- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 2, 2004

SOUTH AFRICA

Mandela retires from public life

JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first postapartheid president, formally bowed out of public life yesterday with a crisp message for those making demands on his time: “Don’t call me; I’ll call you.”

The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who turns 86 next month, joked about keeping a punishing schedule despite having retired from active politics in 1999 when he stepped down as head of state.

Mr. Mandela has hardly strayed out of the public limelight, raising millions of dollars for his Mandela Foundation to build clinics and schools in South Africa’s rural heartland and to battle HIV/AIDS, or mediating in Burundi’s civil war.

Last month, he flew to the Caribbean and to Zurich to campaign for South Africa’s successful bid to host the 2010 soccer World Cup.

CANADA

Hackers disable conservative site

OTTAWA — Canada’s Conservative Party called in the Mounties yesterday to find out who crashed the party’s Web site in the middle of the federal election campaign.

“Somebody went after it,” party spokesman William Stairs said, explaining that one or more computers had apparently been programmed to overwhelm the site, www.conservative.ca.

The Conservatives brought in the technical crimes unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Within a couple of hours the site was back up.

PUERTO RICO

Oldest woman’s death reported

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan, considered to be the world’s oldest woman, has died in her sleep at age 114, reports here said yesterday.

Her nephew, Jorge Iglesias, said she died of respiratory failure in the nursing home where she had lived for the last 11 years.

She was born Aug. 31, 1889 in the Puerto Rican town of Utuado. In an interview with the newspaper El Vocero in March, she recalled some of the most notable events that occurred in Puerto Rico at the end of the 19th century.

IRELAND

Smoking ban hurts business

DUBLIN — Pubs are losing customers because of Ireland’s decision to ban smoking from workplaces, the main bar owners’ association said yesterday.

Business has slipped 12 percent to 15 percent since smoking was banned in pubs on March 29, said Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association, which represents about 700 pubs in the capital.

“We expected April to be very bad and things to improve. That hasn’t happened and is of great concern to us,” Mr. O’Keeffe said.

SWITZERLAND

Pardons granted in smuggling Jews

GENEVA — The government has pardoned 27 persons convicted of smuggling Jewish and other refugees into Switzerland during World War II, officials said yesterday.

The move to clear their records of convictions, fines and prison sentences bring to 28 the number of persons rehabilitated under a law that went into force this year.

Among those pardoned was Ernest Wittwer, a Swiss citizen who died in 1976. Mr. Wittwer was sentenced to 60 days in prison for bringing two Jewish children across the border from France in May 1944 in violation of Swiss border laws.

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