- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 11, 2003

GUATEMALA

Ex-dictator fails in bid for presidency

GUATEMALA CITY — The former mayor of Guatemala’s capital and a center-left candidate will face each other in a runoff election, while former dictator Efrain Rios Montt failed in his bid to become president, according to election results yesterday.

With nearly 83 percent of the vote counted, former Guatemala City Mayor Oscar Berger garnered 35.5 percent of the vote, and left-center candidate Alvaro Colom had 26.7 percent.

NORTH KOREA

Pyongyang agrees to December talks

TOKYO — The United States and North Korea have agreed to hold a second round of nuclear talks Dec. 10-13 in Beijing, the Asahi Shimbun daily reported today.

Quoting South Korean government sources, the Japanese newspaper said Chinese diplomats were trying to get agreement for the dates from the other countries involved in the six-way talks.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo arrives in Japan today for a four-day visit.

SAUDI ARABIA

Suspects detained in Riyadh bombing

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia has detained suspects in the bombing attack on a housing complex in Riyadh, after vowing to strike back with an “iron fist,” a diplomat close to the investigation said yesterday.

“A group of suspects in the bombing was detained. The campaign to chase the culprits started immediately after the bombing. Some were also detained and released after interrogation,” the diplomat told Reuters news agency.

The al Qaeda network of Saudi-born Osama bin Laden is suspected of staging Sunday’s attack, in which at least 18 persons died, including five children.

NORTH KOREA

‘Penalty’ sought for shuttering plants

SEOUL — North Korea said yesterday it will seize equipment for two nuclear power plants until the United States pays a “penalty” for putting a stop to their construction.

Last week, the United States, South Korea, Japan and the European Union tentatively decided to suspend work at Kumho, a remote northeastern coastal village where they have been building two light-water reactors to generate badly needed electricity for the impoverished state.

RUSSIA

Oil tycoon denied bail

MOSCOW — Oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky, whose arrest on charges of massive fraud has raised fears in the West for the future of Russian business, was denied bail by a Moscow court yesterday.

His attorneys said they would appeal, taking the case to international courts if necessary. Analysts said the prosecution was provoked by Kremlin annoyance over the political activities of Mr. Khodorkovsky, who funded two liberal parties.

AFGHANISTAN

Abuse of women continues, U.N. says

NEW YORK — Two years after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, women are still victims of abuse, death threats and isolation, the head of a high-level U.N. Security Council mission to the country said yesterday.

The group of 15 ambassadors or their deputies, led by German Ambassador Gunter Pleuger, have returned from a seven-day tour of the Central Asian nation.

“The mission heard vehement complaints by women’s organizations and civil society groups regarding intimidation, harassment and exclusion from social, economic and political activities,” Mr. Pleuger told a U.N. Security Council meeting.


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