- The Washington Times - Monday, August 13, 2001

Castro marks birthday with Venezuela visit
PUERTO ORDAZ, Venezuela Basking in praise from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro yesterday visited the towering Angel Falls a trip that is Mr. Chavez's gift for the Cuban leader's 75th birthday.
After a day and a night spent honoring each other and discussing close bilateral ties, Mr. Castro and Mr. Chavez flew over the falls, measuring more than 3000 feet, in Canaima National Park, a land of towering mesas thought to have inspired Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World."
They also visited a Pemon Indian community where a pair of children gave them good-luck necklaces. They toured Canaima Lagoon in a canoe and drove an off-road vehicle. During the tour, the two leaders signed a deal in which Cuba would provide tourism consultation to Venezuela.
Mr. Castro turns 75 today.

Ambush in Angola claims close to 100
LUANDA, Angola More than 100 people were feared dead yesterday after suspected UNITA rebels ambushed a refugee train in northwestern Angola, officials said.
The train, carrying about 500 refugees fleeing fighting between government and rebel forces, hit a mine on Friday, derailing and bursting into flames before coming under attack by gunmen.
Two cars were carrying drums of gasoline that exploded, engulfing adjoining carriages in a fireball, the radio station Ecclesia reported. Officials said at least 93 persons were killed and 146 were injured, but more bodies were believed to be trapped inside the still-smoldering wreckage.
The army said in a statement the UNITA rebels were responsible for the attack, though it presented no evidence.

Britain sets deadline for Northern Ireland
BELFAST Northern Ireland's Protestant and Catholic parties were given a six-week deadline yesterday to break the deadlock holding back the province's troubled peace process.
The British government restored direct rule to Northern Ireland at midnight Saturday, 24 hours after suspending the province's power-sharing assembly because the parties had failed to endorse make-or-break peace proposals.
"I took the option that gives us more time to talk and to reach conclusions and decisions and to move the peace process forward," John Reid, Britain's Minister for Northern Ireland, said yesterday.
"Over the next six weeks, I fully intend to address the questions which some people have said are stumbling blocks," he said.

White families flee from Zimbabwe mobs
HARARE, Zimbabwe White farmers in northern Zimbabwe evacuated families from their homes yesterday as rampaging black mobs attacked and looted more farms amid a week of violence.
District officials of the Commercial Farmers' Union said 25 homesteads were trashed in the past week. Three homes were looted yesterday after families fled the corn and tobacco districts of Doma and Mhangura near Chinhoyi.
"It's totally out of hand. We are evacuating women and children and the elderly and the sick," said one official.
Nearly 300 family members had fled from about 100 raided farms by yesterday; some were flown out on light aircraft after mobs blocked several roads.

Fossett's balloon passes Easter Island
SANTIAGO, Chile U.S. balloonist Steve Fossett drifted past Chile's mysterious Easter Island in the remote South Pacific yesterday, completing a third of his planned voyage around the world alone.
The island, home to hundreds of huge "moai" head sculptures facing out to sea, is one of the most isolated and least inhabited areas of the planet.
Early Polynesian settlers, in awe of its remoteness, dubbed the island "Te Pito O Te Henua," or "The Navel of the World." The nearest populated land is Pitcairn Island, more than 1,000 miles away.
Mr. Fossett's mission control in St. Louis said the 57-year-old millionaire adventurer could see the lights of the island as he passed overhead.

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