Japan to Send Warship to Indian Ocean
TOKYO -- Japan said yesterday that it would dispatch a destroyer equipped with the advanced Aegis air defense system to the Indian Ocean this month to aid U.S. and other naval forces in the region engaged in the war on terrorism.
The government of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is eager to demonstrate support for the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan. But Japanese critics say the deployment violates Japan's postwar constitution and its policy not to engage in collective defense.
After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Japanese government agreed to provide logistical support to U.S.-led anti-terrorism operations in Afghanistan. Japan has five ships operating in the Indian Ocean, primarily to refuel U.S. vessels.
East Timor Declares State of Emergency
DILI, East Timor -- Officials declared a state of emergency after a day of rioting in which witnesses said as many as five people were shot and killed and the prime minister's house was burned down.
The clash was the most serious yet in Asia's newest independent state and a blow to efforts to establish a peaceful democracy after it won independence from Indonesia in a U.N.-backed vote in 1999 that was marred by violence.
THE MIDDLE EAST
U.S. Doctor Detained, Deported by Israel
JERUSALEM -- Israel detained an American doctor for two weeks on suspicion he was linked to al Qaeda, before releasing him without charge. The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv said it was barred from seeing the doctor during his detention and that there was no evidence linking him to any terror group.
Khaled Nazem Diab, 34, arrived in Israel on Nov. 14 on a mission for the Qatari Red Crescent Society and the University of Missouri Trauma Center to train Palestinian social workers, said Farek Hussein, director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.
Diab was detained at Ben-Gurion Airport, then released last week and deported to Jordan, Hussein said.
France, Portugal Brace for Oil Slicks
CAMINHA, Portugal -- Portugal and France went on alert as oil slicks from the sunken tanker Prestige approached their coasts and a tide of sludge lapped up on the shores of a second Spanish nature reserve.
Toxic heavy fuel oil has already coated 183 beaches in Spain. Oil-stained birds began appearing along France's southwestern coast, officials said, and small slicks are drifting northeast toward France.
Portugal's defense minister, Paulo Portas said the closest slick was about 20 miles from Portugal's coast, one of several clusters spread over 50 miles. Spain's Environment Ministry said the black tide touched shore on at least two of the Cies Islands, a protected archipelago that is a haven for migratory sea birds and nudists.
FOR THE RECORD
Ivory Coast's mercenary-backed army has attacked a town in a cocoa-growing region near the Liberian border to dislodge rebels who have held it since the weekend, military sources said. . . . The Asian Development Bank approved a $150 million loan to Afghanistan, its first loan to the war-ravaged country in 23 years. . . . Part of the tail rudder of a British Airways Concorde fell off as the supersonic jet approached New York, the airline said. The jet landed safely.