- The Washington Times - Friday, November 14, 2003

VIETNAM

49 killed, 8 missing in widespread floods

HANOI - At least 49 people were killed and eight others were missing after severe floods hit central Vietnam, cutting off several villages and burying sleeping people alive, local officials reported today.

On Thursday night, 17 people, including 15 gold miners, died in Phuoc Thanh commune, Quang Nam province, when a landslide buried their makeshift huts.

“The workers were swept away when they were sleeping in their makeshift camp. We have not been able to identify the deceased as most of them came from other provinces in the north,” said an official from Quang Nam people’s Committee. Eight other provinces have been hit by torrential rains and landslides since Tuesday.

SAUDI ARABIA

Diplomatic missions to reopen today

All three U.S. diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia will reopen today, a week after they were closed due to warnings of potential terrorist activities, the State Department said.

Spokesman Adam Ereli said the decision to reopen the embassy in Riyadh and the consulates in Jidda and Dharan followed a careful security assessment.

The three missions closed last Saturday, only hours before suicide car bombers attacked a Riyadh residential compound housing mainly Arabs and Muslims. The attack killed at least 17 persons and wounded scores more.

Adel al-Jubeir, foreign affairs adviser to Crown Prince Abdullah, told a news conference at the Saudi Embassy in Washington yesterday that his government is taking decisive action against terrorists, asserting that a dozen cells have been disbanded since May.

“I have no doubt we will win this battle, but it will take time,” he said. “Terrorists are on the run.”

GEORGIA

President criticized in protest march

TBILISI — A crowd of 15,000 people marched toward President Eduard Shevardnadze’s office in Georgia’s capital yesterday, demanding his resignation and ignoring his warnings that further protests could spark a civil war.

Claiming the Nov. 2 parliamentary elections were rigged, protesters circled the presidential office and held hands.

Mr. Shevardnadze refused opposition calls for him to appear at the rally to respond to their demands he resign and annul parliamentary election results.

SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

Fugitive general escapes dragnet

BELGRADE — A Serbian tabloid reported yesterday that top Bosnian Serb war-crimes fugitive Gen. Ratko Mladic escaped a police dragnet last month and fled his Serbian hide-out for another country.

Vecernje Novosti devoted an inside page to what it said was an exclusive report, citing an unidentified source it described as a Mladic confidant who acted as a decoy the night of his escape.

Gen. Mladic was indicted by the United Nations war-crimes tribunal for the genocide of Bosnian Muslims in the 1992-95 war.

IRELAND

Reporter targeted with fake bomb

DUBLIN — Ireland’s high-profile crime reporter was under police protection yesterday after army experts dismantled a hoax bomb outside his home, reviving memories of the assassination of another prominent journalist seven years ago.

Paul Williams of the Sunday World tabloid said he knows which gang is threatening him — but won’t be intimidated from exposing key figures in Ireland’s criminal underworld.

Another of Ireland’s high-profile crime reporters, Veronica Guerin, was fatally shot in June 1996.

GERMANY

Nazi-Jews comparison draws party censure

BERLIN — Germany’s Christian Democrats on Friday stripped a lawmaker of his rights to vote with or speak for the conservative opposition party in parliament after he made remarks comparing Jews and Nazis.

Christian Democratic lawmakers voted 195-28 to boot Martin Hohmann from their caucus, clearing the required two-thirds majority, party officials said. Sixteen members abstained and four cast invalid ballots.

Mr. Hohmann was widely accused of anti-Semitic stereotyping for an Oct. 3 speech marking German Unity Day in which he compared Jews and Nazis, citing what he called Jews’ prominent role in Russia’s 1917 revolution.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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