- The Washington Times - Monday, June 20, 2005

ISRAEL

Violence escalates on eve of summit

JERUSALEM — Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli motorist yesterday in a West Bank ambush, and Israeli troops nabbed a suspected suicide bomber with explosives hidden in her pants, escalating a wave of violence that has strained an already shaky cease-fire.

Palestinian officials condemned the violence, which included the shooting death of a Palestinian man by Israeli troops. But Israel angrily demanded tougher action.

The tensions clouded a meeting set for today between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

PHILIPPINES

‘People power’ cleric dies at 76

MANILA — Cardinal Jaime Sin, one of Asia’s most prominent religious leaders and a key figure in the “people power” revolts that ousted two Philippine presidents, died early today. He was 76.

Cardinal Sin was the Philippines’ moral compass, known for his vocal stances on everything from birth control to poverty, politics and the U.S.-led war in Iraq. When he spoke, presidents listened.

He stepped down as head of the Manila Archdiocese, which he served for nearly three decades, after reaching retirement age of 75. Declining health forced him to curtail his appearances, but he remained a staunch guardian of democracy.

TURKEY

Extremist leader sentenced to life

ISTANBUL — A Turkish court yesterday sentenced Turkish Muslim extremist Metin Kaplan, alias “the Caliph of Cologne,” to life in prison for plotting to overthrow Turkey’s strictly secular system.

Kaplan had been on trial since December after his expulsion from Germany for a string of charges linked to his role as the leader of the Union of Islamic Communities — also known as “Hilafet Devleti,” which aspires to set up a state in Turkey based on Islamic rules.

Announcing the verdict, Judge Metin Cetinbas said Kaplan and his Cologne-based organization were “terrorists.”

CANADA

Government on alert for Chinese spies

OTTAWA — Canada has vowed tough counterintelligence measures to stay on top of a purported Chinese espionage ring.

The Canadian government is taking seriously a Chinese defector’s accusations Beijing has more than 1,000 spies in Canada and has pledged to take whatever security actions are necessary to protect its sovereignty, the Globe and Mail reported.

A former Chinese police officer, Hao Fengjun said that Beijing maintained more than 1,000 spies in Canada to inform on members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.

The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa flatly denies the charge.

SOUTH AFRICA

Zuma to be charged with corruption

PRETORIA — South Africa’s popular former deputy president, Jacob Zuma, will be charged with corruption in a case that has already seen his aide sentenced to 15 years in prison, state prosecutors said yesterday.

“We have decided to bring criminal charges,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Makhosini Nkosi told a press conference.

The charges will include two counts of corruption, Mr. Nkosi said. President Thabo Mbeki fired Mr. Zuma as his deputy last week after Mr. Zuma’s financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, was convicted of arranging bribes for him. Mr. Zuma has denied any wrongdoing and hinted that he is the victim of a political conspiracy.


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