- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Chilean Congress abolishes death penalty
SANTIAGO, Chile — Chiles lower house of Congress agreed yesterday to abolish the death penalty and replace it with a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Chilean Justice Minister Juan Antonio Gomez said the move simply brought legislation into line with judicial practice in Chile, since judges seldom applied the death penalty.
Seventy-five other countries have abolished death penalties for all crimes and another 33 have abolished it in practice for most cases, said Amnesty International.

Canada pledges $81 million in aid
QUEBEC CITY — Canada said yesterday it was giving $81 million in aid to fight poverty in Latin America, three days ahead of the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City.
The money will be channeled through the Canadian International Development Agency and will target, among other things, education, health, labor and human rights support.
At a news conference in Quebec City, Canadas minister for international cooperation, Maria Minna, announced 28 new projects, mainly in the Caribbean and Central America.

Call for checks on clergy and staff
LONDON — All clergy, staff and volunteers in the Roman Catholic Church should be subject to police checks to stamp out sexual abuse of children, a report commissioned by the church said yesterday.
The church also must not hush up accusations of abuse, added the report of a commission headed by Lord Nolan, a former appeals judge.
"We believe that the Catholic Church in England and Wales should become an example of best practice in the prevention of child abuse and in responding to it, " Lord Nolan said.
Between 1995 and 1999, 21 of the 5,600 Catholic priests in England and Wales were convicted of offenses against children.

Guerrillas hold workers of U.S. oil field
BOGOTA, Colombia — After releasing dozens of hostages, suspected leftist guerrillas yesterday still held captive 27 Colombian contract employees of U.S.-based oil giant Occidental Petroleum, the company said.
The mass abduction appeared linked to faltering peace talks, and it highlighted the perils facing the oil industry in the war-wracked South American country.
Authorities accused the leftist National Liberation Army of abducting the employees late Monday along a highway in eastern Arauca state, near a huge oil field operated by Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum.

Castro renews vow to socialism
HAVANA — President Fidel Castro reaffirmed his commitment to socialism 40 years after the Bay of Pigs invasion an event that set the stage for two generations of angry rhetoric between Havana and Washington.
"Workers and farmers, humble men and women of the fatherland: Do you swear to defend this revolution to the last drop of blood? " Mr. Castro asked tens of thousands of pro-government militants repeating the speech he gave on the same street corner on April 16, 1961, the day before the invasion began.

EU milestone passes in silence
BRUSSELS — Today marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the treaty that led to the European Union, but the milestone is being passed in silence.
Signed on April 18, 1951, by France, Germany, Italy and the three Benelux states, the treaty created the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), embryo of todays European institutions.
The idea behind it putting the French and German coal and steel industries under one supranational body, thus rendering it virtually impossible for them to be exploited for military purposes was publicly set out on May 9, 1950, by French foreign minister Robert Schuman.
No one had any inkling that the proposal one day would lead to the creation of a single European market and an economy rivaling that of the United States.

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