- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Heroin 'weaning' tests considered in Canada
TORONTO Canadian researchers are seeking government approval to study the use of high-quality heroin, rather than the drug substitute methadone, in addiction-treatment programs.
A proposal should go the Health Ministry this week, Vancouver physician Martin Schechter of the University of British Columbia said over the weekend. He said similar studies have been carried out in Europe, but this would be the first in North America.
The standard addiction therapy, in which addicts are given the heroin substitute methadone, "can be highly effective," Dr. Schechter earlier told the first International Conference on Inner City Health.

PRI campaign aides charged in Mexico
MEXICO CITY A judge has ordered the arrest of four advisers to losing presidential candidate Francisco Labastida, whose Institutional Revolutionary Party controlled Mexico's presidency for 71 straight years until his defeat by Vicente Fox in July 2000 elections.
The four are accused of helping funnel tens of millions of dollars from accounts controlled by the labor union of the state-run oil monopoly, Petroleos Mexicanos. The warrants, issued Friday but not made public until late Saturday night, direct authorities to arrest Carlos Almada, Mr. Labastida's campaign secretary and three other aides.
Prosecutors believe the campaign officials conspired with the head of the labor union, Carlos Romero Deschamps, and other current and former officials at the oil monopoly to launder $64 million for the Labastida campaign.
The Mexican legislature is reviewing a request by prosecutors to strip Mr. Romero, an Institutional Revolutionary congressman, of legislative immunity so that he can face prosecution.

Spanish judge to quiz imprisoned Montesinos
LIMA, Peru Spanish Judge Baltazar Garzon was awaited here yesterday to question former Peruvian secret police Chief Vladimiro Montesinos as part of an investigation opened in Spain against Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, said judicial sources.
Judge Garzon's interrogation of Mr. Montesinos, held at a top-security jail since June 2001, will be a joint one with Peruvian anti-corruption prosecutor Juana Meza.
Their interview of Mr. Montesinos reputed to be the head of a corruption network in the administration of former President Alberto Fujimori was to be held at the Callao naval base jail, where the former spy chief is detained.

Weekly notes
After 43 years in power, Cuban President Fidel Castro, 76, has decided what he would like to do next: be reincarnated in the image of his close friend and 1982 Nobel literature prize laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Praising the Colombian author in a letter published Sunday in Colombia's Cambio magazine before the publication today of the novelist's memoirs, Mr. Castro praised his friend's "obstinate and persistent attention to detail that supports, like a philosopher's stone, all of the creativity of his dazzling exaggerations." Chile wants to strengthen economic ties with central and eastern Europe, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos said in Budapest yesterday. Mr. Lagos, who arrived there from Moscow on a three-country tour that will also take him to Poland, said Chile is particularly interested in boosting Chilean investment in Hungary.


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