World Notes

September 13 1999

World Notes

September 13 1999

World Notes

Judges blame Diana’s driver

In their final report on the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, two French judges blamed intoxicated driver Henri Paul for the high-speed car crash that killed the princess, boyfriend Dodi Fayed and Paul two years ago. The magistrates cleared nine photographers and a press motorcyclist who followed the car, saying they were not close when the accident occurred. Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al Fayed, who claims there was a conspiracy to murder his son and Diana, said he would appeal the decision.

Moscow bomb blast

Russian police arrested Dmitry Pimenov, leader of the extremist Revolutionary Writers’ Union, after a leaflet signed by the group was found at the site of a bombing that injured 41 people in a shopping mall near the Kremlin. The pro-communist group says it is waging a war against Western-style consumerism.

Air tragedy kills 69

After an Argentine airliner crashed in Buenos Aires, killing 69 people, employees charged that the airline had been cutting corners on safety. The Boeing 737 flown by Lineas Aereas Privadas Argentinas had 103 people aboard when it shot off the runway and skidded across a busy highway.

Rescuers give up hope

A new tremor measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale killed at least one person in northwestern Turkey, as rescuers said they had all but given up hope of finding any more people alive from the devastating Aug. 17 earthquake in the region. The confirmed death toll rose to 16,695, with thousands more still to be accounted for.

CARE workers released

Two Australian workers for the international aid agency CARE were released after five months in jail in Yugoslavia following international appeals for clemency. A court had sentenced Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace to long prison terms for allegedly spying during the Kosovo crisis. A Yugoslav colleague remains in jail.

Another white house for the Clintons

A five-bedroom, $1.7 million (U.S.) home bought by U.S. President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary sits in the leafy New York City suburb of Chappaqua in tony Westchester County. The Clintons will live in the 100-year-old Dutch Colonialstyle house after the President’s term ends. It will also fulfil Hillary Clinton’s residency requirement in her expected campaign to become a U.S. senator.

Reno confronts the FBI over Wico

Evidence mounted that the FBI deliberately fired flammable tear-gas canisters into the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Tex., during the 1993 assault on the militant Christian cult. Nearly 80 people died in the burning compound, including cult leader David Koresh. The FBI for six years denied using such weapons, but last week admitted it had discovered videotape confirming that combustible military rounds were fired. U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, said she was “very trou-

bled over what has transpired” and would appoint an independent outsider to investigate.

In a dramatic indication of her frayed relations with the bureau, Reno sent U.S. marshals to its Washington headquarters to take possession of the videotapes. Made by surveillance aircraft, the tapes included an audio track in which FBI agents obtained permission to fire the flammable rounds. Bureau officials continued to insist that the tear-gas canisters were used hours before the fire began, and did not start it. Reno, who had formerly defended FBI actions in the assault, said her orders on the day were not to fire any incendiary devices.

Moving ahead on Middle East peace

Israeli and Palestinian leaders signed an agreement to restart a long-delayed West Bank pullback by Israel and to release 350 Palestinian prisoners, clearing the way for an overall peace accord. The pact, signed in Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt, implements the 1998 YTye agreement on Israeli troop withdrawals and calls for the two sides to resolve the nature of Palestinian statehood and the status of Jerusalem within one year. Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy urged Syria and Lebanon to join the widening circle of peace.