- The Washington Times - Friday, March 30, 2001

Argentina pushes for economic czar

BUENOS AIRES Argentina's Senate gave special temporary powers to Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo yesterday to implement his strategy to drag the sickly economy out of a 2*-year slump.

The "superpowers," approved by the lower house of Congress on Tuesday, will last for a year and will enable Mr. Cavallo to spin off state institutions into companies, implement or cancel tax exemptions, modify tariffs, and make some state reforms.

It now falls to President Fernando de la Rua to sign the special powers into law.

The lower house previously modified the powers, preventing Mr. Cavallo from cutting civil servants' pay, reforming labor laws and pension systems or privatizing state enterprises.

Peace in sight, Zapatista declares

MEXICO CITY Zapatista negotiator "Comandante German" said yesterday that peace is in sight now that dialogue between the leftist insurgents and the government is under way.

"Peace is on its way, dialogue has formally restarted," said the founder of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), who was named yesterday as the insurgency's point man in the peace process.

He made the comments after holding informal talks with an adviser to President Vicente Fox only a day after the masked rebels set the markers for the peace process at a historic appearance before the Mexican Congress.

Hemisphere countries back Annan re-election

NEW YORK The 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries at the United Nations yesterday endorsed Kofi Annan for a second term as secretary-general, adding to overwhelming support for his re-election.

Calling his performance "brilliant," the group expressed "proud satisfaction for and support to the re-election of Mr. Kofi Annan to a second term as secretary-general of the United Nations." A statement was issued by Cuba, which holds the regional group's rotating chairmanship.

Mr. Annan already has the backing of the 53-nation Africa Group, the United States, France and five Nordic nations, making his re-election a virtual foregone conclusion.

Indian leader urges unity in Internet age

OTTAWA The leader of Canada's First Nations indigenous North Americans living on recognized reserves called yesterday for indigenous peoples of the Americas to put on a united front in the world of globalization.

Addressing the formal opening of the Indigenous People's Summit of the Americas, Matthew Coone Come, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said the indigenous peoples of the Americas had a new tool to help them achieve cohesion and unity the Internet.

"We missed the industrial revolution," said Mr. Coone Come. "We will not miss the information technology revolution."

Former leftist sworn in as St. Vincent premier

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent Ralph Gonsalves, a lawyer and veteran politician known to many as "Comrade Ralph" for his leftist past, was sworn in yesterday as prime minister of the small southeastern Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Mr. Gonsalves' Unity Labor Party (ULP) swept to a landslide election win Wednesday in the former British colony of 120,000 people, winning 12 out of 15 parliamentary seats to unseat the New Democratic Party after 16 unbroken years in power.

Mr. Gonsalves, who reiterated his party's campaign pledge to focus on job creation, was sworn in by Governor General Sir Charles Antrobus for a five-year term. He was expected to announce his Cabinet today.

Two in robbery sentenced to die

NAROK, Kenya Two Tanzanians accused of robbing 29 American tourists in Kenya's Masai Mara game park were sentenced to hang yesterday after pleading guilty to the charges.

Saikara Ole Kisusua and Kamamoru Ole Suele had been charged with holding up the Americans on a road in the world-famous park last June with AK-47 assault rifles and swords. They robbed them of money, cameras, binoculars and other personal belongings.

Ole Kisusua and Ole Suele pleaded guilty Wednesday to 10 counts of robbery with violence, apparently in the belief that they would receive more lenient sentences.

The two, who were not represented in the trial, looked shocked as the death sentence was handed down.

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