- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 8, 2003

IRAQCholera epidemic feared in southBASRA — Two hospitals in southern Iraq have reported 17 confirmed cases of cholera in Basra, and the World Health Organization said yesterday it fears far more have gone unreported.A WHO team dispatched to the southern city this week said the number of confirmed cases does not reflect the extent of the disease.The first confirmed cases in Basra turned up in children ages 4 and under. Health officials said they feared the disease is already epidemic.KAZAKHSTANU.S., Kazakh lawmakers strengthen relationsU.S. and Kazakh lawmakers yesterday set up an Inter-Parliamentary Group aimed at strengthening ties between Washington and the Central Asian nation, which does 40 percent of its trade with the United States.”It is hard to overestimate the importance of this event,” said Kazakh Ambassador to the United States Kanat Saudabayev.Kazakh parliament Vice Chairman Mukhambet Kopei said he hoped the pact would increase economic and political links between the countries.LEBANONMan killed in blast at home of missionaryTRIPOLI — A bomb exploded outside the home of a Western Christian missionary couple in northern Lebanon overnight, killing one person, security sources said yesterday.They said the bomb was put outside the apartment of a Dutch missionary and his German wife in a suburb of Tripoli, traditionally a stronghold of Sunni Muslim Islamists.It was the second attack on Christian missionaries in Lebanon in six months, and the most recent in a string of attacks on Western targets in the country that has picked up its pace since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.TURKEYU.S. call to concede error on Iraq rejectedISTANBUL — Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday rejected Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz’s call that Turkey concede it made a mistake by not opening its doors to the U.S. military during the Iraq war.”Turkey, from the very beginning, never made any mistakes, and has taken all the necessary steps in all sincerity,” Mr. Erdogan told reporters.In an interview broadcast Tuesday on CNN-Turk, Mr. Wolfowitz criticized Ankara for its refusal to allow the United States to base troops in Turkey or use its military bases during the war. That refusal has increased tension between the two NATO allies.ZIMBABWECourt strikes down part of harsh media lawHARARE — Zimbabwe’s highest court yesterday struck down sections of tough media legislation that made it an offense to publish “falsehoods,” after the government conceded the provisions were unconstitutional.Media groups applauded the ruling, but said the entire package of laws aimed at muzzling the press must be thrown out.The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act took effect shortly after President Robert Mugabe’s controversial re-election in March 2002, which the opposition and Western governments said was marred by fraud.SAUDI ARABIATerror plot foiled, government saysRIYADH — Saudi authorities have foiled plans by suspected terrorists to carry out attacks in the kingdom and seized a large cache of weapons and explosives, the Interior Ministry said yesterday.Security forces seized the weapons Tuesday in the capital, Riyadh, as they were searching for suspects.An unidentified ministry official quoted by the state-run Saudi Press Agency said at least 19 men — 17 Saudis, an Iraqi holding Kuwaiti and Canadian citizenships, and a Yemeni — were being sought.

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