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The Week June 12-18

4 minute read
Julie K.L. Dam, Sinting Lai and Megan Rutherford


Softer Talk in Korea

The leaders of North Korea and South Korea have agreed to meet in an attempt to defuse the tensions that have developed over the North’s nuclear program. It would be the first time leaders of the two countries have met since the two Koreas were established in the wake of World War II. Matchmaker in the meeting was former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who met with Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang and then conveyed his invitation to South Korean President Kim Young Sam, who accepted. Korean summits have been proposed in the past but have never taken place. Kim Il Sung also said after his meeting with Carter that international nuclear inspectors would be allowed to remain in his country.

Two Steps Backward in Mexico

Manuel Camacho Solis, the chief negotiator for the Mexican government with peasant rebels in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, resigned after accusing the government of trying to sabotage his efforts to find a settlement with the mostly Mayan Indians. Five days earlier, the rebels rejected the peace settlement he had proposed. The trouble in the peace talks could affect the Mexican presidential election, which will take place on Aug. 21.

Aden Bombarded

Northern forces shelled southern Yemen’s former capital, Aden, reportedly killing at least 60 people, mostly civilians, and injuring more than 170. Amid warnings of new attacks by the northern brigades as they continued to advance toward the city limits, 900 foreigners fled the besieged port by ferry for Djibouti, in the biggest evacuation from Aden since the civil war began.

Iraqi Officers Executed

President Saddam Hussein ordered three senior Iraqi military officers executed and more than a dozen soldiers purged from the army, according to relatives of the dead quoted in the London Independent. The officers had expressed doubts about the qualifications of his eldest son Uday to fill the post of Defense Minister. Before the Cabinet reshuffle was announced, some officers were instructed to solicit the opinions of the senior commanders concerning Uday’s standing, and they voiced concern about his lack of military training.


Conference Call

France’s and Germany’s state-owned telephone companies will invest $4.2 billion to get a 20% share of Sprint, the third largest American long-distance carrier. The deal is the latest coupling in the matchmaking taking place as companies try to find partners in the race toward the information future. The move will give the European companies a share of the American market. AT&T protested the deal, pointing out that the two companies did not allow foreign firms to enter their markets.

B.C.C.I. Executives Convicted

An Abu Dhabi court convicted 12 former top executives of the collapsed Bank of Credit & Commerce International on criminal charges of fraud and mismanagement in one of the world’s largest financial scandals. The three key defendants, though, were convicted in absentia: Agha Hassan Abedi, the B.C.C.I. founder; Mohamed Saleh Naqvi, the empire’s former chief executive; and Ziauddin Ali Akbar, the bank’s former treasurer. The court also ordered the group of 12 to pay $9.13 billion in restitution to Abu Dhabi’s government and ruling family, which held a 77.4% stake in B.C.C.I.


Stanley Cup Joy and Outrage

Euphoria engulfed the hometown hockey fans as the New York Rangers captured the Stanley Cup Championship for the first time in 54 drought-ridden years. After losing games five and six to the Vancouver Canucks, the Rangers came back to win the seventh game of the series 3-2. While surprisingly there was no violence, vandalism or arrests in raucous New York City after the final, the scene turned ugly in supposedly more civil Vancouver as an unruly crowd of 50,000 rioted for four hours. The mob looted shops, smashed windows and launched rocks, bricks and bottles at police, who used tear gas to restore order.

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