- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2003

BRAZIL
Raelian sect seeks to open cloning clinic
SAO PAULO The firm Clonaid wants to open a human-cloning clinic in Brazil, according to its director, Brigitte Boisselier.
"We want to open a clinic on each continent. For North and South America, we could open a clinic in the Caribbean, but we would prefer Brazil," Miss Boisselier said Sunday, adding that Clonaid had already applied for permission to set up the facility.
Scientists are skeptical of Clonaid's claim in December to have cloned the first human baby, Eve, because of lack of evidence to back it up. Clonaid was founded by the Raelian religious sect, which says human beings were created by extraterrestrials.

CANADA
Mutant pneumonia kills 3; 12 more sick
TORONTO Health officials said yesterday there may be up to 12 people in the country suffering from a mysterious mutant pneumonia called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that has killed three in Canada and 17 worldwide.
All but one of the 15 Canadian cases were in Ontario, the country's most populous province. The other possible case was in British Columbia. Symptoms of SARS include fever, fatigue, coughing and shortness of breath.
Two persons in the western province of Alberta thought to be infected with SARS turned out to have something else. The World Health Organization says the epidemic has spread to at least 13 countries and infected nearly 400 people since breaking out.

PERU
Montesinos sentenced for arranging favors
LIMA A Peruvian court sentenced former spy master Vladimiro Montesinos yesterday to five years and four months in prison for arranging illegal favors for relatives of his former lover.
Montesinos, accused of masterminding a giant corruption ring under former President Alberto Fujimori, broke the silence he has maintained since a series of public trials began in February, telling a panel of judges that he "reserved the right" to appeal at a later time.
The case, in which Montesinos and ex-lover Jacqueline Beltran were charged with influence peddling, was one of at least 57 charges that Montesinos faces. Charges against him include money laundering, human rights violations and arms deals. Beltran was sentenced to four years.

Weekly notes …
Cuba's crackdown on government critics eased during the weekend after the arrests of scores of independent journalists and democracy activists. The island's leading human rights group reported three arrests, compared with 72 last week. The dissidents are accused of conspiring with American diplomats in Cuba to drum up opposition to the Castro government. James Cason, the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba, has met publicly with the opposition and criticized President Fidel Castro's government. … A U.S. Vietnam veteran has committed suicide in Mexico after apparently becoming depressed about his son's deployment in Iraq, Mexican police report. Arthur Lee Pogue Jr., 74, who lived alone in southeastern Yucatan state, was found by one his employees hanged from a tree during the weekend, said local police Chief Javier Medina. Employee Roberto Mata told police that Mr. Pogue had been "very sad because his son had been mobilized to the front line in Iraq and he feared for his life," Chief Medina said.

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