Archive for Sunday, September 2, 2001

World Briefs

September 2, 2001


Scotland: Queen Mother misses Highland Games

The 101-year-old Queen Mother Elizabeth missed Scotland's most famous Highland Games on Saturday after being warned by her doctors that she must rest.

Hopes had been high that the much-loved mother of Queen Elizabeth II would be able to attend the annual Braemar Gathering, but doctors recommended she stay at home on the royal family's Scottish estate Balmoral.

Last month she was hospitalized in London for a blood transfusion to treat anemia.

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and Prince William all attended the games.

Highland Games traditionally involve feats of strength, including caber-tossing the throwing of long, heavy poles hammer-throwing and shot-putting, along with Highland dancing.

Afghanistan: Foreign aid workers expelled by Taliban

About two dozen foreign aid workers on Saturday left Afghanistan, expelled by the Taliban for allegedly preaching Christianity in this devoutly Muslim nation.

The expulsions came as the parents of two American women also accused of proselytizing met for a second time with their jailed daughters. They said the women, Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, were still in good spirits as they awaited their trial.

The workers expelled Saturday were from the international aid organization SERVE and the U.S.-based International Assistance Mission. They were ordered out of the country but were not tried.

The groups' offices were shut down Friday by the Taliban, Afghanistan's hard-line rulers.

The penalty for proselytizing Christianity in Afghanistan is jail and expulsion for a foreigner. For an Afghan, the penalty is death.

Germany: Soccer hooligans fight before match

Soccer fans fought Saturday in Munich near a train station and wrecked a downtown beer hall, smashing windows, table and chairs before a key World Cup qualifying game between Germany and England.

A street near the station was closed after 100 police officers broke up fighting between hundreds of German and English fans.

"It was a lot of people involved but the mood in the city is getting noticeably more aggressive," Munich police spokeswoman Andrea Hartenberger said.

Fans from the two countries have a long history of violence. The most recent clash was in Charleroi, Belgium, during the 2000 European Championship.

Liberia: Church's lawsuit alleges free-speech violations

Catholic Church leaders in Liberia are suing the government for banning shortwave broadcasts by church-run Radio Veritas, calling it a violation of constitutionally guaranteed free speech.

Liberia's government has yet to respond to the lawsuit, but an official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Friday that authorities were assembling a team of "crack lawyers" to fight the suit.

The government in July withdrew the station's authorization to broadcast on shortwave frequencies.

The move leaves a pro-government station, Radio Liberia, as the only one transmitting news via shortwave that can be heard outside the country.

President Charles Taylor last week told journalists, "The use of shortwave is a privilege, not a right. Privileges can be granted or denied."

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