- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 4, 2003

GAZA STRIPBritish journalis slain filming documentaryGAZA CITY — A free-lance British journalist was fatally shot last night in the southern city of Rafah along the Egyptian border, the Israeli army said.The journalist was the third foreigner injured or killed in Rafah in recent weeks.Witnesses said the journalist was filming a documentary on the Israeli army’s house demolitions in Rafah when the Israeli tank opened fire.The journalist, who was not identified by the military, was shot in the neck and taken from the scene in an Israeli armored vehicle. The army said he was a British national.He died before a helicopter sent to evacuate him arrived, army spokesman Jacob Dalal said.A man who said he also was a British journalist and identified himself only as Dan, said that the victim and two colleagues were simultaneously filming and waving a white flag as they walked toward the tank when the tank opened fire.GAZA STRIPThousands protest Israeli raidGAZA CITY — Firing rifles into the air and hoisting bodies over their heads, tens of thousands of Palestinians filled the streets yesterday to mourn 12 persons killed in an Israeli raid, and warned their new prime minister against attempts to disarm militants.”No to Abu Mazen” they chanted angrily, lashing out against Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, also known by that name. Mr. Abbas was sworn in two days earlier with a promise to crack down on the militants and work for the success of a new internationally backed Mideast peace plan.The Israeli raid came a day after a suicide attacker killed three persons in Tel Aviv. Palestinian officials and Israeli opposition leaders have accused Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of using the raid to undercut Mr. Abbas before he has a chance to confront violent Palestinian groups — a key element of the plan.NIGERIAOil workers release hostagesPORT HARCOURT — Striking Nigerian oil workers yesterday released the first of hundreds of people they have held for days on oil rigs.The release of the first hostage came after the Houston-based Transocean Inc. reached a deal with the strikers, who have demanded the reinstatement of fired workers and that they be transported to the rigs by helicopters, not boats.More than 250 hostages — including 35 Britons, 17 Americans and two Canadians — have been held aboard four oil installations by approximately 100 strikers since April 19.ITALYCourt agrees ex-premier not guilty of mob tiesPALERMO — A Sicilian appeals court yesterday upheld the decision of a lower court that former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti was not guilty of charges of complicity with the Mafia.A giant of Italian postwar politics and popularly dubbed “Mr. Italy,” Mr. Andreotti, 84, has always maintained his innocence.He was acquitted of Mafia association in a first trial in October 1999, which was based on testimony from 38 Mafia turncoats. But Sicilian prosecutors appealed the ruling and demanded a 10-year prison sentence.ZIMBABWEAmnesty asks U.N. to act on Mugabe regimeJOHANNESBURG — Amnesty International urged the United Nations yesterday to act on Zimbabwe, accusing President Robert Mugabe’s government of using security laws to silence dissent.”The Zimbabwean authorities, particularly the police, are using repressive legislation to systematically harass, arrest and torture with impunity those perceived to be supporting political opposition and exposing human rights violations,” Amnesty said in a report released in South Africa.The United Nations should pass a resolution demanding that Zimbabwe repeal laws infringing on human rights and stop intimidation, arbitrary arrests and torture of opponents, an Amnesty official said.

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