- The Washington Times - Monday, August 5, 2002

O'Neill visits Brazil to discuss bailout plea
SAO PAULO, Brazil Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill arrived in Brazil yesterday, beginning a four-day regional tour of South American countries seeking more consistent U.S. support for plans to repair their ailing economies.
Priority on the agenda will be discussions about a fiscal bailout package that Brazilian officials want from the International Monetary Fund in order to avoid a debt crisis and assuage financial markets jittery about October presidential elections.
The Brazilian real fell to 3.47 to the dollar, its weakest point in its eight-year history, after Mr. O'Neill suggested last week that aid money for the South American countries might be diverted to Swiss bank accounts.
After Mr. O'Neill said on Thursday that he favored IMF support for Brazil, the currency recovered.

Eastern Congo gunmen
turn back U.N. team

BUKAVU, Congo A U.N. team on a reconnaissance trip into rebel-held eastern Congo was turned back at gunpoint by unidentified soldiers, U.N. officials said yesterday.
Coming less than a week after the leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda signed a deal aimed at ending four years of war, the incident hints at the huge task ahead for U.N. peacekeepers seeking to disarm militias in the lawless jungles of the former Zaire.
The U.N. team hoped to open South Kivu's high plateau region to aid workers trying to help thousands of people displaced by fighting among the Rwandan army, its rebel allies and militias operating along the borders of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.
Battles in South Kivu have intensified as Rwandan troops and rebels crack down on fellow ethnic Tutsis to crush a popular uprising led by a dissident commander.

Colombian police
avert rebel attack

BOGOTA, Colombia Police said yesterday they had arrested six heavily armed urban commandos sent by the FARC rebel army to hit targets in Bogota leading up to Wednesday's inauguration of President-elect Alvaro Uribe.
The six suspected members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a 17,000-strong Marxist band known as FARC, had guns equipped with silencers and a telescopic sight, hand grenades and a 60-mm mortar, said the Security Administration Department, an investigative police force.
Ahead of Mr. Uribe's inauguration security is tight around the Andean mountain capital Bogota. The conservative won by a landslide by promising to get tough on leftist guerrillas and far-right paramilitaries.

Legionnaire's disease
sickens 47 Britons

BARROW-IN-FURNESS, England Sixty-two persons were undergoing medical treatment yesterday as Britain faced its worst outbreak of the deadly Legionnaire's disease in 17 years, health authorities said.
The number of confirmed cases rose to 47 from 39 on Saturday. An additional 15 persons were suspected of having contracted the disease.
An 89-year-old man died on Friday, the first death from the outbreak at Barrow-in-Furness in northwest England.
There were fears that the outbreak could rival that of 1985, when 68 persons were infected and 23 persons died in the English town of Stafford.

Iran legislators denounce
jailing of dissidents

TEHRAN More than 150 reformist members of the Iranian parliament issued an open letter yesterday denouncing a crackdown on free speech and the mass imprisonment of dissidents.
The letter came amid rising tension between reformists allied to President Mohammed Khatami and religious hard-liners controlling the judiciary and the armed and security forces.
"We frankly and honestly warn that these policies are drawing the country into despair and causing discontent," said the letter from more than half of the 290 Iranian members of parliament.

Suspected ETA bombing
kills little girl

MADRID Two persons, a child included, were killed when a car bomb exploded at a seaside resort on the eastern coast of Spain in an attack bearing the hallmarks of the Basque separatist group ETA, state radio said.
About 25 others were injured, four of them seriously, the radio said, citing government sources. A Red Cross spokeswoman said the injured could number as many as 40.
The girl was identified by local media as between 6 and 8 years of age and the daughter of a police officer.
A 50-year-old man also was killed, state radio reported. The radio report said the girl had been killed in her home when shock waves from the explosion knocked furniture on top of her.

Protestants want
no vengeance

BELFAST Mourners burying the latest victim of Northern Ireland's conflict appealed yesterday for Protestant extremists not to retaliate against Catholics in revenge.
Several hundred people crowded into a rural Presbyterian church outside Londonderry, Northern Ireland's second-largest city, for the funeral of David Caldwell.
The 51-year-old construction worker was killed Thursday when a booby-trap bomb attributed to Irish Republican Army dissidents blew up in his face as he worked on renovations at an unoccupied, unguarded British army facility. Protestant extremists immediately vowed to kill a Catholic in retaliation, although no attack has happened.
No group has claimed responsibility for Mr. Caldwell's killing, which came 10 days after 19-year-old Gerard Lawlor, a Catholic, was gunned down by Protestant extremists while walking home from a pub.

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