Indonesia Confirms 45 New Polio Cases;
Vaccination Campaign to Be Expanded
JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia has confirmed 45 new polio cases, bringing the total since the outbreak began this spring to 111, World Health Organization officials said Tuesday.
Though the outbreak remains centered on the western end of Indonesia's main island of Java, the latest report includes a second confirmed case on Sumatra, underscoring the difficulties health authorities face in preventing the virus from spreading.
The Indonesian Health Ministry last week completed a massive campaign to vaccinate children in western Java against polio and is now preparing to expand the drive to other regions. Health officials have concluded that a traveler arriving from the Middle East carried the virus to Indonesia, which had been free of polio for a decade before a young boy with paralysis was confirmed to have the disease in April.
-- Alan Sipress
* ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Police have arrested an Uzbek human rights activist who investigated the Uzbekistan government's shooting of hundreds of protesters in the town of Andijan. The police might seek to deport him, his family said. Lutfullo Shamsudinov was in Andijan on May 13 when troops fired at people after armed rebels had occupied a building.
* JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia plans to pursue charges against Richard B. Ness, the top official in Indonesia for Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp., the world's largest gold-mining company, in a case involving the pollution of a bay in North Sulawesi province, the chief prosecutor said.
Charges against five other Newmont officials jailed last year in the case would not be pursued, said the prosecutor, Robert Ilat. Residents of Buyat Beach have blamed the company for poisoning the bay with arsenic and mercury and causing a wide range of health problems. It was not immediately clear what charges Ness faces. Ilat said a trial could start within weeks.
* MANILA -- Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is ready to face an impeachment trial and is confident she can refute allegations of election fraud, her spokesman said.
The allegations against Arroyo, which stem from recordings of phone conversations she had with an election commissioner, have set off speculation of another "people power" revolt or a coup that could destabilize the Philippines' nascent democracy.
Arroyo has acknowledged talking to the official during presidential vote-counting last year and apologized for "a lapse in judgment," but denied influencing the outcome of the polls and dismissed opposition calls to resign.
On Tuesday, two key witnesses who supplied the copies of the recordings agreed to surrender all their tapes to a House of Representatives inquiry.
Separately, two lawyers filed impeachment complaints against Arroyo, claiming she rigged the election.
* SREBRENICA, Bosnia -- Bosnian Serb police found two large bombs near a memorial for the thousands of Muslim men and boys killed in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. Thousands of people are due to gather at the memorial next week to remember the killings.
"It was ready to detonate. All you needed to do was light a slow-burning fuse and walk away," police spokesman Radovan Pejic said. The bombs, containing 77 pounds of explosives, were found after a tip from European Union peacekeepers.
Tens of thousands of family members, foreign dignitaries and guests are expected to attend a ceremony on July 11 marking the 10th anniversary of the massacre, in which as many as 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed. Nearly 600 identified victims will be buried at the Potocari memorial center.
* MADRID -- The suspected leader of al Qaeda in Spain, accused of aiding the Sept. 11 hijackers, declared his innocence and said a prosecution claim of a Spanish cell of al Qaeda was a "myth" as more than two months of testimony at his trial ended.
Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, one of 24 defendants, faces a prison sentence of more than 74,000 years if convicted.
* LIMA, Peru -- A Peruvian judge ordered the arrest of 118 current and retired military officials for their alleged involvement in the 1988 massacre of peasants in a village, the court said.
The arrests were ordered in connection with the torture and killing of more than two dozen villagers in Cayara on May 14, 1988, and subsequent human rights violations in two neighboring hamlets in the area, about 250 miles southeast of Lima. The initial attack was in response to an ambush of an army patrol by Maoist Shining Path guerrillas.
Judge Miluska Cano Lopez's order comes a month after another judge issued arrest warrants for 29 current and former military officials for a similar 1985 massacre of 72 peasants in Accomarca, another village in the Ayacucho region.
The case was revived by Peru's government-appointed truth commission, which in its final 2003 report blamed state security forces for nearly half of an estimated 70,000 people killed during Peru's bloody insurgency between 1980-2000.
THE MIDDLE EAST
* TEHRAN -- Iranian leaders sharply protested Austria's investigation into claims that Iran's president-elect was involved in the 1989 assassination of a Kurdish opposition leader in Vienna, warning Austrian authorities not to damage ties between the two countries. Foreign Ministry officials summoned Austria's ambassador in Tehran to a meeting in which they said "such allegations are tantamount to following Washington" in criticisms of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who won a landslide victory last month, state-run Iranian television reported.
Austrian prosecutors said they were investigating new information in the slaying of Abdul-Rahman Ghassemlou, brought to their attention by an Austrian lawmaker who claims Iran's president-elect was linked to the assassination.
* BUJUMBURA, Burundi -- A former rebel group in Burundi won a majority of seats in the first parliamentary elections in the war-ravaged Central African nation in 12 years, the top election official said.
Paul Ngarambe, the head of the Independent Electoral Commission, told state-run radio that results from 80 percent of polling stations showed that the Hutu-led Forces for the Defense of Democracy had at least 60 percent of the vote in Monday's election. The election was seen as an important step toward ending the civil war between Hutu rebels and the former Tutsi-dominated army and government. That war began in 1993 after Burundi's first democratically elected president, a Hutu, was assassinated by Tutsi paratroops. About 150,000 people, most of them civilians, were killed in the fighting.
* ABUJA, Nigeria -- Sudan's government and two rebel groups involved in peace talks over the war-torn Darfur region signed a declaration of principles, a breakthrough in negotiations aimed at settling a 21/2-year conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people.
The declaration calls for the return of refugees forced from their homes and for new security arrangements, as well as respect for ethnic and religious groups and equitable distribution of national wealth.
* SIRTE, Libya -- African Union leaders have endorsed a plan to demand two permanent seats on a reformed U.N. Security Council but dodged the question of how their representatives would be selected.
-- From News Services
of the Philippines.