Mubarak Makes Official
His Bid for Fifth Term
SHIBIN AL-KOM, Egypt -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Thursday he would seek a fifth six-year term on Sept. 7, when the country will hold its first presidential election with more than one candidate.
He also promised constitutional and legislative changes during his next term, on top of the constitutional amendment that in May abolished the old system of referendums on a single presidential candidate chosen by parliament. Mubarak, 77 and in power since 1981, made the announcement in the school where he studied as a child.
* SARAJEVO, Bosnia -- The wife of Bosnian Serb war crimes fugitive Radovan Karadzic made an emotional plea to her husband to surrender for the sake of his family after many years on the run.
"Between loyalty to you and to the children and grandchildren, I had to choose and I have chosen," Ljiljana Karadzic said in an interview with Associated Press Television News.
Karadzic is wanted for trial at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
* Chechen rebel commander Shamil Basayev, who says he ordered the mass hostage-taking at a Russian school last year during which 330 children and adults were killed, has told a television interviewer that he might stage more such attacks.
In a rare interview obtained by the ABC News "Nightline" program for broadcast last night, Basayev said that he was "shocked" at the outcome of the siege but that responsibility lay with Russian President Vladimir Putin for failing to grant demands to resign or end the war in Chechnya. "You can ask why I did it," Basayev said. "To stop the killing of thousands and thousands more Chechen children, Chechen women and the elderly."
The Russian government called on ABC News not to air the interview. "At issue is providing forum to one of al Qaeda's zealots responsible for slaughtering innocent victims during many major terrorist attacks that he masterminded and personally perpetrated," the Russian Embassy said in a statement.
* BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- A plane with 440 Uzbek refugees left Kyrgyzstan for Romania on Friday, U.N. officials said, more than two months after the asylum seekers fled a brutal government crackdown in their Central Asian nation.
* VATICAN CITY -- Responding to Israeli criticism, the Vatican said Thursday it had not condemned every strike by Palestinian fighters against the Jewish state because Israel's military responses have sometimes violated international law.
* KIGALI, Rwanda -- Rwandan authorities will free thousands of inmates suspected of taking part in the 1994 genocide, some of 36,000 prisoners slated for release beginning Friday to ease crowding in prisons, officials said. No timetable for the release was given, and it was not clear how many would be involved Friday.
* BEIJING -- Six-party talks aimed at settling the North Korean nuclear crisis were to enter their fourth day Friday, with U.S. and North Korean diplomats prepared for further bilateral contact to bridge the gulf between them.
In the fourth round of talks in Beijing, which resumed this week after stalling last year, the parties have retreated to familiar territory -- with North Korea demanding aid and security guarantees before ending nuclear programs and the United States insisting that it scuttle those programs first.
* KABUL, Afghanistan -- A team of anti-drug investigators, lawyers and judges will prosecute major narcotics cases in Afghanistan -- the world's largest opium producer -- as part of a new U.N. program. The Criminal Justice Task Force includes 36 investigators, 33 prosecutors and 15 judges -- all Afghans.
-- From Staff Reports
and News Services