UPI News Update

Jan. 16, 2002 at 1:44 PM
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Report: al Qaida financier surrenders

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A leading financier of the al Qaida terrorist network has turned himself in at the airport in Kandahar. CNN, quoting U.S. military sources, reported early Wednesday the as yet unnamed financier "literally showed up at the front gate ... and is now in custody." The financier's surrender came not long after American troops captured seven more prisoners. Military officials said it was not clear if the prisoners were from al Qaida or the Taliban, but they were captured in eastern Afghanistan where defense officials believe al Qaida members are still at large.

Pashtun leader: Taliban still present

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Afghan Pashtun leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said Wednesday though the Taliban movement has been defeated as a government, it remains a trend and concept in Afghanistan. Hekmatyar also said the United States and foreign forces stationed in Afghanistan may face a popular resistance and the same fate as Soviet troops, who invaded the country in the 1980s.

Palestinians protest detaining PFLP chief

GAZA, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- An Israeli security source Wednesday denied Palestinian Authority claims it had detained Ahmad Saadat, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Palestinian group said Tuesday it was playing "host" to Saadat, which set off demonstrations in the West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon with protesters demanding his release. Saadat surrendered to intelligence officers but other reports said the PFLP leader was arrested, the group said. An Israeli security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, "The man is not under arrest."

India gives more time to Pakistan

NEW DELHI, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Indian officials say they will give Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf additional time to crack down on Pakistani-based Islamic militants, adding it was too early to see results from Pakistan's promise to end cross-border terrorist attacks. India's Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, speaking after a Cabinet meeting, noted it had only been three days since Musharraf announced the move. Singh's comments come as U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived in South Asia to try to reduce political tension between Pakistan and India, which have been in a military buildup situation along their border since a Dec. 13 attack on the Indian Parliament in which 14 people died. India said the attack was carried out by militants based in Pakistan.

Afghan government outlaws opium

KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Afghanistan's interim government Wednesday declared "the cultivation, production and smuggling of opium and related drugs" illegal, a top U.N. drug-control official said. Bernard Frahi told reporters in Kabul the declaration was remarkable, adding that drug stashes still remain around Kandahar and other regions in southern Afghanistan.

Nigerian union leader arrested

ABUJA, Nigeria, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The president of the Nigeria Labor Congress was arrested Wednesday during a rally calling for a nationwide strike that the government has ruled illegal. Adams Oshiomhole was detained while attending the rally in which the NLC asked the Nigerian people to stay at home Thursday to protest rising fuel costs brought about by the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The arrest took place after Oshiomhole refused to voluntarily accompany police to their headquarters and workers at the rally refused to return to their offices. People at the rally waived placards reading: "Petrol is God-given," "Strike is justified" or "Roll back the price of fuel."

No surprises in Concorde crash findings

PARIS, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A final investigative report released by the French government Wednesday offered few surprises on the cause of a fiery crash of a Concorde jet shortly after takeoff from Paris, 17 months ago. But while bringing the tragic event to closure, the report by France's Transportation Ministry is unlikely to boost the uncertain fortunes of the sleek, luxury craft, which have been buffeted by the worldwide recession and post-Sept. 11 travel jitters. A statement issued by Air France Wednesday noted the report by the French Aviation Inquiry Bureau basically confirmed previous findings about the accident and flaws in the Concorde's structure.

Andersen runs open letter on Enron

CHICAGO, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Arthur Andersen LLP Wednesday took out full-page ads in three major newspapers in a bid to restore confidence in the wake of the Enron debacle. Andersen, one of the nation's Big Five public accounting firms, Tuesday fired the lead auditor for its Enron account and promised to discipline other employees following revelations that documents subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission had been destroyed. In Wednesday's ads, which ran in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post, Managing Partner and CEO Joe Berardino reiterated the company's pledge to cooperate fully in the investigation into Enron's December bankruptcy -- the biggest in U.S. history.

Stocks fall in active trading

NEW YORK, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Stock prices on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market were sharply lower in active trading early Wednesday afternoon, knocked down in a selling binge ignited by disappointing reports from Intel Corp. and J.P. Morgan Chase. Analysts said stocks fell from the opening bell as investors digested details of fourth quarter profit statements and a fresh round of government data suggesting that businesses have still not begun to ratchet up corporate spending in the kind of meaningful way that would signal an end to the economy's ongoing maladies. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average, which rose 32.73 points Tuesday, was down 121.16 to 9,802.99. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index, which added 10.17 points in the previous session, was down 35.38 points at 1,965.53.

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