- The Washington Times - Friday, May 28, 2004

CHILE

Pinochet stripped of immunity

SANTIAGO — A court stripped Gen. Augusto Pinochet of his immunity from prosecution yesterday, paving the way for the trial of the former Chilean dictator on human rights charges.

The court voted 14-9 to lift the immunity that the 88-year-old Gen. Pinochet been granted as former president, a court clerk said.

The decision may still be appealed to the Supreme Court, which has repeatedly ruled that Gen. Pinochet is physically and mentally unfit to stand trial.

SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

Newspaper editor killed by gunmen

PODGORICA — Gunmen fatally shot the editor of a conservative daily in Montenegro early yesterday, witnesses and an investigative judge said.

The assailants used an automatic rifle to shoot Dusko Jovanovic, editor-in-chief of the Podgorica-based Dan daily, as he got into his car in front of the newspaper’s main office, witnesses and investigative Judge Radomir Ivanovic said.

Mr. Jovanovic was considered close to conservative opposition parties in Montenegro. The paper frequently criticized the ruling coalition headed by Prime Minister Milo Djukanovi.

IRAN

Quake in villages kills at least 23

TEHRAN — An earthquake rocked the Alborz mountain chain in northern Iran yesterday, killing at least 23 persons and damaging scores of villages, officials said.

The United States Geological Survey said the tremor had a magnitude of 6.2 — powerful enough to bring down many buildings.

Local memories are still fresh from an earthquake that devastated the city of Bam in the southeast on Dec. 26. It measured 6.8 and killed more than 20,000 people.

IVORY COAST

Government opposes child plantation labor

GRAND BASSAM — Ivory Coast pledged yesterday to eradicate child labor on its cocoa plantations, but officials said the country still faced the threat of a boycott by U.S. chocolate makers starting in July next year.

Government officials said the Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa grower, would be unable to sell cocoa to buyers in the United States after July 2005 if it did not certify its beans as being cultivated without the use of forced child labor.

Global cocoa and chocolate industry figures signed an agreement in late 2001 pledging to set up a certification system by July of next year to ensure that children are not forced to work in dangerous conditions on cocoa plantations.

IRAQ

Japanese reporters killed in ambush

BAGHDAD — Two Japanese free-lance journalists were killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack south of Baghdad, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said early today.

The director of a hospital in Mahmudiya, Iraq, Imad al-Maliki Mahmudiya, said two severely burned bodies were brought to the hospital yesterday and identified by their Iraqi driver as Japanese journalists.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry had earlier confirmed the attack but said it did not know the fate of the journalists.

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