Former Israeli General

Accused of War Crimes

JERUSALEM -- The former head of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip said Monday that he was warned by diplomats not to leave an aircraft that had landed in London after a tip-off that British police were waiting to arrest him on war crimes charges.

Reserve Maj. Gen. Doron Almog, who arrived Sunday in London, said he was told that a British Muslim group had filed an allegation of war crimes against him. The allegation arose from his command of the military in Gaza from the start of the Palestinian uprising in 2000 until July 2003.

Attorneys representing the Palestinian Center for Human Rights issued a statement on its Web site confirming an arrest warrant had been issued for Almog for acts allegedly committed as part of Israel's "belligerent occupation of the occupied Palestinian territories."

Almog said that following the advice of the Israeli military attache, he and his wife stayed on the plane and flew back to Israel.


* BEIRUT -- Under growing pressure, Syria agreed to allow a U.N. investigator to question members of President Bashar Assad's inner circle about the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

U.N. investigators have accused four once-powerful Lebanese generals of involvement in Hariri's assassination. Syria has denied involvement and on Sunday promised to cooperate with the inquiry.

Investigator Detlev Mehlis has said that none of the Syrians is a suspect, and that he wants to question them as witnesses. Among those Mehlis is seeking to question are Syria's last intelligence chief in Lebanon, Brig. Gen. Rustum Ghazale, and Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan, who was intelligence chief in Lebanon until five years ago, according to Lebanese media reports.


* OSLO -- A left-leaning alliance that wants to spend more of Norway's oil wealth on its welfare system appeared headed for an election victory over the center-right government, according to preliminary returns. With 90 percent of the votes counted, official results showed the Labor-led opposition bloc would have a majority of 88 seats in the 169-seat parliament.

Labor leader Jens Stoltenberg campaigned on a pledge to spend more of Norway's oil money on welfare, while Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik's center-right coalition advocated lower taxes at a time of unprecedented prosperity. Labor opposed cutting taxes.


* SEOUL -- Envoys to talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program will try again to resolve the standoff, as the United States resists demands by the communist state for civilian nuclear reactors. The latest round of talks broke off early last month after 13 days in which envoys failed to agree on a statement of principles laying a groundwork for dismantling the North's nuclear weapons programs.


* HARARE, Zimbabwe -- President Robert Mugabe quietly adopted constitutional changes that make it easier for the state to seize private property and prevent opponents from traveling abroad to criticize his 25-year rule, state radio reported.

Mugabe signed the amendments into law Friday, just after the International Monetary Fund deferred for six months a decision on whether to expel Zimbabwe.

The constitutional overhaul strips landowners of their right to appeal expropriation of their property and declares that all land is now on a 99-year lease from the government.


* PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- A judge ordered the release of a Haitian and an American journalist who were arrested during a police raid on the church of a jailed priest who is a potential presidential candidate.

Kevin Pina, a radio reporter, and Jean Ristil, who works for the Associated Press, spent the weekend in jail after they were arrested at the Port-au-Prince church of the Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, who has been held without charges since July.

Jean-Juste is considered a possible presidential candidate for the party of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Nov. 20 elections.

-- From News Services