- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 8, 2001

Million in Sudan lack food and water

NAIROBI, Kenya As many as 1 million people are without food or water in southern Sudan after fleeing government-rebel fighting in the region, aid agencies said yesterday.

"A million people are living under the nightmare of extreme hunger and thirst," Monsignor Cesare Mazzolari, a bishop in the region, told the Roman Catholic missionary news agency Misna in Rome. "These people are on the brink of death."

Monsignor Mazzolari said the worst situation was in Bahr el-Ghazal in south-central Sudan, close to the border with the Central African Republic, where several people had already died of thirst and there was the threat of cholera and other diseases.

Dutch expedition finds rare plane

CARACAS, Venezuela A Dutch expedition has salvaged the wreckage of a rare, antique twin-engine passenger plane that crashed in the Venezuelan jungle in 1937, diplomats said.

The expedition, sponsored by the Dutch Aerospace Museum Aviodome-Schiphol and the Venezuela air force, found the wreckage of the Fokker-8 beside an isolated airstrip in a jungle clearing near the Indian village of Uruyen in the southeastern state of Bolivar, 500 miles from Caracas.

The 15-passenger Fokker-8 is the only remaining model of its kind in the world.

Peace Corps volunteer missing in Bolivia

LA PAZ, Bolivia A 22-year-old U.S. Peace Corps volunteer is missing in Bolivia and was last seen by co-workers two weeks ago, U.S. officials and colleagues said yesterday.

Fellow volunteers said they last saw Walter Poirier of Lowell, Mass., on Feb. 22 in La Paz, the capital. He had been working in tourism development in the nearby Zongo Valley since August.

U.S. officials are trying to find Mr. Poirier, said an embassy official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Harry's Bar declared a national treasure

ROME Harry's Bar in Venice, whose regulars have included royalty, intellectuals and writers, is to become a national monument.

The move by Italy's Fine Arts and Culture Ministry to protect the birthplace of the Bellini cocktail (one part peach juice, two parts champagne) and its furnishings and fittings is welcome news for Arrigo Cipirani, son of the bar's founder, Giuseppe.

It means that Mr. Cipriani cannot be evicted, an action his landlady tried to take four years ago.

EU pressures Bush on death penalty

The European Union has angered the Bush administration by taking America to task for ignoring "human rights norms" in its refusal to abolish the death penalty.

President Bush was a strong supporter of capital punishment while governor of Texas, and White House sources said the EU's "preoccupation" with an American domestic policy matter could sour trans-Atlantic relations.

Secretary of State Colin Powell, a supporter of the death penalty, gave a vigorous defense of the American position on Tuesday when Anna Lindh, the Swedish foreign minister, said there was "strong sentiment" in Europe on the issue.

Javier Solana, the European high representative for foreign and security policy, and Chris Patten, commissioner for external affairs, were also at the Washington meeting.

Thai financier's extradition ordered

LONDON A British judge granted the Thai government's request yesterday to extradite a financier accused of embezzling millions of dollars by authorizing bad loans that helped trigger his country's 1997 economic slide.

District Judge Colin Pratt said the Thai government did not appear to have sufficient evidence to prove charges that Pin Chakkapak embezzled $55 million or that his authorization of possibly improper loans was criminal.

But he ordered that Mr. Pin be returned to Thailand to face accusations that he deceived authorities.

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