- The Washington Times - Monday, February 28, 2005


Former soldiers demand reactivation

PETIT-GOAVE — The graying ex-soldiers in faded uniforms who twice ousted elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, now exiled in South Africa, are threatening a comeback that could jeopardize promised elections in the fall to put Haiti back on the road to democracy.

They have challenged the present government and taunted U.N. peacekeepers, and say they are poised for battle if their demands are not met.

They seek reinstatement of the army, which led countless coups and aborted the Caribbean nation’s first attempt at free elections in a bloodbath at the polls in 1987.


Huge desert etchings predate Nazca lines

LIMA — Archaeologists have discovered a group of giant figures scraped into the hills of Peru’s southern coastal desert that are thought to predate the country’s famed Nazca lines.

About 50 figures were etched into the earth over an area about 90 square miles near the city of Palpa, 220 miles southeast of Lima, El Comercio newspaper reports.

The figures — human figures as well as birds, monkeys and felines — are thought to have been drawn by members of the Paracas culture between 600 and 100 B.C., said Johny Islas, director of the Andean Institute of Archaeological Studies.

The Nazca lines — which also include animal pictographs — cover a 35-mile stretch of desert about 250 miles south of Lima and were added to the U.N. cultural heritage list in 1994. The Nazca culture flourished between 50 B.C. and A.D. 600, Mr. Islas said.


Foreign graduates shun U.S. campuses

TORONTO — This country’s top universities are seeing a huge influx of applications from high-quality international graduate students as many try to avoid the layers of security checks and visa problems introduced in the United States after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Globe and Mail newspaper reports.

“There’s no doubt that the difficulties in the U.S. have been Canada’s gain in terms of interest from international students,” said Jenny Phelps, director of student academic services for the faculty of graduate studies at the University of British Columbia.

International graduate enrollment climbed almost 20 percent at Canadian universities between the 2002-03 and 2003-04 academic years, said a survey of seven universities by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies. Those in the United States are struggling with a 6 percent decline in enrollment.

Weekly notes

Cubans working in the tourism industry have been ordered to reduce their contact with foreigners to a minimum in an effort to revitalize the communist ideal. The official Granma news agency reports that workers in the Caribbean island’s tourism industry have been told to keep a distance from foreigners and report to authorities any suspicious activity by foreigners or those associating with foreigners. … The burned body of an unidentified person showing signs of torture was found Friday in Cancun, the latest in a series of gruesome slayings at the popular Mexican holiday resort. In November and December, 13 homicide victims were found in the Caribbean resort, whose hotels and bars attract more than 2 million tourists per year.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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