- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 18, 2003

ISRAEL

Palestinian gunman kills Israeli guards

AL-KHADER, West Bank — A Palestinian with an assault rifle hidden in a prayer mat killed two Israeli soldiers at a West Bank roadblock yesterday.

The commander of Israeli forces in occupied West Bank areas said the Palestinian approached the checkpoint at a highway junction near Bethlehem just after daybreak and opened fire with an AK-47 rifle. The gunman escaped.

The International Red Cross, meanwhile, said it would end two emergency-aid programs that provided food assistance.

CHINA

Taiwan warned on risk of war

BEIJING — Taiwan’s “extreme push for independence” is crossing China’s red line and runs the risk of war, a senior Chinese official was quoted as saying today.

Curbing Taiwan’s independence “crusade” was at the heart of the mainland’s Taiwan policy, the China Daily quoted Wang Zaixi, vice minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office, as saying.

It was the second straight day that the government-run press had highlighted China’s policy toward Taiwan, which, since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 has been regarded as a renegade province to be reunited eventually — by force if necessary.

GEORGIA

President’s backers bused in for rally

TBILISI — Allies of Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze yesterday ferried thousands of people by bus to a rally in the capital but failed to shore up support for his rule against opposition pressure for his resignation.

The nation of 5 million has been jolted by a wave of protests after a Nov. 2 parliamentary election, which opposition leaders say the authorities stole.

HAITI

Aristide urges anti-Napoleon fervor

CAP-HAITIEN — President Jean-Bertrand Aristide urged Haitians to overcome economic bondage as they marked yesterday’s bicentennial of a decisive victory over Napoleon’s troops that led to the world’s first successful slave rebellion.

Mr. Aristide, whose speech was flowery with Creole proverbs, said Haitians need to fight again as they once did to overcome “the conspiracy” of rich nations over poor ones.

Absent were ambassadors from France, the United States and the European Union, who stayed away to protest the government’s failure to stop Aristide partisans from blocking an opposition demonstration on Friday.

BRITAIN

Terror suspect put on trial

LONDON — Britain was to put one of Europe’s highest-profile terror suspects before a tribunal yesterday, the first time the case of Abu Qatada has been heard publicly since he vanished in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

Authorities describe the Palestinian as the “most significant” extremist cleric in Britain’s Islamic underground.


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