- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Peru regional polls go against Toledo
LIMA, Peru In a setback for President Alejandro Toledo, voters in Peru were backing opposition candidates in first-ever regional elections intended to shift power from the capital to the provinces.
Partial results from Sunday's elections showed Mr. Toledo's party capturing one of 25 regional presidencies in a vote seen as a referendum on the president, whose approval rating lately has been at 20 percent. Final results are due later this week.
The elections fulfilled a pledge by Mr. Toledo to create regional governments with the power to set their own policies, bridging the gap between mayors and the powerful central government in Lima.
The populist Aprista party, led by former President Alan Garcia, appeared to have won 12 of the regional presidencies. Mr. Garcia plans another presidential bid in 2006, making it unlikely his party would cooperate with the Toledo government.

Mexican border effort targets dengue fever
MONTERREY, Mexico Officials on the U.S.-Mexico border stepped up efforts on Sunday to contain a dengue outbreak in the Mexican city of Matamoros after health authorities confirmed 24 cases and suspected another 222.
Matamoros Public Health Director Ernesto Chanes said six of the suspected cases of dengue in the city of 450,000 residents were of the potentially lethal hemorrhagic dengue strain, but that to date, no deaths had been reported.
City workers sprayed neighborhoods where dengue cases had been confirmed, and soldiers patrolled streets looking for stagnant pools of water to contain the outbreak and stop it from spreading to Brownsville, Texas.
Brownsville health director Josue Ramirez said the city was testing mosquitoes on a daily basis to monitor the disease and also spraying to kill them. Dengue epidemics last year killed 16 persons in Honduras and 10 in El Salvador.

Kingston gun sprees kill five, wound 15
KINGSTON, Jamaica Gunmen opened fire on crowds of shoppers here on Saturday, killing five and wounding 15, police said Sunday.
Police said there was no clear motive for the shootings that began on Beckford Street and moved to nearby Matthews Lane and Hannah Town. None of the victims was publicly identified. Kingston Public Hospital officials said three of the 15 wounded were in critical condition.
The Caribbean nation of 2.7 million people has one of the world's highest murder rates, and much of the violence is blamed on inner-city gangs linked to trafficking of guns and drugs. Police said 921 persons have been slain so far this year.

Weekly notes
King Juan Carlos II of Spain and his wife, Sofia, began a visit to Mexico on Sunday with a stop at President Vicente Fox's ranch in Guanajuato state before inaugurating a cultural arts center in the state capital. The center is one of seven the Fox administration plans to open. Yesterday, the royal couple attended the opening of another cultural center, this one focused on Spain, in downtown Mexico City, and met with Spaniards living in Mexico. Brazil's President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is not likely to radically alter the country's economic policy when he takes office in January, the head of his transition team said in an interview published Sunday. Mr. Lula da Silva will honor Brazil's obligations with international lending institutions, work to lower inflation, to reform taxes and to control government spending, Antonio Palocci told O Estado de Sao Paulo.


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