- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 21, 2003


Labor Party leader dies

LONDON — Lord Gareth Williams of Mostyn, the Labor Party’s leader in Britain’s upper chamber of Parliament, died yesterday, Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office said. He was 62.

Mr. Williams died at his home in Gloucestershire, southwest England, Mr. Blair’s office said. It did not release the cause of death.

Mr. Blair, who is meeting French and German leaders in Berlin, issued a statement expressing shock and sadness.

“He was a fine politician with excellent judgment who earned the respect of colleagues of all parties,” the statement said. “But he was also a kind and generous man who sparked huge affection in all those who knew him. A superb and entertaining speaker, he used his wit and general humor time and time again to diffuse difficult situations in the Lords.”

Mr. Williams was a former lawyer who was heavily involved in the debate to reform the upper chamber of Parliament, or House of Lords.


Taliban and civilians killed in U.S. strike

KABUL — At least eight Afghan nomads, including women and children, were killed in a U.S. air strike in Afghanistan that also killed two Taliban guerrillas, Afghan officials said yesterday.

In a separate incident, Taliban guerrillas killed a district police chief in the southern province of Kandahar, underscoring a revival of violence recently in a country that has seen mostly strife for the past quarter-century.

Afghanistan meanwhile announced yesterday a long-delayed reform of the powerful Defense Ministry and said it would allow the start next month of a plan to disarm factional militias threatening security and elections.


Doctor: Suu Kyi is cancer free

RANGOON — An operation on Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, detained at a secret location by the military government for more than three months, showed no signs of cancer, her doctor said yesterday.

“It is 99.99 percent not cancer,” surgeon Tin Myo Win told reporters, but declined to say what the operation was for. The physician spoke one day after the three-hour operation at the private Asia Royal Hospital.

Dr. Tin Myo Win said Mrs. Suu Kyi, 58, was in stable condition and would be able to eat normally today.


Soldier shoots tiger at Baghdad zoo

BAGHDAD — A U.S. soldier shot and killed a tiger at the Baghdad zoo after it bit another soldier who had reached through the bars of its cage to feed it, a zoo security guard said yesterday.

The soldiers had been drinking beer when they entered the zoo Thursday night after it closed, said the guard, Zuhair Abdul-Majeed.

It was not possible to reach the U.S. military spokesman’s office because the telephones did not work, the Associated Press said.


Troops to Iraq not on agenda

NOVO-OGARYOVO — President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that Russia does not rule out sending military personnel to Iraq, but that deploying troops was not now on the agenda.

He emphasized that the terms and timeline of an international force must be laid out by the U.N. Security Council, but said Russia does not oppose the United States being in command of the peacekeeping force.

Putin spoke in an interview with U.S. media, including the Associated Press, at his residence outside Moscow.


Farmers attack police over protester suicide

SEOUL — Hundreds of farmers threw stones at riot police yesterday during a funeral procession for a farmer who committed suicide in an anti-globalization protest during World Trade Organization (WTO) talks in Mexico.

Dozens of farmers and police officers were injured, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said. TV footage showed a farmer yelling at police as blood streaked his face.

Lee Kyong-hae, 56, a farmer and activist, stabbed himself to death in Cancun, Mexico, on Sept. 10 during a protest against a WTO meeting there.


Islamist’s brother tortured to death

CAIRO — An Egyptian detained after his brother was arrested for distributing leaflets against the United States and Israel died in jail from torture last week, the Egyptian Human Rights Organization said yesterday.

Mohammed Abdel Sattar, an engineer from the southern Fayum region, was detained by state security forces on Sept. 12, three days after his younger brother was arrested for distributing the leaflets, it said.

Abdel Sattar’s body was returned to his family on Sept. 14 without any explanation, the group said in a statement seen by Agence France-Presse. There was no official confirmation of the death.

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