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Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2001

World briefs

April 29, 2001

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Singapore

Pro-democracy rally attracts 2,000 people

Two thousand people attended an anti-government rally Saturday at an outdoor sports stadium in Singapore the first event of its kind since the tightly controlled city-state became independent 35 years ago.

Speaker after speaker denounced the ruling People's Action Party and demanded civil liberty for Singaporeans, who enjoy one of Asia's highest standards of living but who live under some of the world's strictest laws.

The rally was to show support and raise funds for Joshua Jeyaretnam, who faces ouster from the 93-seat Parliament. His is one of only three seats held by the opposition.

Argentina

Editor, businessman dead in plane crash

The president of the multinational Techint construction group and a top editor at the Argentine newspaper La Nacion were killed Saturday in a small plane crash along with eight others, authorities said.

Agostino Rocca, 56, president of the Buenos Aires-headquartered Techint group, and German Sopena, 54, a journalist and editor at La Nacion, were killed instantly in the crash, authorities said.

The Cessna 15-seater plane, carrying two crew and eight passengers, had left Don Torcuato, north of Buenos Aires, on an early morning flight Saturday when it crashed in countryside 120 miles southwest of Buenos Aires. There were no survivors.

The air force said the plane was on a flight to Trelew in southern Argentina at the time. Authorities say the plane was found in farming country near the scene of flooding.

Turkey

Hunger strikers weaken

Eight hundred leftist Turkish prisoners, relatives and sympathizers have been on a prolonged hunger strike to put pressure on the government to improve conditions in the country's brutal prisons.

At least 19 of the protesters have died since March 21. Yet there is little public sympathy for the strikers as the nation grapples with the effects of a financial crisis.

The hunger strikers have vowed to keep up their "death fast" until Turkey's leftist coalition government, led by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, meets their demands.

Hopes of a breakthrough came Thursday, when a parliamentary committee approved a set of draft amendments to the country's anti-terror laws.

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