World

World NOTES

October 7 1996
World

World NOTES

October 7 1996

World NOTES

LEGAL MERCY KILLING

A former Christian missionary became the first person to use a new law in Australia’s Northern Territory permitting assisted suicide. Bob Dent, 66, who was suffering from prostate cancer, died by computer-delivered lethal injection. Australians who oppose the law plan to challenge it in Parliament and in the courts.

DEATH AT SEA

One man died when a boatload of Hong Kong protesters sailed into the East China Sea to back a Chinese claim to a string of uninhabited islands north of Taiwan. The disputed islands, known as the Diaoyus to Chinese and Senkakus to Japanese, were surrendered to Japan by China in 1895. As part of a rising protest over Japanese control, activist David Chan leapt into the ocean near the islands; he drowned in the turbulent wake of a cargo ship.

ARMENIAN PROTESTS

Thousands of angry protesters in the Armenian capital of Yerevan stormed the parliament grounds alleging that recent presidential elections had been rigged. One person was killed in fighting with riot police. The protesters claim that President Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who has led Armenia for five troubled years since it declared independence from Russia, actually lost the election to former prime minister Vazgen Manukyan.

'SPY' SENT HOME

At the request of the United States, South Korea recalled a Washingtonbased naval attaché accused of espionage. According to U.S. officials, Capt. Dong II Baek received top-secret documents from Robert Kim, a Seoulborn computer specialist employed by a U.S. naval intelligence agency. Kim, 56, was charged with espionage offences carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

DRUG LORD CHARGED

Columbia’s top prosecutor charged Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, the second in command of the Cali drug cartel, with illegally funding the 1994 election campaign of President Ernesto Samper. Although Samper was officially cleared in June of charges that he was linked with the cartel, there have been repeated demands for his resignation since then.

DOWN TO EARTH: It wasn’t the weightlessness, or the boredom, or even the housekeeping chores that she shared with two Russian colleagues. Shannon Lucid, biochemist, astronaut and mother of three, said that one of the biggest drawbacks about living in space for six months was her craving for junk food. After orbiting the Earth for 188 days on the Russian space station Mir—a record for a woman and an American—Lucid, 53, returned to Cape Canaveral, Fla., with a craving for candy, potato chips and cola. President Bill Clinton sent her a huge box of M & M’s, colored red, white and blue.

Fundamentalist Afghani rebels who have been fighting for two years to overturn the country’s more moderate Muslim government swept into Kabul last week. Meeting little resistance in the war-ravaged capital, the Taleban militia quickly took over key government positions, including the presidential palace and the defence ministry. President Burhanuddin Rabbani had fled the city only hours earlier but Najibullah, the head of the Soviet-backed government that was ousted in 1992, was immediately hanged and his body strung up in a Kabul marketplace. The Taleban, founded by Pakistani-connected seminary students, has vowed to run Afghanistan according to Islamic law: only a day after taking power it banned women from offices and asked

The new government quickly asked for international recognition. The United States responded cautiously, urging a process of national reconciliation, while Pakistan said it would send officials for talks with the new regime. Realistically, however, restoring order on a national scale may take months. The economy has been destroyed by more than four years of intense fighting and the country is littered with an estimated 10 million land mines. Its population of 17 million, the vast majority Sunni Muslims, also includes millions of displaced people. Some 1.5 million still live as refugees in Pakistan.

Found: a massive cache of IRA weaponry

Britons feared a new show of strength from the Irish Republican Army after jubilant British police announced that they had uncovered a 10-ton cache of suspected IRA weapons and home-made explosives in London. One man was killed and five were arrested in the pre-dawn raid that netted the largest haul of IRA weapons ever found in England. Police believe they foiled an imminent IRA bomb attack. The conflict flared again later in the week when arsonists set fire to a Protestant church in a Roman Catholic area of Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Although no one was killed, the 160-year-old building was extensively damaged.