Russia indicates willingness to discuss missile treaty...

FOREIGN DIGEST

October 30, 2001|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Russia indicates willingness to discuss missile treaty changes

MOSCOW - Russia hinted again yesterday that it might be ready to discuss changes in the key Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which bans the Bush administration's plans to build a defense shield against incoming missiles.

Two days before he leaves for Washington to meet with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Russia's foreign minister said Moscow was ready to talk about "new parameters" on strategic questions.

"The situation in the world is changing, and our relations with the United States are changing. In the framework of these changes, we are ready to discuss new parameters of strategic cooperation," Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov as saying late last night.

Mugabe dismisses pressure over violent land seizures

HARARE, Zimbabwe - President Robert Mugabe said his government would not back off its plans to nationalize white-owned farms despite international condemnation of often violent land seizures, The Herald newspaper reported yesterday.

Mugabe said he would not be deterred even if Britain, the former colonial power here, "and its friends piled pressure through their economies," according to the state-owned newspaper.

Mugabe spoke Sunday, a day after international mediators ended talks aimed at salvaging a deal signed Sept. 6 in Abuja, Nigeria, to end the violent occupations of white-owned farms and political violence in Zimbabwe.

At least two die in floods on coast of Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras - Three days of floods have wreaked havoc along Honduras' Caribbean coast, killing two people and forcing about 600 others to take refuge from rising waters on rooftops and in trees yesterday.

Officials estimated that 15,000 people had been forced from their homes by recent flooding in the northern provinces of Cortes, Atlantica, Colon and Gracias a Dios.

Pro-Tibetans protest talks by Blair, Chinese official

LONDON - Pro-Tibet protesters accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday of "harboring terrorists" by holding talks with Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao.

About 50 protesters against what they say is a 50-year Chinese occupation of Tibet demonstrated noisily outside Blair's Downing Street office in London as he met Hu inside.

"Tony Blair, shame on you," they shouted. "Stop harboring terrorists in Downing Street." Banners declared "Tibet belongs to Tibetans" and "China the terrorist, get out of Tibet."

Kremlin says disarming is focus of Chechnya talks

MOSCOW - The Kremlin's main spokesman on Chechnya insisted yesterday that planned talks with rebels would focus on them disarming and declared that the status of the separatist-minded region would not be up for discussion.

Sergei Yastrzhembsky, speaking in the Chechen capital, Grozny, was commenting on talks planned soon between President Vladimir V. Putin's personal envoy to southern Russia and an aide to Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov.

"Strictly speaking, the subject of this meeting is clearly laid out - disarmament of the fighters, an end to resistance and their return to a peaceful life," Yastrzhembsky said in televised comments to journalists.

Man arrested in shootings that killed four in France

TOURS, France - A masked gunman opened fire in this central French city yesterday, killing four people, injuring eight and sending terrified bystanders running for cover. Afterward, the suspect told officials he had no recollection of the incident.

A 44-year-old suspect, an unidentified train operator with no criminal record, was quickly apprehended by police after fleeing to an underground parking garage.

Authorities decided the alleged gunman acted alone after a 40-member SWAT team, guns at the ready, came up empty-handed from searching the garage for a possible accomplice, said Jean-Francois Houssin, a regional government spokesman.

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