World

World Notes

September 20 1999
World

World Notes

September 20 1999

World Notes

World

Devastation and deliverance in Greece

Rescuers pulled more than 80 people from the ruins after the strongest earthquake to hit Athens in nearly a century left at least 106 dead and another 16 missing. Volunteers from Turkey, Greece’s traditional rival, helped dig through the rubble. Greece was quick to provide aid to western Turkey after an Aug. 17 earthquake there killed more than 15,000 people.

Bin Laden blamed in Moscow blast

Moscow officials suspect millionaire Saudi Arabian terrorist Osama bin Laden may have been responsible for an explosion that destroyed a ninestorey Moscow apartment building, killing at least 91 people and burying dozens more under a pile of rubble. It happened during new offensives by Islamic rebels based in the lawless, autonomous state of Chechnya who may be receiving funds from bin Laden. In recent weeks, the rebels have crossed into the Russian territory

of Dagestan and seized several villages. The explosion was the third in 10 days that Russian officials associate with Chechen troubles. On Sept. 4, a car bomb demolished an apartment building housing Russian military families in the Dagestan city of Buynaksk, killing 64 people. On Aug. 31, a bomb rocked a Moscow shopping mall, killing one and injuring 40. Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo said he had information that bin Laden, who is accused of masterminding the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, had sent millions of dollars to the warlords leading the Dagestan campaign.

Who caused the deadly fire at Waco?

Named to lead an investigation into the assault on the Branch Davidian compound on April 19, 1993, at Waco, Tex., former Republican Senator John Danforth promised to seek answers to the “dark questions.” Danforth is to determine whether the FBI assault triggered a fire that left 80 people dead. Videotapes appear to show that the FBI used combustible tear gas in its attack, and the agency has acknowledged using “pyrotechnic devices.”

Palestinians freed

In keeping with a newly reached land-for-security deal, Israel released 199 Palestinian prisoners, the first of350 to be freed by Oct. 8. Under the interim agreement, Israel also handed over seven per cent of the West Bank to Palestinian civilian rule and will join Palestinians in new negotiations for a peace pact beginning this week.

Bradley makes it official

Bill Bradley, a former Hall of Fame basketball player with the New York Knicks and three-term senator from New Jersey, officially joined the race for the Democratic party presidential nomination. With a strong support team and impressive funding, Bradley is the lone challenger to Vice-President Al Gore.

Clashes in Kosovo

An exploding grenade and flying rocks injured 15 French soldiers and police officers as the peacekeepers separated clashing Serbs and Albanians in the tense, ethnically mixed town of Kosovska Mitrovica. The two groups, who live on opposite sides of the Ibar River have clashed constantly on a bridge joining their areas.

Ulster disagreement

Spokesmen for Northern Irelands unionist majority vowed to resist proposals to reform the British provinces police force. Former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten, chairman of an international commission, released a report calling for the force to be made more acceptable to the Catholic minority by, among other things, changing its name from the Royal Ulster Constabulary to the Northern Ireland Police Service.

Fall of a cabinet member

Pleading guilty to one misdemeanour count of lying to the FBI about payments he made to a former mistress, former Clinton cabinet housing secretary Henry Cisneros agreed to pay a $15,000 fine. At the same time, an 18-count felony indictment against him was dropped, ending a four-year, $ 15-million investigation by an independent counsel.