- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 29, 2002

VENEZUELA
Gasoline shipment arrives from Brazil
CARACAS Venezuela received its first foreign shipment of gasoline yesterday, but the 525,000 barrels from Brazil were a drop in the bucket as the oil-rich nation suffers through shortages because of a strike against President Hugo Chavez.
The 27-day strike led by Venezuela's largest labor union, business chamber and workers at the state-owned oil monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela SA has cut oil exports to 160,000 barrels a day from 3 million and evaporated domestic gasoline supplies.
Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest oil exporter, is seeking food and fuel abroad. Besides the gasoline delivered by the Brazilian tanker Amazonian Explorer yesterday, Trinidad and Tobago is sending 400,000 barrels of gasoline. The Dominican Republic sent rice, and Colombia sent 180,000 tons of food.

IVORY COAST
France sends more troops
ABIDJAN Hundreds of French troops landed in Ivory Coast yesterday, reinforcing their presence in the war-torn former colony.
A French troop carrier docked in the main city, Abidjan, after a 10-day voyage from France with about 20 trucks, a dozen jeeps, more than 30 light-armored vehicles and five helicopters.
The reinforcements take France's deployment in the West African country to about 2,500 troops, its biggest intervention force on the continent since the 1980s, when it dispatched about 3,000 soldiers to Chad to halt a Libyan-backed uprising.

VATICAN CITY
Nazi-era archives to be released
VATICAN CITY Trying to counter charges that it did too little to stop the Nazis from persecuting Jews, the Vatican has set Feb. 15 as the date when it will release archives relating to relations with pre-war Germany.
The archives will be available, however, only to scholars who make formal requests, the Vatican said yesterday. They include documents dating from 1922 to 1939, when Eugenio Pacelli later to become the wartime pope, Pius XII was Vatican ambassador in Berlin.
The Vatican's position is that Pius, pope from 1939 to 1958, did not speak out more forcefully for fear of worsening the fate of Catholics, as well as Jews, in Germany and Nazi-occupied countries.

YEMEN
Gunman kills opposition official
SAN'A A prominent Yemeni opposition official was fatally shot yesterday by a member of a rival opposition party in the Arab state, a government official said.
Jarallah Omar, deputy secretary-general of the secular Yemeni Socialist Party, was shot minutes after he gave a speech at the annual general assembly of the Islamic opposition Islah party in the capital, San'a.
The official identified the gunman as Ali Jarallah, an Islah member known for his criticism of the government and moderates in his party. The motives for the shooting were not immediately clear.

GERMANY
Writer calls Bush a threat to peace
BERLIN German writer Guenter Grass, the winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize for literature, called President Bush a threat to world peace in an interview to appear today in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
In the current political situation, Mr. Bush is motivated by "major family and private matters," Mr. Grass, the 75-year-old author of "Cat and Mouse" and "The Tin Drum," said. "The dangerous mix of financial, political and family-related interests have made him a truly dangerous politician."

JAPAN
Emperor Akihito diagnosed with cancer
TOKYO Emperor Akihito has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery next month, Japan's Imperial Household Agency announced yesterday.
Doctors examined Akihito, 69, Tuesday, an agency spokesman said. Akihito's eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will assume the emperor's duties temporarily, if necessary, while he recuperates after surgery.
Akihito assumed the throne after the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito, in 1989. Hirohito died of intestinal cancer at 87.


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