Mass Curfew Fails to Bring Security to Israel
Two islamic jihad suicide bombers blew themselves up in a non-Jewish Tel Aviv neighborhood, killing three bystanders and injuring more than 40 others. Earlier, eight people were killed and 20 wounded when an Israeli bus carrying settlers was ambushed by Palestinian gunmen inside the West Bank. The attacks showed that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's policy of occupying West Bank towns and imposing a curfew on the Palestinian population has not destroyed the militants' ability to strike. The gunmen, dressed in Israeli military uniform, set off a roadside bomb, which halted the bus, and then gunned down the passengers as they fled. Two groups Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of Yasser Arafat's Fatah bloc, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the bus attack.
Apology to Civilians
The I.R.A. made an unprecedented and unexpected statement of apology to the more than 600 "noncombatants" it killed in its campaign to unite Ireland. The statement said that the current peace process in Northern Ireland "includes the acceptance of past mistakes and of the hurt and pain we have caused to others." The I.R.A.'s Unionist opponents complained that the apology did not go far enough. They suggested that it was intended to fend off British government sanctions against Sinn Fein, the I.R.A.'s political wing. The British government welcomed the I.R.A.'s acknowledgment of the pain it had caused so many people.
Vandals desecrated more than 30 Jewish graves in a nighttime rampage through a Rome cemetery. The vandals smashed headstones and tore off marble Star of David symbols in the Jewish section of the Verano cemetery. Members of Rome's Jewish community and top Italian officials condemned the attack. Police said that several people apparently used iron bars and clubs to damage the graves and pry open one coffin.
Between 200 and 300 ethnic Ijaw women occupied four oil pumping stations in Nigeria's coastal Delta State. Run by ChevronTexaco, the stations are in the same area as the Escravos oil terminal that was occupied by unarmed women between July 8 and 18. That protest ended after the oil giant agreed to build schools and clinics, provide water and electricity service, set up farms and create jobs.
Talks in Tanzania aimed at bringing peace to Burundi were abandoned by both the government and Hutu rebels. In the most serious fighting since a power-sharing agreement between Tutsi and Hutu began last November, the Burundi army said it had killed more than 200 Hutu rebels in two weeks. Most of the rebels were killed at Gitega, 100 km east of the capital Bujumbura, where 152 rebels died, according to a military spokesman. The army said that rebel Forces for the Defense of Democracy entered Burundi from Tanzania.
Seven policemen were killed in a suspected rebel attack in India's northeastern state of Assam. Police said militants ambushed an armed police convoy in the central district of North Cachar Hills, spraying it with automatic gunfire. An unknown number of other policemen were injured. No group claimed responsibility for the attack but police said that they suspected the Dimasa Halam Dago, a group that is fighting for a separate homeland in central Assam. In the neighboring Cachar district the United Liberation Front of Assam claimed to have killed eight soldiers and injured 15 in an earlier attack.
A lawyer for the British-born militant sentenced to death for the kidnap and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl filed an apeal challenging his conviction. After a trial held in secret, an antiterrorism court in Hyderabad sentenced Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh to death by hanging. Sheikh's lawyer, Abdul Waheed Katpar, said the verdict had been based on "provenly planted evidence." The three other defendants in the case, Salman Saqib, Fahad Naseem and Sheikh Adil, were given life sentences. Their lawyer asked Sindh High Court to overturn their convictions, which he said were based on flimsy evidence.
The main Islamic opposition party, Pas (Parti Islam se-Malaysia), retained one of the two seats it was fighting in the northern state of Kedah. The vote was seen as inconclusive on support for strict Islamic laws and punishments including flogging and amputation that Pas recently enacted in neighboring Terengganu state ahead of a national election that could be next year. Pas narrowly beat a member of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's United Malays National Organization to win the state assembly seat.
An Irish backpacker, Jonathan O'Shea, was charged with helping two boys flee the troubled Woomera detention center in South Australia. The boys whose asylum bid was rejected by the British consulate in Melbourne were handed over to police and then flown back to Woomera. Australia's Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said 14-year-old Alamdar Bakhtiyari and his brother Muntazer, 12, were neither refugees nor from Afghanistan, but Pakistanis whose father lived in
The U.S. Congress released a report listing failings by the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) before Sept. 11. The
report said that CIA officials had not taken advantage of new powers that allowed
them to use the services of unsavory characters or "foreign assets" in the
language of the report. It also said that the cia did not pay enough attention
to language training and, as a result, fewer than a third of the officers
who needed foreign language skills were proficient in them. The FBI was accused
of not putting enough emphasis on the prevention of terrorism.
The Tussle for Parsley Island
A dispute between Spain and Morocco over a tiny island known to Spain as Perejil (parsley) came to a head with Spain recalling its ambassador and sending troops to seize the island 200 m off Morocco's coast. Later Spain offered to remove its troops if Morocco guaranteed it would not reoccupy the island. Perejil, known to Morocco as Leila, was unheard of till Moroccan troops landed on the uninhabited rock. Spain's concern for Perejil comes from its position near Spain's North African enclave Ceuta.
17 November Cracked
Greek authorities detained a 58-year-old math professor suspected of being the leader, and a founder member, of the terrorist group Revolutionary Organization 17 November. The group's alleged mastermind, Michalis Economou, was captured by police who stormed his home island of Lipsi, 250 km east of Athens. The professor's real name is believed to be Alexandros Giotopolous. The authorities were led to him by 17 November terrorists who confessed in return for lighter sentences. Police also confirmed that a gun confiscated from a 17 November safe house was the Colt .45 revolver used to kill a British diplomat in June 2000.
Good Vibrations For Babar Fans
Convinced of elephantine intelligence, scientists in Namibia have discovered that
despite their big ears elephants may talk and listen to each other with
their feet. Ground tremors travel up to six km further than even the lowest rumbles
letting elephants make trunk calls.