- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 4, 2006

CHILE

Peru requests Fujimori extradition

SANTIAGO — Peru formally asked Chile yesterday to extradite former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori on human rights and corruption charges.

Peru’s ambassador to Chile, Jose Antonio Meir, and a Peruvian special prosecutor delivered to Chile 12 sealed boxes of documents detailing charges that include 25 death-squad killings in the 1990s, illegal phone tapping, diversion of state funds to the intelligence service, bribery of politicians, and the transfer of $15 million to Mr. Fujimori’s spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos.

Mr. Fujimori has been under arrest in Chile at Peru’s request since his surprise arrival two months ago from Japan, where he lived in exile after his 1990-2000 authoritarian regime collapsed amid a corruption scandal.

CHINA

Journalist freed early from prison

BEIJING — A Chinese journalist who was jailed on subversion charges after reporting on corruption has been released early from prison, ahead of a planned U.S. visit by President Hu Jintao, a U.S.-based activist announced yesterday.

Jiang Weiping was released yesterday after the one year remaining on his sentence was commuted, and he was reunited with his family in the northeastern city of Dalian, said John Kamm, executive director of the Dui Hua Foundation in San Francisco. Mr. Kamm said he had spoken to Mr. Jiang’s wife.

Mr. Kamm said he didn’t know the reason for the early release. But Mr. Hu is scheduled to visit the United States early this year. Beijing frequently releases high-profile prisoners in connection with high-level official contacts with the United States.

NEPAL

Blasts signal end to Maoist truce

KATMANDU — Two bomb blasts rocked the tourist town of Pokhara yesterday. They followed a series of overnight explosions in the Himalayan kingdom, which came just hours after Maoist rebels called off a four-month truce.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the blasts and no group had taken responsibility, but officials blamed the rebels. The United Nations expressed its concern over the prospect of an escalation in fighting.

The Maoists first declared a three-month truce in September, but later extended it for another month under popular pressure.

GERMANY

Rescue halted at skating rink

BAD REICHENHALL — Rescuers halted the search yesterday for four persons buried under a fallen skating rink roof, as fears of another collapse forced officials to call in a special heavy crane to lift massive crossbeams from the wreckage.

With two loud cracks, the roof caved in Monday after a heavy snowfall. About 50 people were inside, including many children. Eleven persons were confirmed dead, including six children, and police said four more — a 40-year-old woman and two boys and a girl — were still under the rubble in the Alpine spa town of Bad Reichenhall.

LATVIA

Euro variation gains currency

RIGA — The single European currency will be called the “eiro” in Latvia, the government in the new European Union member state voted yesterday, brushing off appeals from the European Central Bank to stick to the official euro name.

“The ‘eu’ diphthong is alien to the Latvian language. We don’t have such a sound, so we will use ‘eiro,’” Education Minister Ina Druviete, a trained linguist, said at a Cabinet meeting where ministers unanimously opted for the “ei” word over the “eu” one.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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