World briefs 11/19/02

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Land mine explodes under bus in India

HYDERABAD, India -- A land mine exploded under a passenger bus Monday as it carried about 35 people through a dense forest in southern India, possibly killing all aboard, police said.

The bus was completely destroyed and police had no word on survivors. The incident happened about 125 miles north of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh state.

Officials blamed the leftist People's War Group, and suggested they mistook the state transport bus for a police convoy.

The group, which claims to be inspired by the communist ideology of Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong and Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, mostly targets rich landowners, police and government officials.

Chinese art show removes work based on spy plane

BEIJING -- It was plane, but it wasn't quite so simple.

An artwork inspired by a U.S. spy plane that collided with a Chinese fighter jet has been removed from an art show in southern China on orders from culture officials. The artist says the piece has been all but destroyed.

Chinese officials wouldn't explain why they removed Huang Yongping's work, which already had been installed for the Guangzhou Triennial at the Guangdong Province Art Museum. Huang accused officials of acting under U.S. pressure; the U.S. Embassy in Beijing denied any involvement.

Huang, who works in Paris, said he spent a week assembling the 50-foot-long piece depicting a section of the crippled American plane before receiving a notice Friday that officials had refused permission to exhibit it. He said museum staff ripped it apart during the weekend and swept clean the area where it had stood outside the building.

Eurostar employees fear terrorism aboard trains

PARIS -- To passengers, Eurostar is modern miracle, whisking them between Paris and London in three comfort-filled hours. But to Eurostar workers who went on strike Monday to protest what they say is lax security, the high-speed trains are terror targets waiting to be struck.

About 100 stewards and others who work aboard Eurostar rallied at Paris' Gare du Nord train station, and dozens blocked rail lines for several hours, disrupting services before police dislodged them. Most strikers work for a firm that provides catering services for Eurostar.

Their union, the French Confederation of Christian Workers, said the strike was for better security and higher pay.

Union representatives said they feared terrorists could attack the trains, which zoom through the Channel Tunnel that links France and Britain. Guaranteeing security of the 31-mile tunnel and trains that use it has been a priority since it opened in 1994.

Abba Eban, 'saving voice' of Israel, is buried

JERUSALEM -- Abba Eban was buried Monday, remembered as Israel's first voice on the world stage, whose eloquence and wit inspired support for the Jewish state in its perilous first decades.

A day after Eban died at the age of 87, several hundred relatives, friends and colleagues attended his funeral in Kfar Shmaryahu, a suburb of Tel Aviv, where Eban lived. His coffin was surrounded by an honor guard and covered with a black cloth and an Israeli flag.

"Abba Eban was unique ... in the history of Israel ... He was the saving voice of Israel in its most difficult hours," former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, a colleague for decades, said in a eulogy. "He raised his people's cry for peace at home and abroad equally.

"He was an orator of the highest order, one of the finest speakers in the entire world. His powers of persuasion brought Israel generations of supporters and thousands of devotees," Peres said.

The Cambridge-educated Eban was Israel's first U.N. ambassador -- at the age of 31 -- and his powerful speeches and behind-the-scenes persuasion helped Israel gain the necessary two-thirds majority when the General Assembly approved the creation of the Jewish state in 1947.

-- From wire reports

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