World briefs 12A

Sunday, November 3, 2002

Protesters demand extradition of rebel envoy

MOSCOW -- Russian lawmakers turned up the pressure on Denmark on Saturday, demonstrating outside the country's embassy to warn the small Scandinavian nation Moscow will not drop its demand for the extradition of a detained Chechen rebel envoy.

Akhmed Zakayev, a top aide to Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov, was arrested Wednesday in Denmark at Russia's request on suspicion of helping plan terrorist activities, including last month's 58-hour seizure of a packed Moscow theater which resulted in the deaths of 119 hostages.

The Danish justice minister told Russia on Friday that Copenhagen needed more evidence to extradite Zakayev. A spokesman for Russia's Prosecutor General's Office said Saturday that more material was being prepared.

Asian leaders to show they can control terrorism

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- Southeast Asian leaders prepared Saturday for an annual summit at which they hope to send a clear message to the world that the region is capable of controlling terrorism.

Only a day earlier, the State Department warned that terrorist groups may be planning attacks at Southeast Asia restaurants, hotels, beaches, and other sites visited by Westerners.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has promised that the 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will be safe during the summit.

The meetings are being billed as the largest international gathering in modern Cambodian history. Cambodian officials hope they will symbolize the country's return to a respected position in international society.

Police arrest 5, foil Posh Spice kidnap plot

LONDON -- Police arrested five people Saturday for allegedly plotting to kidnap Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, Scotland Yard said.

Police said officers had arrested four men and one woman they believed were part of the conspiracy to kidnap Beckham -- whose husband is England soccer captain David Beckham -- after the News of the World tabloid tipped them off. The arrests came during two raids in London, police said.

While Scotland Yard did not officially say that Victoria Beckham, Posh Spice in the band the Spice Girls, was the plotters' intended victim, a police spokeswoman privately confirmed she was.

Israel's ex-army chief accepts defense post

JERUSALEM -- Israel's former army chief of staff accepted the job of defense minister Saturday, after the post became vacant with the resignation last week of Labor Party leader Binyamin Ben-Eliezer from the coalition government.

Shaul Mofaz's appointment by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is to be put before Israel's parliament for confirmation on Monday, Sharon's office said in a statement.

Mofaz has a reputation as a hard-liner and oversaw the army's crackdown against the Palestinian uprising for most of the past two years. He also has advocated exiling Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

-- From wire reports

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