- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Political sparring stalls Mexican fiscal reforms
MEXICO CITY President Vicente Fox's economic-reform program appears to be stalled as Mexican politicians focus instead on slinging mud and gaining the upper hand before next year's key midterm congressional elections
Mr. Fox, whose election in 2000 ended the seven-decade rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has seen his reforms blocked or at best passed in much diluted form by a Congress where his party has no majority.
The elections house Chamber of Deputies will be crucial for Mr. Fox, whose National Action Party must win a majority if it is to break the political deadlock.

'Zoo party' fire toll reaches 30 in Lima
LIMA, Peru The death toll in a weekend blaze at an illegal disco packed with partygoers for a "zoo party" with caged wild animals rose to 30 yesterday, officials said.
The disco was destroyed Saturday when a pyrotechnic stunt by a barman went wrong and set the ceiling on fire, rapidly filling the club with thick black smoke and toxic fumes, firefighters said.
Despite its location, the disco crammed with about 1,000 people for an exotic party with a caged lion and tiger had neither an operating license nor adequate safety standards, officials said.

Paramilitaries due pay for Guatemala killings
GUATEMALA CITY They combed Guatemala's countryside in the 1980s armed with single-shot rifles and machetes, forced by the army to hunt down leftist rebels under the threat of death.
Two decades later, thousands of former paramilitaries, who rights groups accuse of massacring entire Mayan villages, are demanding compensation for their labor.
Under Guatemala's 1996 peace accords, the "civil patrollers" received nothing for their forced labor. The government plans to channel cash to the ex-fighters.

Wreckage on mountain may be of 1965 crash
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica Wreckage found in a mountainous region of Costa Rica last week could be that of an Argentine aircraft that crashed 36 years ago, according to authorities.
The plane fragments were found by hikers in the Chirripo National Park, a mountainous zone close to the border with Panama.
Officials told reporters they are investigating the possibility that the fragments of fuselage, as well as human teeth and a small bone, mark the crash site of a Douglas DC-4 that vanished Nov. 3, 1965.

Weekly notes
A Canadian heat wave seared southern Ontario and Quebec yesterday, and sweltering humidity, soaring to 70 percent, made it feel even worse. Temperatures were expected to hit 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in Toronto, the country's biggest city, and 91.4 degrees in Ottawa, the Canadian capital. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Brazilian Sergio Vieira de Mello yesterday as the world organization's top human rights advocate, to succeed Mary Robinson as U.N. high commissioner for human rights. The 189-member U.N. General Assembly is expected to approve his appointment this afternoon.

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