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Archive for Monday, June 10, 2002

Briefly

June 10, 2002

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Northern Ireland: Barricade raised in riot-torn area

British army engineers on Sunday began heightening a barricade between Catholic and Protestant communities in east Belfast in hopes of deterring more riots in the area.

The Short Strand district of east Belfast has suffered weeklong clashes between rival mobs that left five people wounded by gunfire and dozens more, chiefly police officers, injured by thrown rocks, bricks and gasoline bombs.

Army engineers said that it might take a few weeks to double the height of the Short Strand walls, which currently stand about 4 yards tall, small in comparison to other districts scarred by sectarian clashes.

France: Conservatives to take control of parliament

President Jacques Chirac's conservative forces appeared set to seize control of France's parliament following a commanding victory Sunday in a first-round election, partial results showed.

The extreme right, meanwhile, suffered a setback in Sunday's vote, which came more than a month after its leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, stunned the country with his strong showing in presidential elections.

With 75 percent of the vote counted, the Interior Ministry said Chirac's coalition of mainstream right parties won 33.2 percent of the vote in the race for France's National Assembly. The Socialists and their allies won about 25.8 percent. Le Pen's National Front received 11 percent of the vote. Le Pen was not a candidate. The remaining votes went to smaller parties.

Voter turnout was at a record low, as many in France were weary of frequent elections and distracted by soccer's World Cup.

Canada: Accused imposter posed as rescuer

A man accused of impersonating an Army officer and taking control of rescue efforts after a bridge collapse in Oklahoma was arrested Sunday by Canadian police.

Ontario Provincial Police arrested William Clark, 29, of Tallapoosa, Mo., on fraud and theft charges Sunday as he waited to board a ferry in Tobermory, Canada.

Clark was wanted by the FBI for showing up in Webbers Falls, Okla., within two hours of the Interstate 40 bridge collapse over the Arkansas River, and claiming he was a captain with U.S. Special Forces.

Clark is accused of getting free food, lodging and transportation by impersonating a military officer.

Iran: Torture ban rejected

A hard-line Iranian body has rejected a parliamentary bill banning torture to obtain prisoner confessions, according to newspaper reports on Sunday.

The Guardian Council, a 12-member constitutional watchdog, rejected the bill as unconstitutional and contrary to Islamic sharia law.

The bill proposes to ban the solitary confinement of detainees and torture either physical or psychological to obtain confessions, the daily Nowruz newspaper reported.

The reformist-dominated parliament passed the bill last month.

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