraq Palestinian group, the Palestinian Arab Liberation Front, distributed the checks at a Gaza City ceremony.

INDONESIA
General sentenced in East Timor bloodshed
JAKARTA An Indonesian general convicted of failing to prevent attacks that killed at least 42 civilians during East Timor's break with Indonesia was sentenced yesterday to five years in jail.
Brig. Gen. Noer Muis was among 18 Indonesian officials and militiamen tried because of the violence that erupted before and after a U.N.-sponsored independence referendum on Aug. 30, 1999.

AFGHANISTAN
World Bank announces loan for roads bridges
KABUL The World Bank yesterday announced its first loan to Afghanistan in more than 20 years, $108 million to help repair the country's ruined bridges and roads.
The 40-year no-interest loan will help rebuild transportation infrastructure ruined by 23 years of warfare that have devastated the country and made it one of the world's poorest nations.
Also yesterday, the U.S. Agency for International Development announced a $60 million program to rehabilitate Afghanistan's school system.

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