- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 11, 2003

BURUNDI

Rebel attack kills 5; Chinese Embassy hit

BUJUMBURA — Hutu rebels attacked Burundi’s capital yesterday with rockets, killing five persons, destroying part of the Chinese Embassy and striking the home of a U.S. military attache, officials said.

Fighters from the National Liberation Front assaulted two northern neighborhoods of Bujumbura, including an area where diplomats and senior government officials live.

The home of a Chinese diplomat living inside that country’s embassy compound was destroyed by a rocket.

IRAN

Dissidents’ cases to be reviewed

TEHRAN — A senior United Nations official said yesterday Iranian authorities had promised to review the cases of dozens of jailed political dissidents after his call for their immediate release.

Dozens of reform activists — including journalists, academics and students — have been jailed in Iran in the past three years on charges that include insulting top officials and endangering national security.

PHILIPPINES

House drops plan to impeach judge

MANILA — Philippine lawmakers voted today to abide by a Supreme Court ruling that the impeachment of the country’s top judge was unconstitutional, easing fears of a clash between the two institutions.

The House of Representatives voted 115-77 to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision and not send the articles of impeachment forward for trial in the Senate.

The impeachment had prompted street protests and divided the country along familiar lines — supporters of ousted President Joseph Estrada backed it, while the Catholic Church and former president Corazon Aquino led rallies against it.

VATICAN CITY

Pope criticizes embryo research

VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II yesterday denounced as “morally contradictory” any medical treatment based on stem cells taken from embryo tissue.

In a speech to scientists, the pope said research into stem-cell technology “has understandably grown in importance in recent years because of the hope it offers for the cure of ills affecting many people.”

John Paul suffers from Parkinson’s disease, one of the ailments that might benefit from stem-cell research. However, he reiterated the Vatican position that “stem cells for purposes of experimentation or treatment cannot come from human embryo tissue.”

ISRAEL

U.N. warns against security barrier

JERUSALEM — Israel’s security barrier in the West Bank will have severe humanitarian consequences for 680,000 Palestinians, a third of the Palestinian population in the area, a U.N. report said yesterday.

Based on a map of the route approved by Israel, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Occupied Palestinian Territory found the barrier will cut off about 14.5 percent of Palestinian land from the rest of the West Bank.

SOUTH AFRICA

Socialite slain en route to murder trial

JOHANNESBURG — A South African socialite whose diamond dealer husband was killed in an attack that the local press linked to Israeli organized crime was fatally shot yesterday on her way to testify in the trial of the man accused of her husband’s murder.

Hazel Crane was known as a close friend of Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, clearly was targeted for assassination.


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