- The Washington Times - Monday, March 7, 2005

BOLIVIA

President offers resignation

LA PAZ — Bolivian President Carlos Mesa announced yesterday that he would offer his resignation today, saying in a televised address that recent protests were “blocking the country.”

Mr. Mesa took office in October 2003, succeeding President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, who resigned in the wake of street protests in which 56 persons were killed. Mr. Mesa’s government has struggled with a growing push for greater political autonomy in Bolivia’s most prosperous region.

TAIWAN

Protesters denounce planned Chinese law

KAOHSIUNG — More than 15,000 protesters marched in Taiwan yesterday, denouncing Beijing’s attempt to force this self-ruled, democratic island to unify with the mainland.

The procession through the southern city of Kaohsiung, a major seaport, came a day after Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao opened a parliamentary session with a vow never to permit formal independence for the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Taiwan-China tensions have risen over Beijing’s plan to pass an anti-secession law during the session. Taiwan’s leaders say the law could set the stage for an attack on the island.

NICARAGUA

Ortega plans to run for president again

MANAGUA — Former President Daniel Ortega, whose Sandinista party fought U.S.-backed rebels when it ruled Nicaragua in the 1980s, will make a third stab at regaining the presidency.

The Sandinista party, which has made major gains against the ruling party in local elections, named Mr. Ortega as its 2006 election candidate at a party meeting late Saturday.

President Enrique Bolanos has been weakened by feuding within his party and a drive by political rivals to unseat him amid accusations of campaign-finance irregularities and corruption.

ISRAEL

Syria on agenda during talks with U.S.

JERUSALEM — Israel’s foreign minister said yesterday that he would try to rally international support for a full Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon when he travels to Washington this week.

“The purpose is to act to get Syrian troops out of Lebanon, include Hezbollah on the list of terror organizations, dismantle their terror infrastructure,” Silvan Shalom told Israel Radio.

“I think those things could also contribute to another of our objectives — progress on the Palestinian front,” he said. “If we do both simultaneously, it would contribute much more to the stability of the Mideast and the possibility of us conducting a dialogue with many more Arab and Islamic countries.”

BRITAIN

Retired police chief issues terror warning

LONDON — At least 100 terrorists trained by Osama bin Laden are at large in Britain, the recently retired head of London’s police force said in a newspaper article published yesterday.

John Stevens also said the threat justified tough anti-terror proposals, including placing suspects under house arrest without charge, that the government is struggling to get through Parliament.

“As you read this, there are at least 100 Osama bin Laden-trained terrorists walking Britain’s streets,” Mr. Stevens wrote in the News of the World weekly. “The number is probably nearer 200.”

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