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World Briefs

October 5, 1995
Web posted at: 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT)

Bill Clinton

Clinton to open communications with Cuba

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Important changes are just ahead in U.S. relations with Cuba. In a speech Friday on global policy, President Clinton is expected to loosen some long-standing restrictions on communications with the communist nation.

The president will outline steps allowing for more frequent student exchange programs and the establishment of U.S. news bureaus in Cuba. The steps will also allow the Cuban media to set up shop on U.S. soil.

CNN will cover the president's speech live on Friday at 9:30 a.m. EDT.



U.S./Iraq flags

Iraq accuses United States of political bias

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Iraq's Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al- Sahaf accused the United States of putting political objectives before its quest for peace.

The foreign minister said the United States intentionally misinterpreted U.N. resolutions for sanctions against Baghdad. In an address to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, al-Sahaf also called for a dialogue with states in the Middle East, but did not give specifics.

The minister spent most of his speech refuting terms of the sanctions, imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. He outlined the measures Baghdad had taken to implement a Security Council Resolution. The resolution called for a Gulf cease- fire and outlined terms for lifting the embargoes.

One key requirement for lifting the oil embargo is for Iraq to scrap and disclose its weapons of mass destruction. The United States, however, has said Iraq needed to adhere to other requirements as well.

The Iraqi minister said Washington forced the Security Council to keep stringent sanctions intact no matter how much Iraq cooperated with post-Gulf War resolutions.



Warren Christopher

Syria and Israel peace talks stall

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Talks between U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara have failed to break a deadlock in the peace negotiations between Syria and Israel.

The foreign minister said Thursday discussions to find way to resume the peace talks will continue.

Al-Shara accused Israel of rescinding previously agreed upon principles for security arrangements. He emphasized Syria's opposition to any Israeli military presence on the Golan Heights, which was Syrian territory until it was seized by Israel in the 1967 war.

Al-Shara told reporters any Israeli ground presence on the Golan Heights would be "in contradiction" of the previously agreed upon principles. "Syria believes there can never be a just, comprehensive peace in the region without full withdrawal of Israel from the Golan Heights to the line of June 4, 1967, and from south of Lebanon," he said.

Although no agreement was reached to resume negotiations with Israel, al-Shara said his talks with Christopher were constructive. Al-Shara said Syria remains committed to pursuing peace with Israel.



Map

French troops leave Comoros Islands after thwarting coup

MORONI, Comoros Islands (CNN) -- France says its troops will start leaving the Comoros Islands on Friday. On Wednesday, about 600 French soldiers put down a coup in the Comoros led by French mercenary Bob Denard.

France's foreign ministry says Denard is being held under an international arrest warrant and will be tried once he returns to French soil. Denard surrendered to French troops on Thursday.

In 1993, a French court gave Denard a suspended jail sentence for his role in another African coup. French officials say he violated court orders that barred him from leaving France without permission.

The Comoros Islands are a groups of volcanic islands in the Mozambique Channel, northwest of Madagascar.



Japan seeks change in agreement on U.S. military personnel

meeting in Japan

TOKYO (CNN) -- Hoping to quell public anger after last month's rape of an Okinawan schoolgirl, allegedly by U.S. servicemen, Japan asked Thursday that an agreement covering Japan-based U.S. troops be rewritten, a Tokyo official said. The Japanese government wants local police to immediately take custody of Americans accused of crimes in Japan.

The current accord protects U.S. troops from arrest by Japanese police and allows U.S. authorities to detain suspects until their indictment by Japanese officials.


Irish poet wins Nobel Prize for literature

Nobel prize winner

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (CNN) -- Irish poet and essayist Seamus Heaney has been awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize for literature. Heaney, 56, was given the prize "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past." Heaney, born in Northern Ireland but living in Dublin, was awarded the $1 million prize by the Swedish Academy of Letters.

His works describe the pain of religious divisions in Northern Ireland and the joy of growing up in a Roman Catholic farming family. In London, Heaney's publisher said the poet was on vacation in Greece and probably did not know he had won.

Text of selected Heaney poems


Police joggers killed in hit-run

Phillipines map

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines (CNN) -- Twelve police recruits were killed and 18 injured when a truck crashed into them while they were on a pre-dawn endurance run Thursday, police said. The recruits were on a hilly track when the truck, speeding downhill, slammed into them from behind after ignoring signals to slow down, police said. Police were searching for the driver of the truck, who did not stop after the incident.



Government forces shell Sri Lanka rebels

map of Sri Lanka

JAFFNA PENINSULA, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka said they were being heavily shelled by government forces in the fourth day of heavy fighting on the Jaffna Peninsula.

The army's "operation thunder strike" began Sunday, with a massive attack against rebel positions. The army says at least three hundred people have died in the offensive, 240 on Tuesday alone. Some said it was the deadliest day so far in the 12-year-long conflict. The Tamils are fighting for a separate homeland in the north and east.

The conflict intensified in April, when a cease-fire fell apart.


Kenya refuses to cooperate with Rwandan inquiry

flags of Kenya and Rwanda

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Kenya's President Daniel arap Moi said Wednesday his country would not cooperate with an international tribunal seeking to bring those responsible for last year's slaughter of Tutsis in Rwanda.

According to Reuters, Moi said, "Kenya will not honor any summons issued for suspects by the international tribunal in connection with the Rwanda killings. Any member of the international tribunal who comes to Kenya to pursue those people they claim participated in the genocide will be arrested on arrival."

Moi wants the investigation to focus first on the plane crash that triggered problems in Rwanda. Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundi's Cyprien Ntaryamira died in the crash.



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