US President Gorge W. Bush has signed a bill approved by Congress under which $50 million will be allocated to implement a number of programs in the sphere of democratic reforms and providing assistance to independent media in 2003.
In the statement circulated by the White House press-service President Bush said that the bill was called "2002 Act on Democracy in Russia" and it aimed at "supporting democracy, the rule of law and independent Russian mass media." Besides, the document aims at "defining the US policy towards Russia," the President said, noting that he would regard the prescriptions of the law as recommendations.
The law stipulates the development of grant programs, exchanges and training in the field of democracy, the enhancement of civil institutions, as well as independent mass media, including the Internet.
Two ballistic missiles attacked the US Navy destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) from the territory of Yemen. The destroyer came to the aid of the hijacked Central Park tanker of Zodiac Maritime