- The Washington Times - Friday, September 26, 2003

CUBA

Brazil’s Lula arrives for talks in Cuba

HAVANA — Brazil’s leftist president arrived in Cuba yesterday for a 26-hour visit to discuss regional trade, aid and political integration with his old friend Fidel Castro — while keeping quiet about the communist island’s internal affairs.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s visit to Cuba comes as the island faces increased U.S. and European criticism for a massive crackdown that sent 75 dissidents to prison for terms ranging from six to 28 years.



Before arriving, Mr. da Silva indicated he would not raise the issue of human rights with Mr. Castro.

VATICAN

Pope to name new cardinals

VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II is expected to name new cardinals to fill out the worldwide group that eventually will elect his successor, and there were reports yesterday an announcement could come soon.

State-run RAI and other Italian media said the pontiff might act tomorrow, after the traditional noon blessing from his apartment window above St. Peter’s Square. The installation ceremony, called a consistory, would then take place around Oct. 22.

The College of Cardinals is already mainly made up of like-minded conservatives reflecting John Paul’s choices during his 25-year-papacy.

NEPAL

Maoists announce festival cease-fire

KATMANDU — Maoist rebels fighting a “people’s war” in Nepal unilaterally announced yesterday a temporary cease-fire from Oct. 2-10 to mark an important Hindu festival.

But in a statement the rebels’ chairman, Prachanda, warned the Maoists would strike back if Nepalese security forces launched any attacks on rebels during the cease-fire.

Prachanda is a nom de guerre for Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

“We have decided to adjourn all our aggressive activities for nine days from Phulpati to Purnima [the last day of the Dashain festival],” Prachanda said.

KENYA

U.S. criticized over AIDS money

NAIROBI — HIV-infected Africans shouted down an American official yesterday when she tried to defend the U.S. contribution to the fight against AIDS at a conference in Kenya.

In their second protest at the weeklong gathering, the activists from across Africa stood up and walked toward the podium, waving placards and whistling and jeering at Leslie Rowe, a diplomat from the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.

The nearly 100 activists of the Pan-African AIDS Treatment Access Movement sang and shouted that the United States should pay more toward the treatment of millions of AIDS victims on the world’s poorest continent.

BURMA

Suu Kyi leaves hospital for home

RANGOON — Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi left a Rangoon hospital yesterday after recovering from surgery and returned home where she will remain under house arrest, her doctors said.

Mrs. Suu Kyi’s personal physician, Tin Myo Win, said earlier yesterday that she had fully recovered from the uterine operation and that she would leave the hospital yesterday.

He said that Mrs. Suu Kyi “is still under detention” by the military government.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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