EU defense ministers reaffirm '03 deadline for...


EU defense ministers reaffirm '03 deadline for security force

SINTRA, Portugal -- European Union defense ministers endorsed a timetable yesterday for creating a security force to enable Europeans to defuse crises beyond their borders without American troops.

The ministers reiterated their pledge to create the rapid reaction force of 50,000 to 60,000 soldiers by 2003. However, no nation stepped forward to contribute to the force, and officials said a "contributors' conference" will not be held until later this year.

Beyond the commitment to lessen reliance on U.S. diplomacy and firepower to quell European conflicts, money was an issue. The ministers acknowledged that success of a credible European security stance hinges on adequate funding.

Cuban deported from U.S. to Canada will have to leave

OTTAWA -- A Cuban diplomat expelled from the United States on allegations of spying and deported to Canada over the weekend cannot stay in Canada, a government official said yesterday.

"He has been accepted to Canada and is legally here, but he does not have diplomatic status in Canada and therefore has to abide by the conditions of his transit visa," said Michael O'Shaughnessy, Canadian Foreign Affairs Department spokesman.

The diplomat, Jose Imperatori, the former vice consul of Cuba's Interests Section in Washington, was deported to Canada on Saturday by U.S. authorities and was maintaining a hunger strike at the Cuban Embassy in Ottawa yesterday to protest the expulsion.

Kissinger to advise leader of Indonesia about politics

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger threw his weight behind Indonesia's democratic and market reforms yesterday, accepting a job as political adviser to Indonesia's president.

Calling himself a "patriotic American," Kissinger said he would gladly assist in the Southeast Asian nation's transition to democracy, consulting with President Abdurrahman Wahid at least once a year on political and social policy.

The appointment appeared to be a gesture by Wahid aimed at boosting international confidence in his reform program.

Two killed, five injured by stones thrown at cars

DARMSTADT, Germany -- Assailants threw stones at cars from a pedestrian bridge over a highway in Darmstadt, 12 miles south of Frankfurt, killing two people and injuring five, police said. Stones hit six cars in about 15 minutes late Sunday.

900 ice fishermen rescued from floes in Russian lake

MOSCOW -- Rescuers brought more than 900 ice fishermen to shore from drifting floes in Europe's largest lake, Lake Ladoga, but six people drowned as the ice broke up, the Emergency Situations Ministry said yesterday.

Russian television showed small groups of fishermen desperately clinging to diminishing slabs of ice as helicopters whirred overhead trying to winch them to safety.

Ice fishing is popular in Russia for sport and as a food source, and thousands of anglers become stranded on drifting floes every year. Many of them are carried out to sea before rescuers can reach them.

Rescue of injured explorer trapped in cave is delayed

GRENOBLE, France -- An injured cave explorer trapped in a passage more than 500 feet underground will probably have to wait until midweek before rescuers can bring her out, officials said yesterday.

The woman, whose arm is broken in two places, was stuck in a tight passage of the Tanne des Crolleurs cave after a landslide Saturday. The cave is near the town of Aillon-le-Vieux in the Alpine region of Savoie.

A doctor and several firefighters reached the injured woman Sunday night after crawling more than a mile from the cave's entrance. Rescue workers and police said some passages would have to be dynamited to make room to carry her out. The rescue could take two to three days, they said.

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