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AIM Morning NEWS for Friday, June 09, 2000


ATHENS, Greece,June 9, 2000 (AFP)

The Greek urban guerrilla group November 17 claimed responsibility Friday for the assassination of the British embassy defence attache, Stephen Saunders, saying they killed the diplomat for his role in NATO attacks on Serbia last year, police said.

The group sent its claim of the murder to the independent leftist daily Eleftherotypia as it had often done in the past, a police source said.


KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, June 9, 2000 (Agence France Presse)

A Kosovo Serb leader, Oliver Ivanovic, said Thursday that recent anti-Serb violence had been ordered by the command structure the theoretically defunct Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

Ivanovic, who is the leader of the Serbian community in the divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica, made his comments after a meeting with EU security and foreign policy chief Javier Solana in the town. "I told Mr. Solana that we were waiting for these attacks, we had foreseen them, and that I believe KLA structures were behind them," Ivanovic said.

The KLA was declared demilitarized by the UN in September 1999. It was disarmed and renamed Kosovo Protection Corps, conceived as a civilian emergency service. Serbs have said the switch was largely meaningless.

Anti-Serb violence in Kosovo has been on the increase in the past two weeks. A series of attacks left eight dead and a further eight wounded last week, and six Serbs were injured in a grenade attack on Tuesday.

Following the complete withdrawal of Yugoslav armed forces from Kosovo in June 1999, UN Security Council resolution 1244 foresaw the return of several hundred Yugoslav police and army personnel.


PRISTINA, June 9, 2000 (BBC)

UN chief Kofi Annan has condemned anti-Serb violence in Kosovo - a year after peacekeepers were sent into the province. In a report to the Security Council, Mr. Annan said recent vicious attacks on Serbs and other minorities appeared to be part of an orchestrated campaign by ethnic Albanian extremists.

He said the international community had not intervened in the province to make it a haven for revenge and crime. His views were echoed by the US special envoy to the Balkans, James O'Brien, who described the killing of eight Serbs in the past week alone as "systematic". "We believe that those responsible should be brought to justice as soon as possible," he said.

Mr Annan said much in Kosovo had changed for the better in the year since the Security Council authorized the Nato-led peacekeeping force to move in. He cited the return of more than 800,000 refugees, the reconstruction of homes and an economy which shows signs of a vibrant recovery. But he said a recent upsurge in violence had undermined the Serbs' confidence in the future.


PRISTINA, June 9, 2000 (I-Net)

Hashim Thaqi, former leader of Liberation Army of Kosovo and Ibrahim Rugova, President of Democratic Kosovo union condemned yesterday the wave of violence against Serbs in the province. Thaqi and Rugova gave announcements after conversation with James O' Brien, special Balkans adviser of American's President, in which they call for peace and tolerance, Reuters reports.

During the last week eight Serbs were murder in the province.


PRISTINA, June 9, 2000 (I-Net)

Dzvedet Makoli was murdered yesterday around 15:00 near the District Court in Pristina. He was the bodyguard of one of Kosovo Albanians' leaders, Ibrahim Rugova, according to the Pristina's Albanian media.

According to the eyewitnesses he was killed by members of the extremist "Skipteri" (Eagles) group.


BELGRADE, June 9, 2000 (BETA)

Dragoljub Jankovic, Serbian Minister of Justice, stated that the new law against terrorism would soon be brought and estimated that it is to be one of the world's best antiterrorist laws, Belgrade's daily "Politika" writes today.


BERLIN, Germany, June 9, 2000 (Deutsche welle)

The German lower house of parliament has voted by a big majority to approve an indefinite extension of its contribution to the peacekeeping force in the Kosovo province of Yugoslavia. Germany's opposition conservatives have insisted on an annual renewal of the mandate for the more than 5,000 German peacekeepers, sent in wake of the NATO alliance war against Yugoslavia last year over Kosovo province.

Deputies voted to prolong the German force in Kosovo after a debate in which both Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping rallied broad support. Only the reformed Communist PDS voted against the extension.


BELGRADE, June 9, 2000 (BETA)

FR Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milosevic will not come to Montenegrin harbour Kumbor for the celebration of the War Navy's Day, Zoran Zizic, President of Socialist People Party stated. "Milosevic will definitely come to Montenegro, but not on this occasion", Zizic said in a statement for today's edition of daily "Glas javnosti".


MOSCOW, Russia, June 9, 2000 (BETA)

The Moscow Komersant daily reported on June 8 that a special group, authorized by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, had assembled a new Yugoslav constitution according to which the federation, which consists of Serbia and Montenegro, would be abolished and divided into eight cantons, and Milosevic allowed to stay in office for 20 more years.

The paper quoted well-informed diplomatic sources as saying that Milosevic had "secretly authorized" a group in May to draw up a new Yugoslav constitution. The group allegedly includes presidential advisor Vladan Kutlesic, deputy Serbian premier Ratko Markovic, and Zoran Zizic and Srdja Bozovic from Montenegro.

The Komersant said the group met with Milosevic at his residence at the beginning of June, giving him a draft version of the new constitution envisaging the equality of all citizens and the division of the country into eight cantons: Vojvodina, Belgrade, Montenegro, Kosovo, Eastern Serbia, Southern Serbia, Western Serbia and Sumadija.

According to the Moscow daily, the new constitution would allow Milosevic to extend his rule by 20 more years, because it makes the Yugoslav president eligible for five five-year presidential terms.


SKOPJE, MACEDONIA, Wednesday, 7 June (Reuters)

Macedonia said Wednesday it was increasing its military presence on the border with Kosovo because of recent frontier incidents and illegal crossings.

Government spokesman Antonio Milososki said military equipment and vehicles would be brought in, paving the way for an official government order next week of increased military readiness. "We will no longer tolerate any illegal crossings on the border. We must protect our border, our citizens and provide security,'' Milososki told reporters. "Because of this, by June 15 Macedonia will give an official order for raised military readiness.''

Monday, Macedonia said two border guards were wounded by sniper fire from inside Kosovo. It was the second incident in two months on Macedonia's border with Kosovo.

In Brussels, a NATO spokesman said the alliance condemned the attacks on Macedonian border guards and was committed to helping Skopje strengthen security at the border. He said NATO Secretary General George Robertson had received a letter from President Boris Trajkovski seeking possible NATO assistance on border security matters.


UNITED NATIONS, June 9 (Deutsche welle)

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved on Thursday a six-month extension of the Iraq oil-for-food programme. The programme allows Iraq to sell unlimited quantities of oil, under U.N. supervision, to buy humanitarian supplies. It is intended to offset the impact of stringent U.N. sanctions imposed when Baghdad's troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990.

A key requirement for lifting or easing sanctions is a full accounting by Iraq of its major weapons programmes. But U.N. arms inspectors have not been allowed back into the country since they left shortly before a U.S.-British bombing campaign in December 1998.


MOSCOW, Russia, June 9, 2000 (Independent)

What should have been a perfunctory extension by the Security Council of the U.N. humanitarian program in Iraq erupted into an acrimonious debate early Friday over the impact of sanctions and American and British airstrikes in Iraq's no-fly zones.

Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov took the floor of the council chamber three times, delivering a bristling critique of the sanctions, the U.S. and British air patrols and the council's overall failure to solve the Iraq crisis after 10 years.

He was joined in his criticism by the deputy Chinese ambassador Shen Guofang, who decried the impact of the U.S. and British airstrikes but expressed some optimism that a study authorized by the council Thursday night would assess the humanitarian impact that the airstrikes have caused. "These bombings have caused suffering," Shen said.

The debate came in a meeting to pass a British-French resolution to keep the U.N. relief program running for another six months before it expired at midnight.

British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock said the no-fly zone patrols were authorized under resolutions calling for the protection of Iraqi minorities. And the deputy American ambassador, James Cunningham, said it was "disingenuous" to suggest that the limited airstrikes impact the overall humanitarian situation in Iraq.


KIEV, Ukraine, June 9, 2000 (Deutsche welle)

Ukraine's parliament has abolished the death penalty, a move the former Soviet republic had long promised to make after joining the Council of Europe in 1995. The council's charta excludes capital punishment. Ukrainian parliamentarians voted 274 in favour of abolition, with 118 abstentions and no objections.

Since 1997 Ukraine has had a moratorium on executions, and last year its constitutional court ruled against the death penalty.

Rome city and anti-execution campaigners plan to bath the ancient Colosseum in golden light on Friday to celebrate a decision by the governor of the U.S. state of Maryland to spare a death row prisoner, Eugene Colvin-El. The amphitheatre has already been illuminated 12 times since January.

 CONFLICT IN SOLOMON ISLANDS HOLDS =================================

SYDNEY, Australia, June 9, 2000 (AFP)

A truce between warring factions in the Solomon Islands conflict was holding Friday ahead of the arrival on Saturday of a Commonwealth mission seeking a formula to avert civil war.

The delegation, to be led by Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, was due to leave Australia for the Solomons capital, Honiara, on an RAAF VIP jet Friday, but its departure was delayed for undisclosed reasons.


WARSAW, Poland, June 9, 2000 (Reuters)

After years of heated debate, Poland removed the last hurdle on Thursday to a scheme to open up the files of the communist-era security police.

Parliament took the final step by appointing a chief of the National Memory Institute, similar to the Gauck agency in former East Germany which oversaw the unveiling of personal files held by the Stasi police.

Deputies had been divided for months over who should hold the politically sensitive post, but ended their quarrels on Thursday by electing Leon Kieres, a lawyer and independent senator. "Ten years after the fall of communism, Poles will finally be allowed to view files gathered on them by the SB police," said Piotr Zak, spokesman of the ruling Solidarity bloc (AWS).

The liberal Freedom Union party (UW) quit the ruling coalition on Tuesday but voted along with Solidarity to elect Kieres.


PRAGUE, Czech Republic, June 9, 2000 (CTK - Czech News Agency)

Students are allegedly offered money if they take part in demonstrations against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) session to be held in Prague in September, the daily Lidove noviny writes today, referring to Interior Ministry spokeswoman Gabriela Bartikova. "We have received signals about recruiting at schools. Students are even offered money for participation in demonstrations," she tells the daily.

The recruiting takes places in schools both in Prague and outside Prague, she adds. The Prague police, who have addressed some grammar schools, confirmed this information. "Around 200 crowns are allegedly offered," a grammar school deputy head, Jan Vorreth, says, adding, however, that the police did not give a precise figure.

The IFM-WB session is to take place in Prague's Congress Centre the last week in September. It is to be attended by about 18,000 official guests. Around 20,000 globalization opponents are expected to arrive in Prague to take part in protest demonstrations. The police are going to deploy 11,000 police officers to keep order in the city.


FBI, June 9, 2000 (CBS)

The FBI will meet with experts from a security company Friday to discuss the firm's discovery that hackers have embedded a malicious program disguised as a movie clip on 2,000 commercial and home computers, positioning themselves to launch an attack designed to shut down Web sites.

Even computers at some large computer companies were penetrated by the hackers, according to Network Security Technologies (NETSEC). The hackers, who used the nicknames "Serbian" and "Badman," tested their network of infected computers Wednesday night and could launch an attack at any time, NETSEC said. The file planted by the hackers looks like a movie clip but essentially turns the infected computer into a "zombie" machine that the hackers can control, NETSEC said. When the fake movie clip is activated, the malicious program called "Serbian Badman Trojan" runs without any visible clues to the user. The program sends passwords, network details and other information to the hackers.

NETSEC said it alerted the Justice Department on Thursday about its discovery, and provided the government a list of 2,000 computers worldwide that have been infected with the malicious program.


Morning news edited by Nikola Stan and Vladimir Bradic AIM,
Belgrade, June 9, 200013:30


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