- The Washington Times - Monday, September 29, 2003

CANADA

Chretien hangs on as his party chafes

MONTREAL — Canada is in a state of political flux, with two parallel prime ministers — incumbent Jean Chretien and his certain successor, Paul Martin. Meanwhile two opposition conservative parties are trying again to unite, hoping to unseat the governing Liberals — in power for the past 10 years.

The “parallel prime minister” scenario began 14 months ago when Mr. Chretien said he would stand down as party leader in November 2003 but stay on as prime minister until February 2004.



MEXICO

Church and state clash in money probe

MEXICO CITY — The government is squabbling with the Roman Catholic Church over a money-laundering probe involving Cardinal Juan Sandoval of Guadalajara, one of a small number of clerics who oversee Vatican finances.

The affair has drawn in a wealthy friend of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, renewed claims of crimes and cover-up, and pits the church against prosecutors in the government of President Vicente Fox — who despite being divorced and remarried, is the most devoutly Catholic head of state Mexico has had in 140 years.

PERU

Jailed Berenson to wed with stand-in

LIMA, Peru — Lori Berenson, a New Yorker serving 20 years in northern Peru on terrorism charges, will need her future father-in-law to stand in for her fiance when she ties the knot in a couple of weeks, her lawyer said last week.

Prospective groom Anibal Apari was recently freed after serving a 12 year sentence as a member of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement, but his parole prevents him from leaving Lima. Apari “is going to grant his father legal power to represent him at the ceremony,” Jose Sandoval told Reuters.

Weekly notes …

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Cuba’s Fidel Castro pledged Saturday in Havana to emphasize business over politics in their relations and urged executives of both nations to make trade and investment deals. Agreements of understanding were signed between private Brazilian companies and Cuban state-run firms to jointly build hotels and produce pharmaceuticals and pesticides as well as ethanol from sugar. … Tire barricades burned in Port-au-Prince for a fifth straight day Saturday as hundreds of Haitians took to the streets to protest the killing of a gang leader once considered loyal to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The bullet-riddled body of Amiot Metayer, leader of a street gang called Cannibal Army, was found Sept. 22. His followers accuse the government of having a hand in the killing, saying he had damaging information against Mr. Aristide.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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