- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 18, 2004

ISRAEL

Palestinians warned on bombing probe

JERUSALEM — U.S. officials are pressing the Palestinians to find those behind a deadly bomb attack on a U.S. diplomatic convoy three months ago, and warn that lack of progress may harm American aid programs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a Palestinian Cabinet minister said yesterday.

A senior Palestinian security official involved in the investigation said no substantial leads have emerged.

Travel of U.S. officials to the West Bank and Gaza has been suspended since the Oct. 15 bombing ripped apart a diplomat’s car in the Gaza Strip, killing three American security guards.

Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat said U.S. officials told him earlier this month that lack of progress would hamper aid work, though they did not directly threaten to scale back assistance.

MEXICO

Child-abuse fugitive from U.S. held

MEXICO CITY — Mexican police said yesterday they arrested a U.S. citizen wanted in Minnesota in connection with sexual offenses against at least 37 minors.

Federal police detained Edward Lawrence Carlson, 37, in the border city of Tijuana accompanied by a 14-year-old American girl, the Mexican Attorney-General’s Office said in a statement.

It said Carlson had jumped bail after being charged in Minnesota last August with sexual offenses against minors.

GUATEMALA

Nobel Laureate to join government

GUATEMALA CITY — Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu said yesterday she will join the new Guatemalan government to help oversee compliance with U.N.-brokered peace accords that ended a 36-year civil war.

President Oscar Berger invited Miss Menchu to join the government Thursday, a day after he was inaugurated. Her role has not been defined, but sources close to the new president say she will be “goodwill ambassador to the peace accords.”

Miss Menchu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. She later acknowledged using the testimony of other victims for her book “I, Rigoberta Menchu,” previously thought to be an autobiographical account of the civil war.

LEBANON

Five-year hiatus on death penalty ends

BEIRUT — Lebanon executed three convicted murderers yesterday, ending a five-year hiatus on imposing the death penalty.

All three men were put to death in the courtyard of the Roumieh prison, the country’s main penitentiary in a northern Beirut suburb, after President Emile Lahoud rejected appeals for clemency.

Lebanon had a five-year moratorium because former Prime Minister Salim Hoss was opposed to the death penalty. Executions must be approved by the president, prime minister and justice minister.

CHINA

Two SARS cases confirmed in south

BEIJING — China confirmed two more cases of SARS yesterday, the country’s most hectic travel weekend before the start of the Lunar New Year. The World Health Organization urged further testing to ensure the diagnosis was correct.

Previously identified as suspected patients, the new cases were a 35-year-old businessman and a 20-year-old waitress who had worked at a restaurant that served civet cat, a regional delicacy and a suspected source of the disease.

The total number of severe acute respiratory syndrome cases this year now stands at three. A 32-year-old television producer was released from the hospital last week after recovering from a milder strain of the virus.


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