- The Washington Times - Monday, September 6, 2004

BARBADOS

Hurricane Ivan churns westward

BRIDGETOWN — Hurricane Ivan churned through the Caribbean yesterday, packing sustained winds of 125 mph and threatening Barbados and other islands, after it strengthened from tropical-storm status with unusual speed.

The Category 3 storm — the fourth major hurricane of the season — was gaining strength, but apparently not as swiftly as some meteorologists had feared.

There was no forecast on whether the storm would reach the continental United States, where residents of Florida are recovering from Hurricanes Charley and Frances.

A hurricane watch was issued for Barbados, an island of 280,000 that Ivan was expected to reach late today, as well as for St. Lucia and Martinique. A tropical-storm watch was issued for Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago.

CHILE

Pinochet questioned on Operation Condor

SANTIAGO — A judge last week interrogated 16 retired military officers and secret agents who served under dictator Augusto Pinochet about the 1975 abductions and disappearances of 37 Pinochet opponents, court sources said.

Judge Juan Guzman Tapia was to question Gen. Pinochet yesterday on his part in Operation Condor, which joined military dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay in the processing of thousands of bodies of slain political opponents, suspected and real.

COLOMBIA

Three killed in church gunfight

BOGOTA — A gunfight broke out in a church in a southern cocaine-producing region, leaving at least three persons dead and 14 wounded, authorities said Sunday.

The bloodshed began when assailants entered the church on Saturday night and fatally shot a man in a rear pew, said Maj. Eduardo Beltran, police commander in Puerto Asis, where the attack occurred.

He said investigations indicate that right-wing paramilitaries or common criminals might have been behind the attack in Puerto Asis, about 330 miles southwest of the capital.

Weekly notes

Canadian customs agents seeking higher pay shut down a busy crossing on the Quebec-U.S. border for two hours on Friday. More than 100 agents blocked the crossing at Saint Bernard-de-Lacolle at 7 a.m. and prevented cars and trucks from proceeding for more than two hours, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. More problems were expected through Labor Day, the CBC said. … Panama’s new tourism minister, salsa king Ruben Blades, says he gladly would sing to attract more visitors to his country. Mr. Blades, 56, began heading the tourism ministry last week after Martin Torrijos, a U.S.-educated centrist, was sworn in as president.


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