- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Japanese legislation expands military role
TOKYO Japan's Cabinet endorsed rules yesterday that would expand the nation's military role and give the government new powers in case of foreign attack. Opponents say the move runs afoul of Japan's post World War II pacifist constitution.
The measures are designed to give greater latitude to the prime minister and the Self-Defense Forces in time of military emergency. Cabinet endorsement brings the measures a major step closer to ratification.

Guerrilla-poet elected East Timor president
DILI, East Timor Xanana Gusmao has won East Timor's first presidential elections, completing his transformation from a poet to a gun-toting guerrilla commander to a respected statesman.
Mr. Gusmao, 55, has been a popular symbol of East Timor's struggle for independence since its invasion by Indonesia in 1975.
With 89 percent of the 378,538 votes counted yesterday, Mr. Gusmao had 79.4 percent, according to calculations based on data released by the electoral commission.

German bishop quits over sex charges
BERLIN A German bishop resigned his office after a woman accused him of sexually abusing and injuring her during an exorcism, church officials said yesterday.
Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Franziskus Eisenbach, 58 the first German bishop to step down amid a spate of sex-abuse cases that had forced out senior clerics in the United States, Poland and other countries.
The Vatican said the resignation did not amount to an admission of guilt.

Kon-Tiki explorer slips into coma
OSLO Explorer Thor Heyerdahl, whose 1947 Kon-Tiki expeditions captured the world's imagination, slipped into a coma yesterday, a week after he started refusing food, water or medical treatment.
At the time, doctors gave the 87-year-old Norwegian, recently diagnosed with brain cancer, hours or at most days to live.
A week later, Mr. Heyerdahl, who made a career of challenging the views of the scientific mainstream, was still alive but comatose, his son said.

Karzai in Rome to retrieve exiled king
ROME Afghan leader Hamid Karzai arrived in Rome yesterday to escort the nation's deposed king back home after nearly three decades of exile in Italy and nearly one month after security reasons forced the former monarch to delay his trip.
In his home country, Mohammed Zahir Shah is due to convene a grand council, or loya jirga, in June that will select a new transitional government for Afghanistan until elections can be held 18 months later.

Canada loses war hero to fraud
OTTAWA One of Canada's greatest war heroes lied about his record and made up the story of an air raid that won him the Victoria Cross, according to a new book.
Billy Bishop, a World War I pilot, is credited with 72 air victories, a record among the Commonwealth nations of former British territories.
In his book out in June "The Making of Billy Bishop" Canadian historian Brereton Greenhous says the need for a Commonwealth hero to match the exploits of Germany's "Red Baron" Manfred von Richthofen caused Bishop's superiors to exaggerate his air victories.

Former president of Guatemala dies
GUATEMALA CITY Former Guatemalan President Ramiro de Leon Carpio was found dead yesterday in a Miami apartment, family members said. He was 60.
The cause of death was unknown, but a son, Jorge Eduardo de Leon Duque, said his father might have suffered a diabetic coma. He said his father had trouble regulating his blood sugar in recent days.
Detective Juan Castillo of the Miami-Dade Police Department said there was nothing suspicious about the former president's death.
President Alfonso Portillo announced three days of mourning for Mr. de Leon Carpio, a former human rights ombudsman who was named president in 1993 when Jorge Serrano was forced to flee the country after a failed attempt to dismiss Congress and the Supreme Court.

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