- The Washington Times - Friday, October 13, 2000

U.S. aid to Colombia needs better focus

An independent task force yesterday called for an expanded U.S. role to help Colombia restore civil authority.

The task force, led by Sen. Bob Graham, Florida Democrat, and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, said that focusing on the Colombian drug problem is not enough.

"The challenge now is to build on our current policy and try to devise a strategy that better responds to Colombia's condition of lawlessness," Mr. Graham said.

The report, "Toward Greater Peace and Security in Colombia," was sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and Inter-American Dialogue. It urges the U.S. government to go beyond the $1.3 billion military-aid package signed by President Clinton in June.

The task-force policy recommendations include directing U.S. aid toward a political solution to Colombia's internal conflicts, increasing efforts to curb drug demand in the United States and providing trade advantages to give Colombian products greater access to U.S. markets. It also calls on Colombia to establish human-rights standards for the military.

Scientists find new animal in cold

COPENHAGEN Danish scientists have found a completely new kind of animal down a cold well in Greenland and are keeping a colony of them in a fridge, the Arctic magazine Polarfronten reported on the Internet yesterday.

The 0.1 mm freshwater organism does not fit into any one of the previously known animal families making it only the fourth such creature to be discovered on the planet in the past 100 years, Polarfronten said.

Studies of the animal named "Limnognathia maerski" show that it shares some characteristics with certain sea water life forms.

Limnognathia maerski, which reproduces through the development of unfertilized eggs, uses its jaws to scrape the bacteria and algae it feeds on from underwater moss growing in icy wells that freeze over during the long Arctic winter.

Spy denies agency paid for votes

BUENOS AIRES Argentina's intelligence chief denied yesterday that his agency was involved in a vote-buying scandal that has sparked a political crisis for President Fernando De la Rua.

Senators are accused of accepting money in exchange for their votes in favor of a controversial labor law. The scandal has dogged Mr. De la Rua's government for months and forced his vice president to resign.

In an interview with the Associated Press, intelligence chief Fernando Santibanes, a close adviser to the president, repeatedly denied that intelligence service funds were used to bribe senators.

He presented slides and charts detailing the agency's finances to show there were no irregular payments at the time the labor law was passed in April. He also displayed a document showing that a federal judge's review of the agency's accounts found no irregularities.

Indians, Hawaiians ask papal repeal

VATICAN CITY Hawaiians and Caribbean Indians lit candles and sang in St. Peter's Square yesterday, appealing to Pope John Paul II to repeal a 500-year-old edict they claim justified colonialism.

The men and women no more than a dozen ended their protest by presenting a copy of the 1493 papal edict "Inter Caetera" to the Vatican's Swiss Guards.

The edict, a solemn document of a kind known as a papal bull, was issued by Alexander VI a year after Columbus first strayed onto the Americas.

Issued on behalf of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, it authorized Christian countries to occupy and convert any non-Christian nation.

Latin America lures foreign investors

BUENOS AIRES The record level of foreign direct investment that poured into Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia last year was boosted by a series of government privatizations and aided by the countries' relatively uniform legal systems, lawyers said yesterday.

The favorable business climate boosted foreign direct investment in 1999 to a record $30 billion in Brazil, which attracted more than any other developing economy apart from China and was fourth overall after the United States and Britain.

The Latin America and Caribbean region edged ahead of Asia in 1999 as a recipient of foreign direct investment, taking in $97 billion compared with $91 billion in Asia.

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