- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2001

Spain seeks dissolution of Scientology sect
MADRID — Spanish prosecutors called yesterday for the dissolution of the Church of Scientology and heavy prison sentences for 13 followers of the movement on trial on charges ranging from illegal detention to tax fraud.
A Madrid district court heard accusations that the Church of Scientology as a sect was driven by the lure of money and an obsession with getting rich, and the movement had psychologically damaged some of its followers.
The case started in 1988 when police raided a Madrid hotel where the movement was holding a congress, arresting 37 members, but the trial has been postponed five times since that date.

Angry commuter handed 18-month sentence
LONDON — A commuter who pushed a railway worker onto train tracks in a rage over missing a train was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in prison.
Frederick Coltman, 53, of Ramsgate, was convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm on railway worker Philip Hunt, who needed 16 stitches and missed four months of work after being pushed off a suburban station platform.
A train guard, Morris Jenkins, testified that Coltman had been furious about missing a train home.

Chastity rite used to combat AIDS
NHLANGANO, Swaziland — Swaziland is reviving the "umchwasho" chastity rite to preserve virginity among girls and combat AIDS, King Mswati III announced yesterday to wild applause from 7,000 of his subjects, gathered to celebrate his 33rd birthday.
Under the rite, the girls wear woolen "do not touch me" tassels of different colors depending on their ages.
"A man who dares touch a lady wearing a woolen tassel will find himself having the tassels thrown at him and the girls will then converge at the man's home, where they will demand an animal which they will feast on," the king told the gathering in Nhlangano, southern Swaziland.

Palestinian police seize reporters' film
NUSSEIRAT REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip — Five journalists were arrested and briefly held yesterday by the Palestinian police, who seized their equipment after a demonstration by the radical Hamas movement here.
Hundreds of people attended the rally, in memory of an Israeli Arab suicide bomber who killed three persons a week ago, that included a portrait of Saudi-born millionaire and terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
All videotapes and film were confiscated, part of a continuing effort by Palestinian officials to suppress images of Palestinians celebrating Tuesday's attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

Car bomb rocks Colombian city
BOGOTA, Colombia — A car bomb planted by suspected leftist rebels resulted in heavy property damage yesterday in a northern city, but no injuries or fatalities, police officials said.
The Renault sedan packed with about 100 pounds of explosives shattered residences and commercial warehouse space over a three-block area in Valledupar, the capital of Cesar state, about 410 miles north of Bogota.
State police blamed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the country's largest Marxist rebel band, but did not provide a motive for the attack. The rebel group has not claimed responsibility.

Heightened security threatens exports
SANTIAGO, Chile — Thousands of tons of fresh market goods bound for the United States — including salmon, flowers and vegetables — were grounded throughout Latin America yesterday as the United States gradually phased in air traffic after Tuesday's deadly plane attacks.
Major carriers cautiously began flying passengers between Latin America and the United States yesterday, but the fate of cargo traffic remained uncertain, leading exporters and carriers to fear big losses.
Chilean exporters estimate losses of $2.5 million daily if forced to halt flights for more than 10 days.

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