- The Washington Times - Monday, August 25, 2003

LIBERIA

Leader seeks peace in the countryside

MONROVIA — Liberia’s president asked the United States on yesterday to help stop clashes raging in the countryside despite a week-old peace deal, and urged West African peacekeepers to speed up their deployment as well.

President Moses Blah told the Associated Press that U.S. Ambassador John Blaney agreed late yesterday to try to contact rebels in hopes of engineering a true cease-fire in the interior. U.S. Embassy officials, reached soon after Mr. Blah made his appeal, said they had no information.

TANZANIA

Africans ask U.S. to lift sanctions

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania — Southern African leaders called on the West yesterday to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe but urged the country’s government and opposition to return to talks to end its political crisis.

On the first day of a two-day summit, the Southern African Development Community backed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s contentious land reforms and said so-called smart sanctions on Harare were ineffective, unwarranted and hurt ordinary people.

The European Union and the United States have refused to fund projects in which Zimbabwe is involved and have imposed sanctions to protest Mr. Mugabe’s disputed re-election last year.

BULGARIA

Oldest metalwork in Europe found

SOFIA — Bulgarian archaeologists said yesterday they uncovered the oldest evidence of metalwork in Europe, dating from the seventh millennium before Christ, at a Neolithic site in south Bulgaria.

A piece of copper scale was found in archaeological excavations near Dimitrovgrad.

The most ancient trace of European metalwork previously discovered was dated to the fourth millennium B.C., the excavation head, Krasimir Leshtanov, told the BTA news agency.

IRAN

Two are charged in Canadian death

TEHRAN — Iran said yesterday that two interrogators had been charged with complicity in “semi-intentional” murder over the death of a Canadian photojournalist in July, the official IRNA news agency said.

The death of Zahra Kazemi, 54, who Iranian government officials have said was killed by a blow to the head after her arrest for taking photographs outside a Tehran prison, has sparked a diplomatic row between Canada and Iran.

FRANCE

World facing diabetes catastrophe

PARIS — More than 300 million people worldwide are at risk of developing diabetes, and the disease’s economic impact in some hard-hit countries could be higher than that of AIDS, diabetes experts warned yesterday.

In a report released at the International Diabetes Federation conference in Paris, experts estimate the annual health-care costs of diabetes worldwide for people ages 20 to 79 are at least $153 billion.

“In some countries with a higher incidence, diabetes has a higher economic impact than AIDS,” Williams Rhys, professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Wales, said.

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