- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 3, 2002

Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai to face November trial

HARARE, Zimbabwe Zimbabwe's main opposition leader will stand trial in November on charges he plotted to assassinate President Robert Mugabe, a court ruled yesterday. The treason charges carry the death penalty.

Morgan Tsvangirai, 50, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, has denied the charges. A lower court judge set the trial for Nov. 11 and extended Mr. Tsvangirai's bail.

The charges were filed in March after a Canadian-based consulting company released a secretly recorded videotape of a meeting in Montreal, which they said incriminated Mr. Tsvangirai.

Chavez backers clash with police; 5 wounded

CARACAS, Venezuela Gunmen with high-caliber weapons ambushed police and civilians in a Caracas slum yesterday, wounding at least five persons, including a police officer.

Greater Caracas Mayor Alfredo Pena blamed the Tupamaros, a street gang allied with President Hugo Chavez, for the ambush. A Tupamaro spokesman, Jose Pinto, denied responsibility.

Chavez supporters have repeatedly clashed this week with the city police. The disturbances began Tuesday outside the Supreme Court, which is deciding whether four military officers should be tried for their actions during an April 12-14 coup that briefly ousted Mr. Chavez.

Driver's parents doubt Diana-crash evidence

LONDON The parents of the French driver blamed for the car crash that killed Princess Diana said yesterday they are taking legal action to clear his name, asking for the blood sample used to prove he had been drinking.

Henri Paul died in the Aug. 31, 1997, crash in a Paris traffic tunnel that also killed Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. An investigation concluded that Paul had been drinking and was driving at a high speed.

Jean and Gisele Paul say they are not convinced the blood sample used to judge his alcohol level was their son's.

'Vampire' teen convicted of killing woman, 90

LONDON A teenager who prosecutors said wanted to be a vampire was convicted yesterday of fatally stabbing an elderly woman, cutting out her heart and drinking her blood.

A jury at Mold Crown Court found Mathew Hardman, 17, guilty of slaying 90-year-old widow Mabel Leyshon at her home in the north Wales town of Llanfairpwll last Nov. 24.

He was ordered detained "at Her Majesty's pleasure" a sentence that applies to juveniles convicted of murder and carries a minimum 12-year prison term.

Turkey may end death penalty

ANKARA, Turkey Turkey's parliament voted yesterday to include the abolition of the death penalty in a reform package meant to enhance the country's chances of joining the European Union.

The proposed measure would replace the death penalty with life imprisonment, although capital punishment would remain on the books for use in wartime or during the threat of war. Parliament is expected to vote on the full reform package today.

The Nationalist Party, the largest in parliament, voted against having the death-penalty proposal included in the reform package. The party wants the death sentence imposed on captured Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.

People's protest kills plan for airport

MEXICO CITY The government yesterday decided to cancel plans to build a new international airport on the eastern outskirts of Mexico City, yielding to protests by machete-wielding farmers and radicals.

The Communications and Transport Department announced late Thursday it would consider other sites for the new terminal.

The planned $2.3 billion project envisaged a new airport with six runways, to replace the existing, 91-year-old facility, which can only use one runway at a time and cannot be expanded because it is hemmed in by homes and businesses near the center of Mexico City.

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