- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 13, 2004

Fingerprint checks net 200 criminals

Fingerprinting visitors from most foreign countries has strengthened U.S. security by preventing 200 known or suspected criminals from entering the United States, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday.

In all, 3.5 million visitors have been processed through a system of digital photographs and fingerprints since January, Mr. Powell said at a Chamber of Commerce annual tourism meeting.

“People get used to it,” Mr. Powell said. “As we explained to them, we are not doing it to harass them but to protect us and them. It has gained respectability.”

Mr. Powell brought the good news to the tourism executives that American travel abroad as well as by foreigners to the United States is on the upswing since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

BRAZIL

U.S. reporter faces expulsion over story

BRASILIA — President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva came under criticism yesterday for deciding to expel a New York Times correspondent who had written a story saying the Brazilian leader was a heavy drinker.

The newspaper protested the order against correspondent Larry Rohter and said it “would take appropriate action to defend his rights.”

Mr. Rohter’s visa was canceled and he was given eight days to leave the country — the first expulsion of a journalist since the 20-year military dictatorship ended in 1984. The last time a foreign journalist was expelled was in the 1970s.

BRITAIN

Drug to be sold without prescription

LONDON — In a bid to prevent heart attacks and strokes, Britain will be the first country to permit nonprescription sales of a cholesterol-lowering drug, the government said yesterday.

Health officials said a low-dose version of simvastatin, marketed as Zocor by Merck & Co. of Whitehouse Station, N.J., will be available without a prescription at pharmacies across the country starting later this year.

Pharmacists will ask people a series of questions and, if needed, will offer a range of optional health tests to ensure it is safe to take the drug, said Health Secretary John Reid.

CYPRUS

President faints at funeral

NICOSIA — Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, who resisted massive international pressure for reunification with Turkish Cypriots last month, spent several hours in a hospital yesterday after collapsing at a funeral.

Mr. Papadopoulos, 70, spent about six hours in a cardiac ward before doctors sent him home. Doctors said there was no cause for concern and his condition probably was brought on by heat exhaustion.

Witnesses said he was unconscious for at least three minutes before his bodyguards rushed him to a hospital from the Cypriot archbishopric.

BRITAIN

Powell goes back to his Scottish roots

LONDON — Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is celebrating his Scottish roots by commissioning an heraldic coat of arms.

The court of Lord Lyon King of Arms, the heraldic authority for Scotland, has accepted Mr. Powell’s application and he will receive the final painted document — which costs about $2,284 — in about three months.

The arms had been granted to Mr. Powell’s late father, Luther, who was born in Jamaica, as only members of the British Commonwealth are eligible for them. The family of Mr. Powell’s mother, Maud, came from Scotland.

The arms feature a lion, traditionally associated with the Powell surname, an eagle, two crossed swords to mark his military career, and four stars that refer to his status as a four-star general under a motto that reads “Devoted to public service.”

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