- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Just a few smokes can start addiction

LONDON Scientists have confirmed a suspicion held by some smokers but never proven: It could take just a few cigarettes to become addicted.
Some 12- and 13-year-olds showed evidence of addiction within days of their first cigarette, according to research reported this week in the British Medical Association journal Tobacco Control.
"There's been a suspicion that many people become addicted very quickly, but this is really the first hard evidence that we've had that this occurs," said Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependency Unit at the Mayo Clinic.

Tests fail to show vaccine caused AIDS

LONDON Independent laboratory tests have found no evidence to support the theory that an experimental polio vaccine used on about 1 million Africans in the 1950s inadvertently triggered the AIDS epidemic.
The findings, presented yesterday at a conference at the Royal Society in London, found no evidence that the vaccine, administered between 1957 and 1961, contained any tissue from chimpanzees.
Scientists believe that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, most probably originates from the type of SIV, or simian immunodeficiency virus, found in chimpanzees in western central Africa. But they don't know how or when the chimp virus got into humans.

U.S. dollar replaces Ecuador currency

QUITO, Ecuador The American greenback ruled supreme in this small Andean nation yesterday, the first day of business since it replaced the sucre as Ecuador's national currency.
Dollar bills and bills of larger denominations were abundant. But Ecuadoreans griped about the lack of coins for change and complained that merchants were rounding off prices at the dollar level a sore point in a poor country where more than two-thirds of workers earn less than $30 a month.

Kohl makes debut, first since scandal

BERLIN Disgraced former Chancellor Helmut Kohl returned to his party's fold yesterday, attending a meeting of party lawmakers for the first time since setting off a slush fund scandal last fall.
Mr. Kohl, who retained his seat in parliament after losing the chancellorship in 1998, had skipped the regular strategy sessions of the Christian Democratic parliamentary group for 10 months after he fell from grace by admitting that he accepted illegal campaign donations.
His return was part of a wider rehabilitation by the conservative party he led for a quarter-century, including 16 years as chancellor.

Tutsi holdouts sign Burundi agreement

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania One of four holdout Tutsi political parties signed a power-sharing agreement with Burundi's Hutu majority yesterday, two days before the deadline for joining the peace plan aimed at ending Burundi's civil war.
Godefroid Hakizimana, president of Burundi's Social Democratic Party, signed the document as mediators working with former South African President Nelson Mandela, who brokered the accord, looked on.
The party had refused to sign the agreement Aug. 28 in Arusha, Tanzania, in the presence of international leaders including President Clinton, because of last-minute changes to the deal made to accommodate Burundi's President Pierre Buyoya. Despite the peace agreement, however, the violence in the tiny central African country has not ended.

Charity worker kills three in Kosovo

LUCERNE, Switzerland A Swiss charity said yesterday that one of its local workers in Kosovo killed three persons in a row over construction supplies being used to rebuild a village.
Caritas Switzerland said it has temporarily suspended its operations in Loznica, a village near the provincial capital Pristina, after the representative, who wasn't identified, shot a father and two sons Friday.

Trial tomorrow for Lori Berenson

LIMA, Peru The civilian retrial of American Lori Berenson on charges of collaborating with leftist guerrillas in a plot to attack Congress will resume tomorrow, her new lawyer said.

Jose Sandoval told Reuters yesterday he had begun studying the three-volume dossier of testimony in the Berenson case and had new talks with her in the Lima prison where she is being held.

Berenson was jailed by a hooded military judge in 1996 as a leader of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), but Peru's top military council annulled the verdict in a surprise move two weeks ago and ordered a civilian retrial.

President Alberto Fujimori has said Berenson could face a 20-year term if found guilty. Berenson's mother, Rhoda, said she feared Mr. Fujimori was "telling the future" in that remark.

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