- The Washington Times - Monday, October 20, 2003

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Former Muslim leader dies of heart disease

SARAJEVO — Former Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic died here yesterday at age 78.

Doctors said Mr. Izetbegovic died from chronic heart disease and complications after he fell at home last month and broke four ribs. He was admitted to a hospital Sept. 10.

Mr. Izetbegovic was the last to leave office of the rival Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian Muslim leaders who signed the U.S.-sponsored Dayton peace treaty that ended the 1992-95 war. He quit politics in 2000 because of poor health and deteriorating relations with Western peace envoys.

BOLIVIA

Technocrats prevail in new government

LA PAZ — Bolivia’s new president swore in his new Cabinet yesterday, largely fulfilling his promise to name ministers who are independent of political parties.

While some of the new ministers once were politicians with the leftist party called Free Bolivia Movement, most of the 15 ministers named by Carlos Mesa are little-known economists and intellectuals.

Mr. Mesa, who took office Friday night after deadly street protests forced President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada to flee to the United States, urged the new Cabinet ministers to watch every step.

CUBA

Travel executives defy U.S. crackdown

HAVANA — Three dozen U.S. travel-industry executives visited Cuba yesterday to study its business potential, defying a Bush administration crackdown on American travel to the communist island.

The group, whose industry stands to gain if the United States lifts its ban on travel to Cuba, was welcomed with a champagne breakfast to the strains of salsa music and a tour of the city’s hotels.

Matt Grayson, director of the National Tour Association, said Cuba had everything American tourists wanted after September 11: a close, safe location, plenty of culture and history, and sunny beaches and diving.

BRITAIN

Blair visits hospital for heart treatment

LONDON — Prime Minister Tony Blair received electrocardiac treatment at a London hospital yesterday after being admitted with heart palpitations, and was later released “well and in good spirits,” his office said.

Doctors told Mr. Blair, who spent five hours in the hospital for the treatment, to rest for a day. A Downing Street spokesman said it was only a minor scare without serious repercussions.

Mr. Blair, 50, keeps himself fit with a near-daily treadmill workout, but has had a grueling year dealing with the Iraq war followed by a damaging inquiry into the suicide of a weapons specialist.

MALAWI

Reporter who tried to use toilet is fined

BLANTYRE — A Malawi court fined a foreign journalist yesterday for breaching security rules by trying to use a business-class toilet on a state airliner carrying Vice President Justin Malewezi.

Zambian journalist Peter Chilambwe said after being fined 47 U.S. cents on a charge of conduct likely to cause a breach of public peace that he would never travel with Air Malawi again.

“They should make these rules clear when one is booking,” he complained.

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