- The Washington Times - Friday, July 7, 2000

Ivory Coast chief vows to stay on vote course

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (Reuters) Ivory Coast's military ruler, back in control after a two-day army pay mutiny that led to the death of up to five persons, plans to press ahead with his election timetable to restore civilian rule, officials say.

"The electoral calendar remains the same, as announced," Pepe Guebe, communications adviser to army ruler Gen. Robert Guei, said Thursday as the world's top cocoa producing nation returned to work after two days of mayhem.

The first vote is on July 23, with a referendum on a draft new constitution.

Farrakhan hits U.N. as U.S. handmaiden

NEW YORK Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan lashed out at the United States Thursday for imposing its will on the world and criticized the United Nations for being the "extended arm" of Washington.

Mr. Farrakhan condemned the United States for attempting to interfere in the politics of Cuba, Iran and Libya and for using the United Nations to punish those countries that do not agree with it, as with the U.N. sanctions against Iraq.

The Nation of Islam said its leader, Mr. Farrakhan, would "address the world body of the United Nations" at a special session on "Dialogue Among Nations: Toward a Culture of Peace and The Million Family March."

But only a handful of diplomats from countries at odds with the United States including Cuba, Libya and Iraq were among the more than 100 people who attended the event in a U.N. conference room.

Argentinians plan suit over sinking

BUENOS AIRES Relatives of all 323 Argentine sailors killed when the light cruiser General Belgrano was sunk in the Falklands War in 1982 will sue for compensation and a war crimes trial for Margaret Thatcher.

After two parents filed for damages at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, this week, the rest of the seamen's relatives announced Thursday that they also would seek justice for what they call a war crime.

The Belgrano, originally a U.S. ship that survived Pearl Harbor before going on to become the pride of the Argentine fleet, was sunk by three torpedoes on May 2, 1982, after being tracked for nearly 36 hours by the British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror.

Peace manifesto signed in Bogota

BOGOTA, Colombia Colombia's leading artists, human rights activists and peace groups have signed a document promoting world peace that they hope will enhance peace prospects in their own war-torn country.

Manifesto 2000, unveiled in Paris in March 1999, already has been signed by prominent figures worldwide, including the Dalai Lama and Guatemalan human rights activist and Nobel laureate, Rigoberta Menchu.

Its promoters hope to have 100 million signatures by the United Nations millennial assembly in September.

The document was signed at a ceremony in Bogota Wednesday night.

25 die as bus crashes on way to camp

SORIA, Spain A bus carrying teen-agers to a summer camp crashed head-on Thursday with a truck that crossed into its lane, killing at least 25 passengers and both drivers, officials said. More than a dozen others were injured, several critically.

The students, from two religious schools just outside Barcelona, were nearing their destination when the accident occurred on a hill near Soria, about 125 miles northeast of the capital, Madrid.

Bodies of the victims were strewn across the road and in a steep ditch where the bus had flipped, the officials said. The front end of the bus was mangled in the collision and its seats scattered around.

Lisbon parliament legalizes drugs

LISBON The Portuguese parliament voted Thursday to decriminalize the consumption of illegal drugs such as cannabis and heroin and treat drug users as people in need of medical help.

The ruling Socialist Party, which is one seat short of an outright parliamentary majority, was backed in the vote by the Communist Party and the small Left Bloc.

Until now, drug users and those caught in possession of small amounts of banned drugs for personal use could be sentenced to up to one year in jail.

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