- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 28, 2006

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. military convicts soldier

KABUL — An American soldier has been sentenced to four months detention for punching detainees in Afghanistan, the U.S. military said yesterday.

Army Spc. James R. Hayes, who was demoted to private, was found guilty in a court-martial Friday of conspiracy to maltreat and maltreatment. He will forfeit all pay and allowances for four months, the statement said.

Hayes was accused of punching detainees at a forward operating base in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan Province in July.

VENEZUELA

Peace activist considers campaign

CARACAS — Cindy Sheehan, the peace activist who set up camp near President Bush’s ranch in Texas last summer, said yesterday she is considering running against Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, to protest what she called the lawmaker’s support for the war in Iraq.

“She voted for the war. She continues to vote for the funding. She won’t call for an immediate withdrawal of the troops,” Mrs. Sheehan said in an interview while attending the World Social Forum in Venezuela along with thousands of other anti-war and anti-globalization activists.

“I think our senator needs to be held accountable for her support of George Bush and his war policies,” said Mrs. Sheehan, whose 24-year-old son, Spc. Casey Sheehan, was killed in Iraq in 2004.

NORTH KOREA

Pyongyang threatens nuclear war

SEOUL — North Korea warned of nuclear war yesterday and vowed to strengthen its deterrent forces as it demanded that Washington show evidence backing its accusation that the communist regime is counterfeiting U.S. money.

“Dark clouds of a nuclear war are hanging low over the Korean Peninsula,” the North’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary carried by state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The North repeatedly has accused the United States of planning to attack. Washington has denied any such intention.

BOLIVIA

Coca leaf grower named drug czar

SHINAHOTA — President Evo Morales, who pledged as a candidate to roll back U.S. efforts to curb coca growing in Bolivia, appointed a coca leaf grower as new drug czar yesterday.

During a trip to the heart of Bolivia’s coca-growing region, Mr. Morales said he named Felipe Caceres, a co-founder of his Movement Toward Socialism party, to head his government’s fight against drug trafficking.

Mr. Morales took office last Sunday in the world’s third-biggest cocaine producer after Colombia and Peru. The head of Bolivia’s anti-drug efforts in recent years has worked closely with Washington, which spends some $150 million a year on coca-eradication programs in the South American country.

CHILE

Pinochet’s daughter taken into custody

SANTIAGO — The eldest daughter of former dictator Augusto Pinochet was taken into custody yesterday upon her return to Chile after seeking asylum in the United States to avoid tax charges.

A federal judge greeted a tired Lucia Pinochet Hiriart, 60, as she arrived from Buenos Aires, where she made a brief stopover after being sent back from Washington late Friday.

“Ms. Lucia, how nice that you’ve arrived, please come with me so that I can arraign you,” Judge Carlos Cerda, who is handling the tax case against the Pinochet family, told her as she came off the plane.

Ms. Pinochet Hiriart, dressed in a light pink shirt and cream pants, was then taken to a detention center in downtown Santiago where she will be held until a decision is made on bail.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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