U.S., Russia military agree to cooperate on Y2K bug...

Foreign Digest

February 20, 1999

U.S., Russia military agree to cooperate on Y2K bug solution

MOSCOW -- U.S. and Russian military experts agreed yesterday that they should act together to tackle the millennium computer bug amid uncertainty as to what effect the onset of the year 2000 would have on Russia's nuclear arsenal.

Russia has begun to acknowledge that its military may be affected by the Y2K problem, but it is unclear where the cash-strapped country would get the funds or how it could solve the problem in only 10 months.

U.S. jets fire two missiles at Iraqi radar location

ANKARA, Turkey -- U.S. F-16 jets based in southern Turkey fired two missiles at an Iraqi radar site that locked on to U.S. warplanes patrolling northern Iraq yesterday, a U.S. military official said.

Spain wants crackdown on crime in Gibraltar

MADRID, Spain -- Spain threatened yesterday to impose even tougher measures against Gibraltar unless action is taken to clean up crime, which it says is rampant in the British colony.

Spanish Foreign Minister Abel Matutes will press complaints with British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook when they meet in Luxembourg tomorrow to discuss an escalating diplomatic dispute that has already led to tightened border controls with Gibraltar.

Spanish authorities, who want to regain control of Gibraltar, charge that it is in violation of 61 European directives on everything from banking secrecy to accounting procedures and that the Spanish treasury loses $10 billion a year through tax-evasion schemes.

Mir space station marks 13 years in orbit

BAIKONUR, Kazakstan -- Russia's Mir space station will mark 13 years in orbit today, and a new three-man crew -- possibly the Mir's last -- will lift off for the station from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakstan.

When the Mir's first module was launched Feb. 20, 1986, the station was expected to last only five years. It is by far the longest-lived space station and has been running smoothly after several serious breakdowns in 1997.

Russian space professionals want to keep the Mir in orbit for several more years, but it may be abandoned as early as August if the Russians cannot find private donors to pay the station's expenses, estimated at about $250 million a year.

Indonesia urges residents of E. Timor to give up guns

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia's armed forces chief urged all East Timorese yesterday to surrender their guns, mindful of warnings that the desperately poor territory was close to collapsing into violence.

Analysts, accusing the military of arming pro-Jakarta Timorese, have warned of widespread violence in the fractious territory after Indonesia's abrupt change of policy last month when it offered East Timor independence.

They say that after 23 years of often brutal Indonesian military rule, East Timorese were simply not ready for sudden independence.

Pub Date: 2/20/99

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