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Monday, April 05, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.
In an interview set for broadcast today by Israeli Army Radio, Sharon said he promised President Bush three years ago that Israel would not harm Arafat, but that "Arafat was (then) given red-carpet treatment everywhere in the world."
On March 22, Israel assassinated Sheik Ahmed Yassin, founder and leader of the violent Islamic Hamas movement
Asked by the Army Radio interviewer if that meant Arafat and Hezbollah's Sheik Hassan Nasrallah were targets, Sharon replied: "Whoever aims to kill Jews, whoever sends murderers to kill Jews, is marked for death."
Sharon made similar threats in other interviews ahead of the Jewish Passover holiday, which starts at sundown today.
Indonesian parliamentary vote critical to president's future
JAKARTA, Indonesia Indonesians began voting in parliamentary elections today in a contest expected to see the former political party of ousted strongman Suharto win the most votes, but not a majority.
Polling stations opened in stages across the world's most-populous Muslim nation, which stretches across three time zones. This is only Indonesia's second democratic election since Suharto's fall in 1998.
A win for Golkar, which has sought to distance itself from Suharto, could badly damage President Megawati Sukarnoputri's chances of winning a second term in Indonesia's first direct presidential election on July 5.
Today's results will be followed by a scramble to build coalitions before the presidential election, in which recent opinion polls show Megawati has lost the status of frontrunner.
The ballot will also test the popularity of conservative Islamist parties in the wake of bomb attacks by militants linked to Osama bin Laden.
German train slows in time, thwarts derailment attempt
DORTMUND, Germany A high-speed train carrying 200 passengers struck six metal slabs attached to tracks in an apparent attempt to derail it, authorities said yesterday. The train was able to slow down in time and stayed on the rails.
None of the InterCityExpress train's passengers were injured in the collision with the metal pieces early Saturday. The 38-pound metal slabs had been screwed onto tracks between the towns of Kamen and Nordboegge on a line linking Cologne and Berlin.
The incident comes amid attacks and attempted attacks on European train lines. On March 11, 10 bombs planted on Spanish commuter trains killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,800.
On March 24, a bomb was found half-buried on a train track near the town of Troyes, some 100 miles southeast of Paris, triggering a massive inspection of the nation's rail network.
Slovenians reject restoring rights to 'erased' minorities
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia By a large majority, Slovenians voted in a referendum yesterday to reject a law returning residence rights to some ethnic minorities.
Some 18,000 people, known as the "erased," were removed from Slovenia's population records in 1992, a year after the Alpine republic declared its independence from the former Yugoslavia.
Most were nationals of other former Yugoslav republics and included Croats, Bosnians and Serbs.
More than 94 percent of those who voted rejected the law, according to partial unofficial results issued by the state electoral commission.
Those who favored abandoning the law argued the possible claims for compensation could be too high for the state, which is to join the European Union in May. They also said many of the "erased" could turn out to be aggressors from the short conflict that followed Slovenia's independence from Yugoslavia.
Pope marks Palm Sunday; security tight around Vatican
VATICAN CITY Amid heightened security, Pope John Paul II led the world's Roman Catholics in Palm Sunday celebrations, marking the start of a week that will test his health.
The solemn celebration attended by more than 40,000 people in St. Peter's Square was the first outdoor papal mass since Italian media reported intelligence services feared a terrorist attack against the pope during the Easter season.
The pope, 83, who has Parkinson's disease and no longer walks in public, started with a bit of difficulty but later read his entire sermon in a relatively strong voice.
French police yesterday raided a building in the French village of Saint-Michel, close to the border with Spain, breaking up what Spain called a major arms factory for the Basque separatist group ETA.... Maoist rebels attacked a police station during the night in southern Nepal, killing at least nine policemen, officials said today. The rebels have been fighting since 1996 to replace Nepal's monarchy with a communist state. The insurgency has claimed more than 9,000 lives.
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