- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 20, 2004

CHINA

All feared dead in plane crash

BEIJING — A small plane carrying 47 passengers crashed today in northern China, and the government said there likely were no survivors. The plane crashed in Baotou, a city in the Inner Mongolia region, the official Xinhua news agency said in a one-sentence dispatch.

A worker in the ticket office at Baotou airport said the plane crashed in a tributary of the Yellow River near the airport shortly after taking off about 8:30 a.m. The worker said it was bound for Shanghai and may have had about 50 people on board, 47 passengers plus crew members.

The plane crashed in a park outside the airport that surrounds the Yellow River tributary, she said.

SPAIN

10 al Qaeda suspects jailed ahead of trial

MADRID — Ten suspects charged with membership in an al Qaeda cell that purportedly helped prepare the September 11 attacks have been jailed to prevent them from fleeing Spain ahead of their trial, court officials said yesterday.

The 10, including Al Jazeera reporter Tayssir Alouni, were arrested earlier this week and jailed Friday after being free on bail for more than a year.

They were among 35 persons, including Osama bin Laden, indicted in September 2003 by Judge Baltasar Garzon on charges of belonging to or collaborating with al Qaeda.

Court officials expect the trial to begin by the end of February.

SOUTH AFRICA

Mbeki holds talks on Ivory Coast

PRETORIA — South African President Thabo Mbeki held back-to-back meetings with Ivory Coast Prime Minister Seydou Diarra and rebel leader Guillaume Soro yesterday. He said he would return to Ivory Coast soon for a second round of talks aimed at reaching a peaceful settlement to the violent dispute threatening the world’s top cocoa grower.

Mr. Mbeki has hinted that he wants to steer both parties back to a 2003 French-brokered power-sharing accord that has never been fully implemented.

Thousands of foreigners have fled the fighting in Ivory Coast, which has also drawn in French peacekeepers holding a buffer zone between government forces and the rebels, and prompted the U.N. Security Council to impose an arms embargo on Ivory Coast.

GUATEMALA

Congressman weds ex-dictator’s daughter

ANTIGUA — A U.S. congressman yesterday married the daughter of Guatemala’s most notorious former dictator.

Rep. Jerry Weller, Illinois Republican, married Guatemalan lawmaker Zury Rios Sosa in a civil ceremony attended by Guatemalan military, politicians and the U.S. ambassador to the Central American nation, John Hamilton.

The bride’s father, Efrain Rios Montt, took power in a 1982 coup at the peak of Guatemala’s 36-year civil war.

The couple met while Mr. Weller, a member of the House International Relations Western Hemisphere subcommittee, was on a visit to Guatemala.

COSTA RICA

Earthquake kills one, jolts summit leaders

SAN JOSE — A strong earthquake hit Costa Rica early yesterday, killing one person and forcing leaders at an Ibero-American summit in the capital out of their beds.

“There was not a single president who didn’t get up. We all did,” said Ecuadorean President Lucio Gutierrez, who was among 21 leaders attending the meeting of Latin American nations, Spain and Portugal.

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