- The Washington Times - Friday, January 12, 2001

Cuban diplomat seeks support in Africa

HAVANA Cuba's top diplomat flew to Africa and the Middle East this week to recruit international help in the country's fight to defeat the 4-decade-old U.S. trade embargo.

"Our primary priority for 2001 is to continue battling against the North American blockade," Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said in an interview this week before taking off on his first international trip of the year.

Cuba has the backing of the United Nations, where 167 General Assembly members voted last year to condemn the 1962 embargo on all trade between the United States and Cuba.

Albright takes post at democracy institute

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright will become chairman of the board at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, a U.S.-funded group that supports democracy worldwide, when she leaves office Jan. 20.

Mrs. Albright, who was a founding vice chairman of NDI in 1983, will not be paid for the part-time work at the institute, NDI President Kenneth Wollack said yesterday.

"We will be fortunate to benefit from Madeleine Albright's leadership as NDI responds to new opportunities and challenges," Mr. Wollack said.

American is trampled by park elephant

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania An American woman was trampled to death by an elephant in a Tanzanian national park after it became enraged by the clicking sounds of her camera, officials said yesterday.

Natalie Waldinger, 24, of Huntington, N.Y., died Sunday in Ruaha National Park in central Tanzania, during a break in her tour as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer teacher in this East African nation.

Miss Waldinger and an unidentified American woman left their car to photograph the wild animal, said Lota Melamari, chief of the Tanzania National Parks Authority. The sound of metallic clicks from their cameras enraged the elephant, which charged the two, Miss Melamari said.

Princess Margaret is hospitalized

LONDON Queen Elizabeth's younger sister Princess Margaret is suffering from a "severe loss of appetite" and will remain in the hospital overnight, Buckingham Palace said yesterday.

The palace, which said the 70-year-old princess may have lost her appetite as a result of a "recent apparent stroke," declined to give details, but British media reported that she was being fed through a tube, having not eaten for two weeks.

"She is being closely monitored," a palace spokesman said.

Colombian rebel camp found in Ecuador

QUITO, Ecuador Ecuador believes it has found an abandoned Colombian guerrilla camp in its jungle, fueling fears that leftist rebels from its northern neighbor may be operating across the border, military sources said yesterday.

A source in the intelligence unit of Ecuador's military high command said the camp, about five miles into Ecuadorean territory across from the Putumayo region in Colombia's Amazon jungle, consisted of a hut, trenches, military uniforms and backpacks.

The way the camp was built indicated it belonged to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the nation's biggest guerrilla group, the source said.

Somalia supports regional arms curbs

NEW YORK Somalia's prime minister yesterday added his voice against lifting a U.N. arms embargo against neighboring Ethiopia and Eritrea, as the United States wants to do next week.

Prime Minister Ali Khalif Galaid, paying his first visit to the U.N. Security Council, said he was "totally opposed to lifting the arms embargo," particularly in light of his country's running feud with Ethiopia.

"We in the Horn (of Africa) have as much weapons as we want to use in probably the next two generations, and I think it will be a very major disappointment to us if the embargo is lifted," Mr. Galaid said.

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