- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 1, 2004

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Coup trial suspended; foreign probe sought

MALABO — A judge in Equatorial Guinea yesterday suspended the trial of 14 suspected foreign mercenaries accused of plotting to overthrow the country’s president, saying more time was needed to investigate evidence from abroad.

The prosecution had asked for the indefinite suspension, pointing to the arrest last week in South Africa of Mark Thatcher, the 51-year-old son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, on suspicion of helping finance the plot.

Defiant Milosevic defends self in court

THE HAGUE — Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic began his long-delayed defense yesterday, branding his war-crimes trial a “distortion of history” and blaming the West for bringing about Yugoslavia’s collapse.

Mr. Milosevic opened his defense against charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s with characteristic defiance. The trial had been delayed for months because of his heart condition and high blood pressure.

The former Serbian strongman, 63, seized the opening day of his defense to accuse the West, NATO, Kosovo-Albanian drug gangs, Islamic militants and the Vatican of contributing to the breakup of a multi-ethnic Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. attack draws conflicting reports

KABUL — U.S. warplanes bombed a village in eastern Afghanistan, killing up to eight people and destroying a Danish relief group’s camp, after assailants attacked a nearby government office with rockets, Afghan officials and the international aid group said yesterday.

The U.S. military said the air strike late Monday in Kunar province was launched to counter an attack on U.S. troops and had killed several militants. It claimed to have killed more than 20 militants and denied reports that up to eight villagers were killed.

TAIWAN

Leader gestures to China for peace

TAIPEI — Taiwan’s leader said he made a goodwill gesture toward rival China yesterday, canceling a major live-fire military exercise shortly after Beijing reportedly called off massive war games near Taiwan.

Republic of China (Taiwan) President Chen Shui-bian said yesterday that China was canceling the Dongshan exercises, and that he would reciprocate by calling off a military display called Hankuang, or Chinese Glory.


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