- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 13, 2001

Briton gets life for schoolgirl's murder
LEWES, England A British man was found guilty yesterday of the kidnap and murder of an 8-year-old schoolgirl whose death in July 2000 shocked Britain and set off a rampage of anti-pedophile vigilantes.
Roy Whiting was sentenced to life imprisonment for the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne with a recommendation by trial judge Justice Richard Curtis that he never be released.
"You are indeed an evil man. You are in no way mentally unwell. I have seen you for a month and in my view you are a glib and cunning liar," Justice Curtis said.
Cheers erupted as the jury foreman read out the unanimous verdict at Lewes Crown Court.

U.N. report focuses on child sex trade
NEW YORK An 8-year-old girl in a Thai village raped by a man in her grandmother's garden is among the grim accounts in a U.N. report released yesterday, part of a global effort to end the sexual abuse of children.
"Millions of children around the world are exploited for commercial sex," Carol Bellamy, the executive director of the U.N. Children's Fund, UNICEF, said in the report prepared for the Second World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation from Dec. 17 to 20 in Japan.
"Bought and sold like chattel, trafficked within and across borders, thrown into such situations as forced marriage, prostitution and child pornography, many suffer profound and sometimes permanent damage," Mrs. Bellamy said.

Britain accuses Hezbollah of terror
BEIRUT Britain accused Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas of "terrorist" activities yesterday, stepping up Western pressure on Lebanon over its stance in the U.S.-led war against terrorism.
"We believe that within the Hezbollah movement there is still a cell or group which is terrorist according to British law," British Ambassador to Lebanon Richard Kinchen said after meeting Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah.
Lebanon already is facing pressure from the United States which has long deemed Hezbollah "terrorist" to rein in the group as a contribution to the anti-terror campaign sparked by the September 11 attacks.
Washington believed Hezbollah was behind the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 persons, and had asked Lebanon to freeze the group's assets. Lebanon has said it will not comply with the request.

Spain's rape leniency sparks outrage
MADRID Women's groups condemned Spain's justice system yesterday after the Supreme Court reduced the sentence of a rapist because he was drunk, the latest in a string of rulings in which the aggressor's drinking and the victim's past were seen as mitigating factors.
On Monday, the high court quashed the sentence in the conviction of 18-year-old Marcos Gonzalez Rodriguez for raping a mentally retarded girl while two friends pinned her down.
The five male justices cut Rodriguez's sentence from 13 to eight years and those of co-defendants Manuel Rodriguez Bidault and Rafael Rodriguez Racca from 12 and six years to two years each because the lower court failed to take into account what the court called "very valid" mitigating circumstances.

Ortega to face sexual-abuse charges
MANAGUA, Nicaragua Former Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega renounced his congressional immunity yesterday, saying he wants to confront his stepdaughter's charges that he repeatedly raped her.
"I want to say that I'm innocent, that I reject the charges," Mr. Ortega told Managua criminal court Judge Juana Mendez. He formally renounced protection from prosecution granted members of Congress.
Mr. Ortega's attorneys have argued that the statute of limitations on the accusations of Zoilamerica Narvaez, the daughter of his wife, Rosario Murillo, has expired.
Mr. Ortega led the leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front government between 1979 and 1990, when he lost a re-election bid. He also lost presidential elections in 1996 and last month.

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