- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 30, 2003

Man surrenders after bank standoff
BEIRUT A man wrapped in explosives threatened to blow up a British bank in Beirut early yesterday to protest the war in Iraq, but he surrendered to police a few hours later without incident.
Heavily armed Lebanese security forces sealed off the area surrounding the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., based in London, in downtown Hamra Street. The standoff ended after Interior Minister Elias Murr entered the building to negotiate with the man, identified as Samir Abdel Karim Berro, 45.
The man was allowed to read to reporters a statement urging people to strike British interests.

2 U.S. soldiers killed in ambush
KABUL Two U.S. soldiers were killed, and another was wounded yesterday in an ambush in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said.
The soldiers were on a reconnaissance patrol in Helmand province when they were attacked. Three Afghan soldiers were wounded, said an intelligence chief in southern Afghanistan.
A Special Forces soldier and an airman were killed, and another Special Forces soldier was wounded when their four-vehicle convoy was ambushed while on reconnaissance patrol near Geresk.

Rallies defy polls, back U.S.-led war
TORONTO Canadians, shrugging off opinion polls that give majority support for the government's antiwar stance, marched to show solidarity with the United States yesterday in protests designed to counter antiwar rallies of recent weeks.
The biggest demonstration took place in the capital, Ottawa, where about 5,000 people braved rainstorms to gather on Parliament Hill, wave American flags and carry banners backing the U.S. position.
Canada's Liberal government has declined to participate in the U.S.-led war against Iraq, and opinion polls show that as much as 70 percent of Canadians back that position.

Rumsfeld's charge of role in Iraq denied
TEHRAN Iran dismissed as "baseless" charges made by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that it is meddling in the war on Iraq and insisted it would not allow Iraqi opposition in Iran to cross the border.
On Friday, Mr. Rumsfeld accused Syria and Iran of meddling in the war. He said Iranian-backed Shi'ite opposition militias in Iraq present a threat to U.S. and allied troops.

Milosevic's wife wanted in slaying inquiry
BELGRADE Serbian police demanded yesterday that Mirjana Markovic, wife of former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, return from Russia for questioning about the killing of a political rival or face an arrest warrant.
Interior Minister Dusan Mihajlovic said police wanted to question the couple in connection with the discovery of the body of Ivan Stambolic, a communist-era Serbian president who disappeared soon before Mr. Milosevic was overthrown in 2000.

Chirac demands French rival to CNN
PARIS President Jacques Chirac has ordered his officials to draw up plans for a French-language international television channel to counter the growing influence of the British Broadcasting Corp. and CNN.
He has demanded that the blueprint for the service, already nicknamed "CNN a la Francaise," be ready by the end of next month because he has become increasingly irritated by the "Anglo-Saxon" view of global events beamed around the world, the London Daily Telegraph reported.

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