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June 5, 2001
Decision time for E Timor refugees
refugees Thousands of police and soldiers have been deployed in the Indonesian province of West Timor, to safeguard refugees from the eastern half of the island, who are due on Wednesday to choose whether they wish to return home or remain in Indonesia. At least a quarter of a million people from East Timor were transported across the border following the vote for independence almost two years ago. BBC News

Florida vote criticised
Blacks in Florida were nearly 10 times as likely as whites to have their ballots rejected in the American presidential election last year, a report by the US Commission on Civil Rights has found. The report has harsh criticism for Florida Governor Jeb Bush - the president's younger brother - and Secretary of State Katherine Harris but does not accuse them of conspiring to exclude voters.
BBC News

Some facts behind the Palestinian - Israeli Conflict
There are more than 3.7 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East and many more worldwide - and they want the right to go home. The Palestinians say their diaspora - uprooted from their homes ever since 1948 and scattered around the globe - is the greatest and most enduring refugee problem in the world. BBC News

Philippines rejects kidnappers' demand for Muslim state
Government forces in the Philippines have clashed with Abu Sayyaf Muslim rebels who are holding a number of hostages on the southern island of Basilan. The fighting comes amid reports that the rebels have made contact with a government negotiator in an attempt to end the stand-off. Yahoo News

Bombs rock Kampala Ugandan
Three bombs have exploded in separate areas of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, injuring 17 people. Police said the explosions on Monday night were caused by home-made pipe bombs. Two of them had been put into taxis, and the third went off in a taxi park. Police say they have arrested three people in connection with the explosions. BBC News

Palestinian militants call ceasefire
Two Palestinian militant groups announce a conditional ceasefire in an apparent response to a call by Yasser Arafat. BBC News

June 4, 2001
Jamaica gang wars escalate, six dead in five days
KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) - Gunfire and small explosions rocked the west Kingston area of Jamaica's capital over the weekend, bringing the death toll to six in days of escalating gang warfare, police have said. Gunmen shot a 41-year-old man in the back as he walked down a street late on Sunday, killing him, police said. Two other men were wounded by gunfire, including a soldier, and another man had an arm blown off in an explosion. Gang warfare broke out three weeks ago, apparently triggered by the death of a local gang leader. Yahoo News

Ten killed in Bangladesh blast
Several people are still fighting for their lives after a powerful bomb blast in a Bangladesh church killed 10 people. The blast took place as about 70 people attended mass on Sunday in a Roman Catholic church in the village of Baniarchar in the Gopalganj district - 100km (62 miles) south of the capital, Dhaka. No-one has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, although Home Minister Mohammad Nasim blamed "anti-liberation fanatic forces", a term used for Islamic fundamentalists. BBC News

Chenjerai Hunzvi is dead
Chenjerai Hunzvi Zimbabwe's State media confirmed the death of Chenjerai Hunzvi a few hours ago, following days of rumours, but did not say what he died from. Chenjerai Hunzvi rose to prominence as head of Zimbabwe's War Veterans Association. The 51-year-old collapsed last month in a hotel in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city. Race and history

Jewish mass grave exhumed in Poland
Investigators in Poland have resumed exhuming the bodies of up to 1,600 Jews killed during a Second World War massacre, which has become the subject of heated historical controversy. A Polish state body, the National Remembrance Institute, began exhuming the remains in the north-eastern town of Jedwabne last week as part of its inquiries into the massacre. For years German Nazi troops were accused of locking the victims in a barn and burning them alive, but a Polish-Jewish historian, Jan Gross, last year published a new study blaming the town's non-Jewish Polish population for the massacre. BBC

King Dipendra of Nepal dies and a New king is crowned
Nepal's King Dipendra, who had been in a coma since shooting his entire immediate family after a palace argument Friday night, has died after being taken off life support systems, royal officials said this morning. The death of the 29-year-old Dipendra, who was formally declared king Saturday after his father's violent death, resolves a tense succession crisis that had mounted as palace officials, in deference to Dipendra's regal status, had tried to smooth over the palace massacre Sunday by claiming it was an accident. Following Dipendra's death, Prince Gyanendra, 54, the younger brother of the slain King Birendra, was proclaimed Nepal's permanent constitutional monarch by the State Council, according to state radio. Washington Post
Good Reasons to Worry About Nepal
CALCUTTA India and China are warily watching the buffer kingdom of Nepal after the massacre of most of the royal family. International Herald

June 3, 2001
Palestine Book 1: A Nation Occupied by Joe Sacco Exposing Israel: A Nation of Colonialists
Calling upon the occupier (in this case the Israeli army) to protect the occupied in times of conflict, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention, is similar to depending on a wolf to protect a herd of sheep. Since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in September 28, both the Israeli army and the Jewish settlers have been working in perfect harmony to suppress the uprising, to inflict harm and to punish the captive and largely unarmed Palestinian population. Palestine Chronicle

Anthony Quinn dies at 86
Oscar-winning actor Anthony Quinn, best known for roles in Zorba the Greek and Lawrence of Arabia, dies in a Boston hospital. BBC

Brittle Mid-East truce holds
Palestinian A Mid-East ceasefire is on a knife-edge, with Israel saying it will take further measures against Palestinian militants. BBC

Palestinian towns sealed off and border crossings closed in wake of suicide bombing as Arafat promises to work for ceasefire Scotland on Sunday
Times UK

June 2, 2001
Arafat orders immediate ceasefire
Yasser Arafat The Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, has ordered his security forces and Palestinian factions to implement an immediate ceasefire on attacks on Israeli targets. The order came a day after 19 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a nightclub in Tel Aviv.

In a written document Mr Arafat ordered the implementation of the ceasefire "in all sectors under the Palestinian Authority's control, even by force", a high-ranking Palestinian security official said.

Palestinian security said in a statement that contacts were under way with "the national and Islamic factions to obtain an immediate implementation of this decision". The statement was referring to the Palestinian movements, including Arafat's Fatah, and to the radical organisations Hamas and Islamic Jihad.


Hostages escape Philippines rebels
Three more hostages held by Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines for the past week have escaped during a military strike on guerrilla positions, officials said. The officials, in contact via radio with troops in the town of Lamitan on Basilan island, said an eight-year old boy, a man and a woman managed to escape from the Abu Sayyaf guerrillas. BBC >>

June 1, 2001
Indonesian province seeks self-rule
Papuan intellectuals think they have the solution. Their plan for "special autonomy" calls for a type of affirmative action to improve the welfare of native Papuans, as the locals call themselves.
In a dramatic break from the government structure centralized in Jakarta, autonomy would grant extensive new authority to the province, similar to the U.S. division of powers between the federal government and the states.
WT / Times UK

Nepal's king, queen, 7 others reportedly killed
A shootout inside the Narayanhiti Royal Palace on Friday left at least nine members of Nepal's royal family dead, including the king and queen, police and military sources said. Crown Prince Dipendra, 30, opened fire and shot all the members of the royal family including King Birendra, Queen Aiswarya and Prince Nirajan, the sources said. He later shot himself. According to the sources, the shooting was caused by a dispute over the marriage of the prince because his mother, the queen, reportedly objected to his choice of bride.

The crown prince, educated at Britain's Eton College, was heir to the throne. King Birendra, the constitutional monarch, was stripped of power in 1990 through a popular people's movement. BBC / Confusion reigns in Nepal

Israeli blast kills 17
At least 17 people are reported dead and over 60 injured in a suicide bomb attack in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. Though Israel claims they may have to reconsider their cease-fire, Israel did not implemented a cease-fire in the first place. The talk of cease-fire has been part of the Israeli propaganda war. The Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the bomb blast.BBC >>

Fighting resumes in CAR
Government forces in the Central African Republic are trying to put down renegade soldiers who tried to overthrow the president. BBC >>

'Hostages hit' in Philippines clash
Muslim extremists holding 20 hostages - including three Americans - clash with troops in the southern Philippines.
The militant Islamic group Abu Sayyaf is one of several guerrilla organisations involved in a resurgence of violence in the Philippines during the past year.
Previously a faction within the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), it split off in 1991 to pursue a more fundamentalist battle against the Philippine authorities.

It pulled off a major coup in 2000 when it kidnapped a group of foreign tourists from a Malaysian resort island.

The group operates in the south of the country, where other militants have been warring for almost 30 years for an Islamic state, independent of the mainly Christian Philippines.

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