Weakening Hurricane Lashes Caribbean
PHILIPSBURG, St. Martin--A rapidly weakening Hurricane Lenny lashed the northeast Caribbean with heavy rain for a second day yesterday after killing at least eight people and causing millions of dollars in damage.
The storm ravaged homes and boats, stripped beaches of sand, flooded hotels and roads, downed utility lines and disrupted communications before drifting eastward into the Atlantic.
Lenny's winds had reached 150 mph before dwindling to 70 mph--tropical storm strength--as it rapidly disintegrated. At 4 p.m. EST, its ill-defined center was about 25 miles west-southwest of Barbuda.
Tropical storm-force winds stretched for 115 miles from its center and forecasters warned that up to 15 more inches of rain could fall on already saturated islands.
Spanish Ex-Premier Could Face Charges
MADRID--The judge who indicted Augusto Pinochet has asked the Supreme Court to consider charges against former prime minister Felipe Gonzalez in connection with the deaths of Basque separatists.
Magistrate Baltasar Garzon said he had asked the court to examine previously classified military intelligence documents to determine if they provide sufficient evidence to charge Gonzalez in connection with death squads that targeted the separatists in the 1980s.
Gonzalez, speaking in Barcelona, again denied any role in the death squads and said he was not worried by Garzon's latest action, Europa Press said. The Supreme Court ruled in 1996 that there was no evidence to charge Gonzalez in connection with a 1983 abduction that was considered the first action by the so-called GAL, or Anti-Terrorist Liberation Groups.
Storms End in Turkish Quake Region
KAYNASLI, Turkey--After days of torrential rains, the sun came out and helped ease the misery of tens of thousands of people made homeless by Turkey's latest quake.
At least 619 people died in the Nov. 12 quake in northwestern Turkey, an area ravaged by an even more powerful quake in August that killed at least 17,000 people.
Authorities announced that the search for survivors was over, the Anatolia news agency reported. The last survivor, a 42-year-old woman, was rescued Wednesday.
Russian Troops Attack Chechen Towns
SERNOVODSK, Russia--Through heavy fog, Russian troops and helicopter gunships mounted attacks on a half-dozen towns in the breakaway region of Chechnya, and the military claimed to have the capital, Grozny, 80 percent surrounded.
Army officials said they expected to take the rebel stronghold of Bamut, in western Chechnya, this weekend after weeks of shelling.
North Korea Expels American as Spy
TOKYO--North Korea expelled a U.S. citizen who it said had admitted stealing military secrets, but it added that he was spared a harsher punishment because Washington asked for leniency.
The official Korean Central News Agency, monitored in Tokyo, said U.S. citizen So Sun Dok was arrested on Sept. 29 for engaging in espionage on North Korea's military secrets in the Rajin-Sonbong economic trade zone.
In August 1998, North Korea expelled a U.S. citizen for spying for rival South Korea and distributing anti-North Korea propaganda materials. Two months later, a Korean American college president was expelled for what Pyongyang said was spying for South Korea's main intelligence unit.
Malaysian Opposition Loses Candidate
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's opposition suffered a major blow Saturday, losing their choice for prime minister as jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim announced he would not contest a seat for Parliament from behind bars.
Candidates throughout Malaysia were filing nomination papers Saturday for the 193 seats in Parliament. But Anwar will not file because he is certain the ruling party-run Election Commission would block his candidacy, another opposition official said.
Anwar, once the hand-picked successor to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, was ousted by Mahathir in September 1998. He is now serving a six-year jail term for abuse of power and is on trial for sodomy, a crime in this predominantly Muslim Southeast Asian nation.
He denies the charges against him and claims they are part of a conspiracy to block his challenge of Mahathir.
THE MIDDLE EAST
Arafat Insists on Jerusalem as Capital
RAMALLAH, West Bank--Yasser Arafat's cabinet insisted that no final agreement would be reached with Israel if the Palestinians were not allowed to establish their capital in east Jerusalem.
"There won't be an agreement if Jerusalem is not accepted as the capital of an independent state," read a cabinet statement issued after a meeting late Friday in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The dispute over the sector of the city, which Israel captured in 1967 and later annexed, has been one of the thorniest issues of the peace process and was saved for the last phase of negotiations.
Aid Group Pulls Out of Burundi Camps
NAIROBI--The humanitarian aid group Doctors Without Borders has suspended assistance to government-organized camps in Burundi, saying its intervention has had "little impact."
Burundi's army began forcing villagers in rural Bujumbura province into camps in late September to stem attacks by Hutu rebels. At least 300,000 mostly Hutu civilians now reside in 50 settlements.
The aid group, which had been providing assistance to 54,000 people in three camps, said in a news release Thursday that the settlements are rife with hunger and disease.
It also said fighting between rebels and government forces had prevented aid workers from traveling to remote camps in the province, which encompasses the capital of Bujumbura.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I have come here as a 'phili mou,' a friend of Greece. And I look forward to experiencing that wonderful quality of Greek hospitality known to all the world as 'philoxenia.'"
-- President Clinton, whose visit to Greece prompted violent protests in Athens.