- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 11, 2000

Olympic flame begins its journey

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece The Olympic flame began its long journey to Sydney yesterday and immediately raised cries of outrage when the torch was passed to the daughter of an Australian Olympics official.

The boomerang-shaped torch was lighted and given to Greek high-jump champion Lambros Papacostas, who passed it to the first Australian runner: Sophie Gosper, the 11-year-old daughter of International Olympic Committee Vice President Kevan Gosper.

Sophie Gosper was a late replacement for 15-year-old Yianna Souleles, who traveled to Greece with her classmates from Sydney's St. Spyridon College. Miss Souleles eventually carried the torch in a later stage.

Florence dislikes Hannibal the cannibal

FLORENCE, Italy Some local politicians are objecting to filming part of the new movie "Hannibal" inside a Florence landmark, saying the gory scene could hurt the city's image.

"Hannibal," directed by Ridley Scott, is the eagerly awaited sequel to the Oscar-winning film, "Silence of the Lambs."

It stars Sir Anthony Hopkins as the cannibalistic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter and Julianne Moore as FBI agent Clarice Starling.

In the novel "Hannibal," Lecter commits a gruesome murder in the ornate Salon of the Lilies in the city's Palazzo Vecchio a partial re-enactment of a slaying that actually took place there in 1478.

Olive oil may prevent skin cancer

PARIS Rubbing virgin olive oil onto your skin after sunbathing may protect you against skin cancer, according to Japanese research reported in yesterday's issue of the British weekly New Scientist.

Experts theorize that olive oil contains vitamins that mop up so-called free radicals unstable molecules created by exposure to ultraviolet rays in sunlight that damage skin cells, sometimes leading to skin cancer.

Chechen rebels claim new victory

NAZRAN, Russia Rebel fighters said they trapped a Russian unit yesterday in eastern Chechnya, killing 30 soldiers in the biggest reported ambush in several weeks. Russian officials denied the claim.

A Chechen commander told the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity that the Russians were attacked outside the village of Alleroy, 30 miles east of Chechnya's capital Grozny.

Iranian Jew denies spying for Israel

SHIRAZ, Iran A teacher of religion denied spying for Israel yesterday, the first defendant among 13 Jews on trial for espionage here to reject the charges in court.

But the teacher's elder brother, another of the 13, confessed to the charges, a lawyer said. He became the sixth defendant to plead guilty in a trial that has unnerved the country's Jewish minority.

Former Syrian leader faces corruption trial

DAMASCUS, Syria Former Syrian prime minister Mahmoud Zu'bi, who resigned less than two months ago, is to be tried for corruption, officials said yesterday.

The ruling party's national command sacked him, and the Justice Ministry followed its recommendation that he be committed for trial.

Turks kill Kurds in Iraq

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey Turkish troops have killed 53 Turkish Kurd separatist rebels in a fresh cross-border drive into northern Iraq, military officials said yesterday.

A military official based in Diyarbakir regional capital of Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast said some 10,000 troops, backed by aircraft, pulled out of the region yesterday after launching the offensive four days ago.

Canadian watchdog criticizes Dr. Laura

OTTAWA Canada's official broadcast watchdog yesterday issued a damning indictment of controversial U.S. radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, saying her anti-gay views could trigger violence against homosexuals.

Dr. Schlessinger, who considers homosexual behavior abnormal, denies being anti-gay or trying to foment intolerance toward gays and lesbians.

Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

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