- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2002

Aleman family leaves as graft trial looms
MANAGUA, Nicaragua The family of former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Aleman left the country yesterday amid growing chances he would stand trial on charges he stole $100 million while in public office.
The ex-president canceled his reservation on a commercial flight to Miami yesterday, but his wife, Maria Fernanda, and two sons boarded the plane, said Jesus Castillo, a top migration and foreign affairs official.
The chances Mr. Aleman would face graft charges in criminal court grew Thursday when Nicaraguan lawmakers removed him as head of the divided National Assembly, taking one step closer to stripping his congressional immunity.

Projections say Swiss rejected spending plan
GENEVA Swiss voters rejected two proposals yesterday to spend multibillion-dollar gold-sale proceeds on the needy, according to exit-poll projections.
About 52 percent turned down a government plan to split the interest from the gold sales equally among the Swiss social security program, regional governments and people in need at home or abroad, said the projections.
The voters also rejected by 51 percent a proposal that would have devoted all the proceeds to the social security program, the projections by the GfS research institute said.

Bomb victim's kidney goes to Palestinian
JERUSALEM The kidney of a Jewish teenager killed in a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv last week has been given to a Palestinian girl suffering from a disease that eventually would lead to kidney failure.
Seven-year-old Yasmin Abu Ramila received the kidney of Jonathan Jesner, a 19-year-old student from Glasgow, Scotland, who was on a Tel Aviv bus on Thursday when a Palestinian militant detonated his explosives.
Five persons were killed immediately. Mr. Jesner, who had postponed medical school to attend a religious school in Israel, was wounded and died a day later.

Mugabe will boycott Commonwealth talks
ABUJA, Nigeria Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has decided to boycott a Commonwealth troika meeting on his country's land and political crisis, set to start today, Nigerian officials said.
The group of three Commonwealth nations, comprising South Africa, Nigeria and Australia, was to meet in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, to review steps Zimbabwe has taken to avert further action after it was suspended from the Commonwealth in March after Mr. Mugabe's re-election.

Plan on sex abuse still under study
ROME The Vatican next month will make known its position on the U.S. bishops' strategy to stop sex abuse by clergy, a policy expected to raise objections.
The Vatican press office yesterday would not comment on a report by the National Catholic Reporter, a U.S.-based publication, that the Vatican would not grant legal approval to the guidelines, adopted in June at a Dallas meeting of U.S. bishops.
Without Rome's approval, the bishops' policy will not be binding on American dioceses.

Pakistani forces arrest 10 al Qaeda suspects
PESHAWAR, Pakistan Security forces arrested 10 Arab men as they tried to sneak across the border from neighboring Afghanistan in the past week, officials said yesterday.
The men, traveling with fake passports, were ordered held in northwestern Pakistan. Officials suspected they might be part of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
"The suspects are being questioned by the Pakistani authorities," a police official with knowledge of the case said in an interview, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

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