A U.S. F-16 fighter jet heading for a patrol over northern Iraq crashed in Turkey on Wednesday after apparently suffering engine problems, the first U.S. warplane to go down in more than 200,000 flights over the no-fly zones.
The pilot, Lt. Michael A. Nelson Jr., parachuted from the airplane safely and was in good condition at Incirlik air base in Turkey, said Maj. Scott Vadnais, spokesman for the allied patrols over northern Iraq.
The F-16 went down near the town of Diyarbakir, 60 miles from the Iraqi border. U.S. officials said there was no hostile fire directed at it.
China indicts U.S.-based scholar
BEIJING _ China has indicted a U.S.-based scholar accused of espionage and will put her on trial, probably soon after a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, her family's lawyer said Wednesday.
Gao Zhan is expected to be tried by the same Beijing court that on Saturday convicted an American business professor, Li Shaomin, of spying for Taiwan and ordered him deported.
Gao's trial threatens to cast a cloud over Powell's visit, expected at the end of the month. The visit, Powell's first to China as secretary of state, comes as Washington and Beijing are trying to patch up ties shaken by the collision in April of an American surveillance plane and a Chinese fighter jet.
Gao works at American University in Washington and has permanent U.S. resident status. She was detained Feb. 11 at Beijing's airport during a family trip to China.
Macedonia rejects peace plan
SKOPJE, Macedonia _ Macedonia on Wednesday bluntly rejected a peace plan backed by the United States and European Union that would give ethnic Albanians more rights, raising fears that talks aimed at defusing an insurgency could collapse.
"What we have on the table is a document tailored to break up Macedonia," Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski said. He called the draft "a blatant violation of Macedonia's internal affairs."
The unusually direct language was clearly directed at U.S. envoy James Pardew and his EU counterpart Francois Leotard: Both had expressed support for the draft in a joint statement issued just hours earlier.
The draft retains Macedonian as the primary official language and maintains central state control of the police, but proposes Albanian as a second official language in some areas, the U.S.-EU statement said.
Zhirinovsky says father was Jewish
MOSCOW _ He is Russia's best-known ultranationalist, a flamboyant politician who praised Adolf Hitler and accused Jews of provoking the Holocaust _ all the while staunchly denying his own Jewish roots.
Now Vladimir Zhirinovsky has confirmed that his father was Jewish, and says many of his relatives perished in the Holocaust.
"My father was a Jew, a Polish Jew," the 56-year-old Zhirinovsky wrote in his book published this week. "His name was Volf Isaakovich Eidelshtein."
Public records found by a reporter in 1994 showed that Zhirinovsky was given the name Eidelshtein at birth but changed it when he was 18. Zhirinovsky had previously called the records fakes.
But his acknowledgment of his origin is halfhearted at best. In the book, titled Ivan, Close Your Soul, Zhirinovsky repeatedly states he considers himself an ethnic Russian and is proud of it.
He also makes no attempt to apologize for his anti-Semitic harangues, and dwells on his pet claims of Jewish domination of the world's politics and finance.