- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 17, 2007

UNITED STATES

Rice cancels trip to Ghana

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has canceled a trip to Ghana this week so that she can stay in Washington for discussions on the Middle East, the State Department said yesterday.

Miss Rice had been scheduled to attend an African trade forum in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, tomorrow and Thursday, said her spokesman, Sean McCormack.

He said Miss Rice still planned to travel Thursday to Lisbon for a meeting of the Quartet of Middle East peace brokers, including new special envoy and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

LIBYA

Deal seen close to free doctor, nurses

SOFIA, Bulgaria — A deal has been reached to free six foreign medical workers sentenced to death in Libya on charges of infecting children with HIV, but a few final details must still be worked out, sources familiar with the talks said yesterday.

Under the deal, the families of at least 426 infected children will receive more than $400 million in compensation, a source familiar with the talks told Reuters.

The medical workers — four Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor — were sentenced to death in December after being convicted of intentionally starting an HIV epidemic at a children’s hospital in the city of Benghazi.

In jail since 1999, the six say they are innocent and were tortured to confess.

ETHIOPIA

Opposition activists get long sentences

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — A court sentenced 35 opposition politicians and activists to life in prison yesterday and revoked their right to vote or run for public office for inciting violence in an attempt to overthrow the government.

The prosecution had called for death sentences for the defendants, who included Ethiopia’s top opposition leaders and five persons charged, tried and convicted in absentia.

Another eight defendants facing similar charges were sentenced to between 18 months and 18 years in prison, said Judge Adil Ahmed, reading the sentences on behalf of a three-judge panel. He said the judges had declined to follow a prosecution recommendation that all receive death penalties.

ZIMBABWE

Mugabe critic sued for adultery

HARARE — Zimbabwe’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube, an outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe, is being sued by a man who said Archbishop Ncube committed adultery with the man’s wife, court papers showed yesterday.

Onesimus Sibanda filed the lawsuit against Archbishop Ncube less than a week after the archbishop returned from a trip abroad, where he criticized Mr. Mugabe’s government.

Adultery is illegal in Zimbabwe and is settled in civil courts, where a complainant can seek damages. Mr. Sibanda is seeking $1.3 million at the official rate and $154,000 on the black market.

Mr. Sibanda said in court papers served by his lawyer that he was suing Archbishop Ncube because he had suffered from the reputed adulterous affair with his wife.

WALES

Court gives reprieve to a sacred bull

LONDON — A judge yesterday granted a reprieve to a sacred bull at a Hindu monastery threatened with slaughter because he is suspected of carrying bovine tuberculosis.

The plight of the bull, named Shambo, raised intense arguments about whether public health concerns superseded religious rights. The caretakers argued that the tuberculosis diagnosis was inconclusive, that he could be treated if sick and that killing him would violate their right to worship. Hindus regard cattle as sacred.

Local regulations stipulate that cattle suspected of carrying tuberculosis be slaughtered. The disease can spread to other cattle and deer, and in rare cases to dogs and cats — and humans, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

From wire dispatches and staff

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