- The Washington Times - Monday, July 24, 2000

Ivory Coast extends disrupted referendum

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast Authorities in Ivory Coast said that voting in yesterday's constitutional referendum would go into a second day following severe organizational problems.

Interior Minister Col. Mouassi Grena said in a statement he read on state television that the vote would continue until today in those stations where there had been problems.

Polling stations where the vote had gone ahead normally would close as planned yesterday and would not open today, he said.

The vote was disrupted in many stations because they opened late or because equipment or personnel were missing.

Sudan threatens to bar relief flights

KHARTOUM, Sudan Sudan's president has threatened to bar foreign relief planes from delivering humanitarian aid to the war-torn south, raising concern yesterday among U.N. food workers.

President Omar Bashir accused Operation Lifeline Sudan, a relief effort involving U.N. and voluntary agencies, of helping rebels battling government troops in the south. He said his government will not allow planes taking off from outside the country to bring aid to the region.

"We will not allow OLS … to be used for the provision of assistance to the rebels," Mr. Bashir said late Saturday in a ceremony aimed at rallying support for the government war effort in southern Sudan.

Dead monks disprove Columbus theory

LONDON Evidence of syphilis among medieval English monks has exploded the centuries-held theory that the sexually transmitted disease was brought to Europe by Columbus' sailors returning from the New World.

Research carried out on skeletons at an excavated priory in Hull, England, has unearthed evidence of the disease in many of the 14th-century monks.

It had been widely assumed that syphilis had its origins in the New World as little trace had been found elsewhere before 1492.

AIDS threatens Amazon natives

RIO DE JANEIRO The AIDS plague has reached native tribes of the Amazon and could soon reach the same epidemic proportions seen in some African regions, according to a recently completed U.N.-sponsored study.

"The Indians are very vulnerable. There is a serious risk that the illness could spread and devastate small communities. There are towns of 100 people that could vanish," the investigation's lead author, Victor Leonardi, told the Globo paper in an interview yesterday.

The three-year study found that three indigenous communities were at a greater risk either because of increased drug use or sexual contact including prostitution with farmers, drug traffickers and wood sellers.

IMF billions reported in Swiss account

BERN, Switzerland A Swiss investigator, probing whether Russian corruption money was laundered in Switzerland, says that up to $5 billion of an IMF loan paid to cool Moscow's 1998 financial crisis may have been diverted via a secret bank account.

Laurent Kasper-Ansermet, an investigating magistrate in Geneva, opened the money-laundering inquiry nine months ago following a major U.S. investigation into whether $15 billion of "dirty" Russian money was funneled through accounts held at the Bank of New York.

Earlier this year, former Bank of New York executive Lucy Edwards and her husband, Peter Berlin, admitted laundering $7 billion.

British paper names local pedophiles

LONDON Britain's biggest-selling weekly newspaper caused outrage after it printed the names, photographs and whereabouts of 50 convicted pedophiles across five pages of its edition yesterday.

The tabloid News of the World said "everyone in Britain has a child sex offender living within one mile of their home," referring to a list of some 110,000 registered convicted pedophiles in Britain.

Following the discovery last week of the naked body of 8-year-old Sarah Payne, abducted 17 days earlier, the paper said her murder had "proved police monitoring of these perverts is not enough. So we are revealing who they are and where they are … starting today."

Police slammed the move as an example of irresponsible journalism.

Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

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