- The Washington Times - Monday, April 11, 2005

HAITI

Police, U.N. forces kill key gangster

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Police on Sunday killed a prominent gang leader who had waged war against the police. A day earlier, a leading rebel was killed in a shootout with security forces, police and officials from the U.N. peacekeeping force said.

Jean Anthony Rene, also known as Grenn Sonnen, and several of his supporters were killed in a gunfight with police in the Delmas district of the Haitian capital, said senior police officer Renan Etienne. A spokesman for the civilian police element of the U.N. peacekeeping force, Daniel Moskaluk, said U.N. troops also were involved in the operation in which the gangster and five armed suspects were killed.

VENEZUELA

Oil profits boost Chavez’s popularity

CARACAS — Three years after rightist generals briefly drove him from power, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is stronger than ever, but he is facing increased criticism from the Bush administration as he moves to buy weapons and his political foes face criminal charges.

Having survived a short-lived coup in April 12, 2002, a two-month strike that petered out in 2003 and a presidential recall referendum last year, Mr. Chavez and his populist movement appear unstoppable.

Mr. Chavez is gaining support as he pours millions of dollars from windfall oil prices into programs for the poor while increasing the size of the military reserves. He says Washington was behind the uprising that drove him from power.

CANADA

Liberals slump as Conservatives rise

OTTAWA — The minority Liberal government is heading for defeat at the hands of the Conservatives after more than 11 years in power, a poll predicted yesterday.

The Ekos poll, commissioned by the newspaper Toronto Star, was conducted after an advertising executive raised the stakes in a scandal about misuse of government cash with testimony of large kickbacks to the Liberal Party.

Weekly notes …

Bolivia’s leader called Sunday for international pressure on Chile to give his landlocked nation access to the Pacific Ocean, as the dispute that is more than a century old spilled over into a meeting between Asia and Latin America. President Carlos Mesa made his appeal to the annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank, being held in Okinawa, Japan, to deepen ties across the Pacific. … A top editor of a Mexican newspaper that investigated the Gulf drug cartel has been fatally shot, the paper said Sunday. Raul Gibb Guerrero, 53, news director at La Opinion in the coastal state of Veracruz, was shot Friday night. He had received death threats for months for publishing stories about smugglers’ ties to the government.

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