Argentine court forces crisis-plan revamping
BUENOS AIRES Argentina’s government scrambled to revise its economic crisis strategy yesterday after a court ruling overturned a savings freeze, leaving the banks and peso currency facing possible collapse.
President Eduardo Duhalde, forced by Friday’s Supreme Court ruling to postpone announcement of his plan yesterday, described the judges’ decision as tantamount to blackmail.
Some economists fear the Supreme Court ruling that government bank restrictions are unconstitutional could trigger another run that might collapse the system and force banks into bankruptcy.
Tunisian politician jailed after hearing
TUNIS, Tunisia A veteran opposition leader who dramatically came out of hiding yesterday to appeal against a nine-year sentence was sent to prison to serve the term after a chaotic court hearing here.
Supporters, diplomats and media gathered as Hammi Hammami appeared at court to appeal against the sentence, handed down in 1999 after his Communist Workers Party of Tunisia was declared an illegal organization.
But his triumphant return turned to chaos when plainclothes and uniformed police burst into court to arrest him and his two co-accused before the session began.
All three were ordered to serve their nine-year, three-month terms.
Pope won’t visit ground zero
ROME Pope John Paul II has not scheduled a prayer visit to the World Trade Center site in New York City during a tour of Canada and Mexico next July, the U.S. envoy to the Vatican said yesterday.
“There’s no reason to think the pope would make a stop in the United States,” Jim Nicholson told the Ansa news agency, adding that “like all important people in the world, he is a potential target for terrorism.”
The pope is scheduled to preside over World Youth Day ceremonies in Toronto on July 25-28, before heading to Mexico for the canonization of Juan Diego, who in 1531 reported having three visions of the Virgin Mary in the town of Guadelupe, near Mexico City.
Jakarta, Aceh rebels hold secret peace talks
GENEVA Indonesian government officials and separatist rebels from the country’s troubled Aceh province were due yesterday to begin two days of talks at an undisclosed location in western Switzerland.
The meeting is being held at a secret location behind closed doors at the request of the government and the exiled Free Aceh Movement (GAM), the Geneva-based Henry Dunant Center for Humanitarian Dialogue said.
Man confesses to missionary’s slaying
BHUBANESHWAR, India A defendant in the 1999 killing of an Australian missionary told a trial court in the eastern Indian Orissa state yesterday that he was responsible for the crime and that 13 other men charged are innocent.
Mahendra Hembram, one of 14 men accused of killing the missionary, Graham Staines, 58, and his two young sons, said he was solely responsible for setting fire to the car in which the Staineses were sleeping.
Winnie Mandela faces eviction
JOHANNESURG A Johannesburg court has ordered Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to vacate the home she once shared with former President Nelson Mandela, a newspaper reported yesterday.
Mr. Mandela bought the house in 1990, shortly after being freed from prison, where he served 27 years for treason against South Africa’s apartheid state.
He divorced Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela in 1996, and bequeathed the house to the private Soweto Heritage Foundation the following year.
Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela had turned the four-room house in the Johannesburg suburb of Orlando West into a museum, charging a $1.30 entrance fee.