Archive for Sunday, October 20, 2002


October 20, 2002


Ireland: Early returns show Irish back expansion of EU

Irish voters gave the go-ahead to a vast European Union expansion, reversing their rejection last year of the plan to push the EU to the borders of Russia, first returns indicated today.

Irish approval would remove the last major, legal impediment to expanding the Union into a community of nearly a half billion people.

Voters in seven districts endorsed expansion by nearly 66 percent to 33 percent in Saturday's balloting. They represent less than a sixth of Ireland's total electorate, but analysts said the margin was so great that it was unlikely the uncounted votes would change the final outcome.

"This referendum is all over. It's 'yes,"' said Dublin political analyst Noel Whelan.

Final results were expected later today.

Philippines: President seeks calm in wake of bombings

Bomb-sniffing dogs patrolled rail station entrances and police conducted random vehicle searches as officials stepped up security Saturday in Manila, shaken by the latest terrorist blast to hit the Philippines.

Seeking to ease the jitters, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appealed for calm in a national radio and television address, saying the Philippines wouldn't be bullied by terrorists.

"A few troublemakers with limited capabilities are trying to bully 80 million Filipinos into living in fear and terror," Arroyo said. "Let us not be cowed into submission. Keep calm. Be alert."

Two bombs exploded Thursday in southern Zamboanga city, killing seven people and injuring 152 and a powerful blast ripped through a bus late Friday in suburban Manila, killing two people and injuring more than 20.

Indonesia: Muslim cleric arrested; link to terrorism alleged

The spiritual leader of a militant Islamic group linked to al-Qaida was arrested in his hospital bed Saturday as police accused his fugitive top aide of responsibility for many of Indonesia's terrorist bombings.

Defense Minister Matori Abdul Djalil stopped short of directly accusing Abu Bakar Bashir of organizing the bloody nightclub attack last week in Bali, but said it was unlikely that he would not have known about many of the country's bomb attacks.

Matori blamed the nightclub attack on al-Qaida "and its internal network" a reference to Bashir's organization, Jemaah Islamiyah.

A pair of bombs exploded Oct. 12 outside a Bali nightclub jammed with tourists, setting off a conflagration that left at least 183 people dead and more than 300 injured.

Mississippi: Six children die in fire

Candles used to light a mobile home that lacked electricity started a fire early Saturday morning in Tchula that killed six children younger than 12, authorities said.

The 4-month-old daughter of the homeowner was hospitalized in serious condition, a hospital spokesman said.

No adults were home when authorities responded to the fire at 1:43 a.m.

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