- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 27, 2005

UGANDA

Nation targets children for polio vaccine

OPIT, Uganda — Uganda began a drive yesterday to vaccinate about 1 million children under the age of 5 against polio in a bid to prevent a feared outbreak in Sudan from spreading, the U.N. agency for children said.

The first phase of the exercise, which began in Opit camp about 25 miles north of Gulu town, is to be carried out in the country’s 15 northern districts.

Health officials also will check the children for vaccination against measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, haemophilus influenza and hepatitis B as well as screening women of childbearing age for vaccination against tetanus.

NEPAL

Rebels lift road blockade

KATMANDU — Nepal’s rebel chief said yesterday he was lifting a crippling countrywide blockade of roads by his fighters to ease people’s discomfort, but he threatened to increase military opposition to the army.

The rebels announced the blockade in response to King Gyanendra’s Feb. 1 decision to fire the government and declare a state of emergency. Traffic has been piling up on the roads, waiting for security forces to clear them of bombs and to escort civilian convoys. Prices of food and other essential items have risen sharply across the Himalayan nation.

CANADA

Anglicans refuse to apologize

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Episcopal and Anglican Church leaders in North America are not apologizing for consecrating a homosexual bishop and creating a rite for same-sex unions.

Canadian and U.S. church officials responded to a unanimous request this week from global leaders of the 77 million-member Anglican Communion that they temporarily withdraw from a key decision-making body of the church for defending their liberal approach to sexual orientation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said yesterday.

Neither Canadian nor U.S. church leaders have agreed to withdraw from the council, even temporarily, nor have those leaders apologized for their actions.

JAPAN

Space satellite launch succeeds

TOKYO — Japan successfully fired a state-owned satellite into orbit yesterday in a key step toward restoring faith in its space program, 15 months after its previous launch attempt ended in failure.

The Japanese-built H-2A rocket powered into the evening sky, leaving a huge plume of vapor above the launch site on the tiny island of Tanegashima, 620 miles southwest of Tokyo.

BRITAIN

Amnesty International founder dies at 83

OXFORD, England — Peter Benenson, founder of the worldwide human rights organization Amnesty International, died Friday in an Oxford, England, hospital at the age of 83.

The Englishman started Amnesty International in 1961 as a one-year campaign for the release of six prisoners of conscience, but a growing awareness of other human rights abuses resulted in the now 44-year-old organization with 1.8 million members worldwide.

The one-year Appeal for Amnesty was launched May 28, 1961, in an article in the British newspaper, Observer, called “The Forgotten Prisoners,” detailed the arrest and imprisonment of two students in a cafe in Lisbon, Portugal, after they had toasted liberty.


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