- The Washington Times - Monday, October 31, 2005

ARGENTINA

‘People’s Summit’ to counter Bush trip

BUENOS AIRES — Long gone are the days of heavily armed revolutionaries wandering the jungles of Nicaragua or Bolivia and the cry of “Yankee Go Home” on the streets of Latin America.

Since the end of the Cold War, military dictatorships have vanished and the region for the most part has embraced capitalism and American-style democracy, but that doesn’t mean it is entirely at peace with “El Norte,” its powerful northern neighbor.

When President Bush arrives this week at the Argentine seaside resort of Mar del Plata for the fourth Summit of the Americas, leftist activists, students, Indians and trade unionists will gather at a basketball stadium several miles away to protest everything from the war in Iraq to U.S. immigration policy to free-trade deals at a “People’s Summit” coinciding with Mr. Bush’s visit Thursday through Saturday.

CANADA

‘Desperate’ job market to boost immigration

OTTAWA — Canada is on track this year to accept 245,000 immigrants, a number that is to increase.

Immigration Minister Joe Volpe revealed the sweeping changes to Canada’s immigration policy yesterday, announcing that the government intends to take in as many as 300,0000 new immigrants annually for the next five years.

“We are producing more jobs than the labor market has workers for. … We’re desperate for immigration,” Mr. Volpe told the Globe and Mail newspaper of Toronto. Stephen Heckbert, a spokesman for Mr. Volpe, said the multiyear plan would need Cabinet approval after being presented to Parliament.

GUYANA

Sexual-consent age for girls raised to 16

GEORGETOWN — Lawmakers have voted to raise the age of female sexual consent from 13 to 16, despite months of lobbying from groups that said the age of consent should be 18.

Legislators voted unanimously Thursday to abolish British colonial-era laws allowing girls to have sex with men legally at 13. The measure passed by a vote of 57-0, and President Bharrat Jagdeo is expected to sign it into law. “The time had come to bring Guyana … in line with fellow Caribbean Community nations,” said Labor and Human Services Minister Dale Bisnauth.

The legal age became a topic of debate in May when news reports chronicled the plight of a woman whose 13-year-old daughter had moved in with a businessman in his 40s. The pair refused to listen to pleas from relatives and human rights organizations, and a High Court judge put the girl in the care of the state, sending her to a correctional center for troubled teenagers.

Weekly notes …

Authorities have captured a reputed top leader of the Norte del Valle cocaine cartel wanted by a New York court for drug trafficking and money laundering, police said Sunday in Bogota, Colombia. John Cano was arrested Saturday at a country home in northwest Colombia after 25 police agents on the ground and a helicopter gunship stormed the ranch, Colombian Judicial Police Chief Col. Oscar Naranjo told reporters.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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