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World Briefs II

Turkey Attacks Kurdish Rebels In Iraqi Territory

Special to The Washington Post
ANKARA, Turkey

Turkish warplanes bombed rebel Kurd positions inside Iraq Thursday in a new cross-border offensive that officials said is aimed at preventing the rebels from regrouping in camps along the border.

The offensive, launched earlier this week and reportedly involving an estimated 8,000 ground troops and 100 tanks and other armored vehicles, is the latest in a series of Turkish attacks against Kurdish Workers' Party guerrillas on Iraqi territory over the past few years.

The latest operation was launched, according to a Foreign Ministry spokesman, because Kurdish guerrillas who had been cleared from the area during a large-scale attack last May and June were trying to re-establish positions along the mountainous border before the winter sets in.

Military spokesmen were unavailable for comment, but the government-owned Anatolian news agency reported that jets bombed 15 guerrilla positions near the Iranian and Syrian borders, where the insurgents reportedly had fled the Turkish attack last spring. The guerrillas reportedly had filtered back into the border areas despite efforts to keep them out by an armed Iraqi Kurdish faction allied with Ankara, the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

Rubin Tries to Ease Tensions With Chinese Government

The Washington Post

Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin used a one-hour meeting with Chinese Deputy Premier Zhu Rongji Thursday to press for steps to reduce tensions, including a reduction of the U.S. trade deficit with China, a further opening of its markets to foreign goods and services, allowing U.S. customs agents to check for goods produced by prison labor under a 1994 agreement, and progress on human rights.

Rubin also preached the virtues of competition, open markets, freedom of information, a strong legal system and clean business practices in a talk with Chinese students.

"Building strong relations is absolutely critical to global prosperity and stability," Rubin said in a speech at People's University. "We in the United States have an enormous interest in a successful China."

But sources said no concrete progress was made during Rubin's session with Zhu, though the tone of the meeting was friendly and candid, and the treasury secretary was impressed by China's top economic policy maker.

One possible accord that Rubin said he believes is near could settle a more than one-year-old dispute over whether the government's New China News Agency will be allowed to censor, regulate, fix prices for and simultaneously compete with electronic economic news services provided by agencies such as Dow Jones and Reuter. Sources familiar with the negotiations, however, said an agreement was not yet complete.

British Editors Endorse Tough Privacy Guidelines

The Washington Post

Editors of leading British newspapers endorsed tough new guidelines Thursday designed to curb the aggressive tactics of paparazzi and protect public figures from media harassment. The action came in response to angry criticism that the press had hounded Princess Diana to death.

"We've listened and we've acted," said Lord Wakeham, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, who issued the new rules after consulting widely with newspaper editors over the past few weeks.

Among the changes Lord Wakeham, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, recommended in the newspaper industry's code of conduct is a declaration that British newspapers should cease purchasing paparazzi photographs obtained illegally or unethically.

In the wake of Diana's death almost four weeks ago, many newspapers voluntarily announced they would no longer buy paparazzi-style photographs, and some went further in declaring they would provide only limited coverage of Diana's two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Thursday's recommendations by the industry organization go beyond what many newspapers originally had committed themselves to and carry the potential for censures and rebukes if they are violated. They must be reduced to the quasi-legal language of the code of conduct, a process that will take several months, before they can go into effect.

Effort to Address Warming Shown To Be Economically Sound

Los Angeles Times

In a unique study produced by five prominent national laboratories,the Clinton administration said Thursday the anticipated economic cost of reducing the emissions linked to global warming can be met by aggressive use of new energy technology by the end of the next decade.

The conclusions bolster the arguments of environmentalists and many scientists who have studied global warming. They should strengthen the administration's political hand at home as it prepares to negotiate an international treaty imposing limits on emissions of so-called greenhouse gases.

The report "is the first major study that says you can do this in a way that does not harm the economy," said Joseph Romm, an acting assistant secretary of Energy. "Sooner or later the country will do something on climate change. This is the first road map that says here are the things the country should focus on."

The study considered the effects of increased use of energy from unconventional sources - wind power, natural gas turbines, and agricultural byproducts, for instance - as opposed to a continued reliance on the burning of coal and oil. It totaled the costs of specific energy sources and sites.