- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 23, 2001

Tropical Storm Dean threatens Caribbean
ROAD TOWN, British Virgin Islands — Tropical Storm Dean emerged yesterday in the Caribbean, generating fierce wind gusts that closed two airports and forced the cancellation of flights to several islands.
Dean began as a tropical wave — a weather system that lacks westwardly winds — and gained strength so quickly it was upgraded to a tropical storm.
By midafternoon, St. Croix reported wind gusts of 72 mph, and Dutch St. Maarten and the British Virgin Islands had closed their airports. American Eagle canceled 27 flights. The Bahamas issued a tropical storm warning for the southeastern Bahamas, including Acklins Island, Crooked Island and the Inaguas and Ragged islands.

FARC says IRA came only 'to chat'
BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia's top leftist rebel commander yesterday rejected allegations that three suspected IRA guerrillas had trained his troops and said the Irishmen had visited only "to chat."
"Representatives of the political movement Sinn Fein came to the demilitarized area. They came to chat with us, exchange opinions and learn from a different reality," Manuel "Sureshot" Marulanda, leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, told the Voz newspaper.
Colombian prosecutors on Tuesday formally charged Niall Terence Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan with training the FARC to make bombs and other weapons and carrying false passports.

Brazil to violate patent on AIDS drug
RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil's Health Ministry said yesterday it has started the process to produce nelfinavir in Brazil after failing to persuade Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche to lower its price for the AIDS medication.
Brazil, which has the highest number of AIDS patients in Latin America, has threatened to violate patents on AIDS drugs if pharmaceutical companies do not lower their prices. Earlier this year, Roche had offered to cut the price of nelfinavir by 13 percent, but Brazil rejected the offer and has been negotiating ever since.
In March, U.S. drug maker Merck bowed to pressure and agreed to slash prices on AIDS drugs for Brazil rather than face possible competition from locally produced drugs.

French region gets first euro coins
VALENCE, France — In a heavily guarded transport operation overseen by police and the army, France yesterday moved the country's first consignment of euro coins to an air force base in the southeast of the country, officials said.
The top government office for the Drome region, south of Lyon, said 70 tons of coins worth fractions of a euro had been delivered to the Chabeuil base, before delivery to banks. Deliveries of euro notes were also under way, but by different routes.
Deliveries of euro notes and coins to banks throughout the 12-country euro zone are to start Sept. 1, and the new currency will replace the existing ones Jan. 1.

Future princess admits wild past
OSLO — The bride-to-be of Norway's crown prince admitted — and regretted — her wild past yesterday, days before their wedding, hoping to clear the slate at the start of a long path to her someday becoming queen.
Ever since Crown Prince Haakon announced that he was dating Mette-Marit Tjessem Hoiby 15 months ago, the Norwegian media have been abuzz about the future crown princess's past.
Miss Hoiby, 28, the unwed mother of a 4-year-old boy, had frequented parties where drugs were used. In advance of Saturday's royal wedding, she for the first time neared a public admission of using drugs herself.
"We violated the limits," she said yesterday, appearing with the 28-year-old crown prince at a palace news conference. She added that "my youth rebellion was much stronger than many others — that resulted in me living quite a wild life."
About half of Norway's first-born children are to single mothers, so Norwegians barely raised an eyebrow over Miss Hoiby having a child. But the nation takes a dim view of drug abuse.

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