- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 22, 2004


Sharon rules out quitting before 2007

TEL AVIV — Ariel Sharon said yesterday that he would remain Israel’s prime minister at least until scheduled elections in 2007 after prosecutors said they were considering an indictment in a bribery case.

“I came here as prime minister and the chairman of the Likud Party… a position I intend to fill for many years, at least until 2007,” Mr. Sharon told youth members of his ruling Likud Party.

Prosecutors are considering an indictment against Mr. Sharon after charges against a businessman friend Wednesday reputedly for attempting to bribe him. If Mr. Sharon were charged, analysts think he would have little choice but to step down.


U.S. supports obesity plan

GENEVA — Key members of the World Health Organization agreed yesterday to back a worldwide drive against obesity, but health activists warned that the plan still could be diluted.

The United States, which had expressed some reservations about the WHO’s Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, joined other executive board members in voting to send it to the agency’s annual assembly in May for final approval.

“We are very much in favor of this resolution [to send it to the assembly],” Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said.

But while supporting the need for a global campaign against poor diets and lack of exercise, the United States wants more work on some details.


Surgeon triggers children’s AIDS tests

MONTREAL — More than 2,600 patients will be tested for HIV after a doctor at a Montreal children’s hospital tested positive for the virus, an official said yesterday.

The doctor performed surgery on 2,614 patients from 1990 to 2003 at Ste-Justine’s Children’s Hospital, its director of professional services said.

The hospital administration learned about the potential risk Jan. 9. The doctor is no longer at the hospital and is not practicing elsewhere, the official said.


Orthodox leader to open church

HAVANA — Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians, met with Cuban President Fidel Castro during a mission to consecrate a new cathedral built by the island’s communist government.

Patriarch Bartholomew was greeted with Greek hymns and bouquets of roses Wednesday night as he became the first Christian Orthodox patriarch to visit Latin America.

On Sunday, the patriarch will consecrate the St. Nicholas cathedral, which Mr. Castro’s government built as a gift to Orthodox Christians. Greek Orthodox officials said it was the first church of any faith to be built on the Caribbean island in Mr. Castro’s 45-year rule.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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