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World digest 06/15/02

Saturday, June 15, 2002

U.S. requests expulsion of diplomat for spying

UNITED NATIONS -- The United States on Friday called for the expulsion of an Iraqi U.N. diplomat for "activities incompatible with his diplomatic status," a U.S. official said. Such language is diplomatic code for spying.

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations delivered a note to Iraq's U.N. Mission asking the diplomat to leave the United States by the end of the month. If he refuses to go, diplomatic sources said he would almost certainly be expelled.

Diplomatic sources identified the Iraqi as Abdul Rahman I.K. Saad, who reportedly was trying to recruit Americans. He has been at the mission for less than a year and specialized in economic matters, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

China rejects demand to release asylum-seeker

BEIJING -- China rejected South Korea's demand Friday to return a North Korean who sought asylum at Seoul's visa office in Beijing and criticized diplomats who were kicked and punched by police when they tried to intervene.

"China will not turn the person over to South Korea," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokes-man Liu Jianchao said. "The demand is unreasonable."

South Korea accused China of violating international law Thursday when Chinese guards entered the South Korean visa office where the man and his son had sought asylum. Police then kicked and knocked down South Korean diplomats who tried to block the guards. Police then took the man away.

Gunfire breaks out |n capital of Congo

BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of Congo -- Automatic gunfire erupted in the capital of the Republic of Congo on Friday as rebels launched their first attack on Brazzaville since restarting this West African nation's civil war in late March.

Col. Jean Robert Obargui, an army spokesman, said 52 rebels, four army officers and four civilians were killed during the attack, which had ended by midmorning.

State radio said at least 37 civilians were injured by cross fire. Government troops fought to oust the attackers from the southern end of the city.

Led by a renegade pastor, Frederic Bitsangou, the rebels call themselves the Ninjas after the ancient Japanese warriors. They are demanding a role in military and political decisions, and have refused to abide by a 1999 cease-fire.

The rebellion marks the largest threat to the 1999 cease-fire signed by Republic of Congo's rival militia and political factions, after three civil wars in the 1990s.

Jagger gets satisfaction from British knighthood

LONDON -- Mick Jagger, the rock 'n' roll bad boy who once outraged the British establishment with his wild lifestyle, was knighted on Saturday for his service to music.

Jagger, 58, will now be known officially as Sir Michael Philip Jagger. Also knighted were directors Trevor Nunn and Jonathan Miller, and painter Peter Blake. Playwright Harold Pinter received the prestigious companion of honor award.

Jagger said he was "delighted at the news." He also said his 4-year-old son, Gabriel, was a bit confused about his father's new title.

Jagger said his son told his class that his father was going to be knighted, and when the teacher asked, "What does that mean?" Gabriel said: "Well, he goes to the castle to see the king and gets to be a knight, and, from then on, gets to wear armor all the time."

-- From wire reports


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