- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Soros offers to help Duhalde in Argentina
BUENOS AIRES International financier George Soros has offered to help President Eduardo Duhalde find a way out of Argentina's economic crisis, but is still awaiting a response, the Buenos Aires daily BAE reported yesterday.
Mr. Soros offered to introduce Mr. Duhalde to some of his partners in Argentina, the paper said, reproducing part of the letter to the president, dated Jan. 9.
"It will not come as a surprise to you when I say that my assessment of the situation is very bleak. But the worse the situation is, the more important it is to try and improve it. If there is anything I can do, you can count on my support," the letter said.

Drive-by shooters kill girl, 5, in Jamaica
KINGSTON, Jamaica Gunmen in a moving car fired wildly at pedestrians on a Kingston street, killing a 5-year-old girl and wounding two men, Jamaican police said yesterday.
The gunmen escaped after opening fire Sunday night as they drove through downtown Kingston, police said. Shanti Hamilton, 5, was shot in the head and killed. The motive for the shootings was unknown.
Thirty-seven persons have been shot and killed in the first 13 days of 2002, police said.

15 missing in boat off southern Mexico
GUATEMALA CITY Fifteen persons are missing after a shark-hunting boat capsized in Guatemala's Pacific waters near Mexico.
The boatload of 17 persons, most of whom were Salvadoran, was headed for Mexico and, eventually, the United States, said Marleny Gonzalez, the only survivor known to have reached land.
The boat began taking on water late Saturday after crossing the wake of a larger boat belonging to Mexico's immigration service.

Taxidermist arrested with rare pelts
MEXICO CITY Police confiscated hundreds of animal skins and stuffed remains, many from endangered species, at an illegal taxidermy operation.
Officials said Sunday that more than 400 items were recovered, including a lion's head, the skins of leopards, pumas and a Bengal tiger, as well as stuffed jaguars, ocelots and spider monkeys.

Weekly notes
Amparo Montes, who rose to fame singing the reflective, romantic melodies known as boleros, died of pneumonia over the weekend in Mexico City after being hospitalized for two months. News media variously reported her age at between 77 and 81. Miss Montes began her career on one of Mexico's first radio shows in 1938 and was one of the last surviving performers from its "golden age" of music in the 1940 and '50s. Gregorio Fuentes, the weather-beaten captain of novelist Ernest Hemingway's boat in Cuba and inspiration for "The Old Man And the Sea," died Sunday at age 104 in the fishing village of Cojimar. "He was a symbol of Cuban fishing and of human brotherhood, thanks to his years of friendship with Hemingway," said a friend, Jose Miguel Diaz Escrich, who runs Havana's Hemingway International Nautical Club.

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