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BELARUS EXPELS JORDANIAN FOR SUSPECTED TERRORIST ACTIVITIES. Belarusian authorities on 16 October decided to deport Jordanian national Walid Husayn al-Muhammad Muzay'in because of his suspected involvement with a terrorist organization, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Belarusian Television reported. According to the Belarusian KGB, Muzay'in, who has been working toward a postgraduate degree at the Belarusian Medical Academy for two years, was said to have been preaching radical Islam among students of Arabic origin and recruiting supporters. He was ordered to leave Belarus by 18 October. The network said Muzay'in was expelled two years ago for "similar activities" from Ukraine, where he had lived for 10 years. JM
HAS UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT GROUND TO A HALT? Parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn told journalists on 16 October that until the Verkhovna Rada passes a law stipulating parliamentary elections under a proportional system, its work "will not be efficient and will not be continued," Interfax reported. Lytvyn was commenting on his consultations with the leaders of parliamentary caucuses and groups following a tumultuous session earlier the same day (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 October 2003). Lawmakers voted on 16 October on three different bills proposing parliamentary elections under proportional systems, but none received the 226 votes required for passage. Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz proposed working out a draft election bill that might "suit everybody," adding that unless such a bill is passed, the legislature has no right to consider other issues. JM
UKRAINIANS REPORTEDLY BRING HEAVY MACHINERY TO STOP RUSSIAN DAM PROJECT. The row between Kyiv and Moscow over a Russian dam project in the Kerch Strait (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 October 2003) flared up on 16 October after Ukrainian authorities dispatched several dozen border guards, bulldozers, and excavators to the islet of Tuzla to halt the Russian project's advance on Ukrainian territory, ITAR-TASS reported. "You are close to the borders of sovereign Ukraine. Halt!" reads a sign on the Tuzla coast facing the builders of the dam, who are reportedly less than 1 kilometer from the island. Aleksander Tkachev, governor of Russia's Krasnodar Krai, said construction will be stopped at a distance of 600 meters from the island. Despite that assurance, Ukraine sent a dredger and a seaborne crane to the area and marked a division line in the Kerch Strait with buoys. According to Krasnodar Krai authorities, the dike is essential to protect the Russian coast in the area from being washed away by the sea. JM