- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 19, 2001

Short-circuit suspected in deadly hotel fire
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Investigators were looking at a possible short-circuit as the cause of a fire in a budget hotel that killed at least 70 persons and injured 54 others yesterday, trapping them between deadly smoke in the corridors and barred windows in their rooms.
Most of the victims at the six-story Manor Hotel in suburban Manila were attending a conference sponsored by the Irving, Texas-based Don Clowers Ministries.

Vajpayee likes Christians who don't proselytize
NEW DELHI — Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee yesterday praised Christian groups for their social work in deprived areas but said some were abusing their position to attempt religious conversions.
Mr. Vajpayee, who is leader of the Hindu nationalist BJP party that heads the ruling coalition at the center, added that Christians had a right to practice and preach their religion as they wished in India.

Nicaragua's Ortega says he is a changed man
PUERTO CABEZAS, Nicaragua — A decade after the U.S.-backed Contra war helped force him to end his Marxist rule, Daniel Ortega proclaimed himself a changed man in a new bid for the presidency.
At a recent rally of Mr. Ortega's Sandinista party, an American flag even appeared alongside the red-and-black Sandinista banner.

Paramilitaries blamed in Colombia massacre
BOGOTA, Colombia — Gunmen believed to be from a paramilitary group killed 12 persons in a Colombian village after accusing them of working with Marxist rebels, police said yesterday.
Police spokeswoman Catherine Ernot said suspected paramilitary fighters accused the victims of being members of the National Liberation Army, or ELN, before killing them.

Saddam gets jumbo jet in a show of 'gratitude'
BAGHDAD — A group of Arab businessmen visiting Baghdad yesterday gave a Boeing 747 to Saddam Hussein, the official INA agency said.
The gift was an expression of "gratitude" to Saddam and a show of "solidarity toward the Iraqi people," the news agency reported.

Peru seeks to charge Fujimori with payoff
LIMA, Peru — Peru's attorney general has asked Congress to approve charges against disgraced former President Alberto Fujimori of paying his now-jailed ex-spy chief $15 million to flee the country, a legislator said yesterday.
The accusations from Attorney General Nelly Calderon against Mr. Fujimori and three ex-ministers were for embezzlement and "illegal association," newspapers said.

Tropical storm No. 1 targets Jamaica
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Fast-moving Chantal, the Caribbean's first tropical storm of the year, barreled on toward Jamaica yesterday after soaking small islands and leaving two dead in Trinidad.
The storm has alternately lost and regained strength during the last two days over the Caribbean Sea.

Greece seeks deal to recover art
LONDON — Greece has offered to loan hundreds of newly discovered treasures in a bid to persuade Britain to return the disputed Elgin Marbles in time for the 2004 Olympic Games, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported in today's edition.
Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek culture minister, believes that the deal will end the standoff between the two nations over the 56 sculpted friezes, removed from the Parthenon in Athens in 1801 by Lord Elgin.


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