- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 7, 2005


Sleepwalker found dozing atop crane

LONDON — Authorities are investigating how a sleepwalking London teenager ended up asleep atop a 130-foot crane in the middle of the night.

A passer-by spotted the girl at about 1:30 a.m. June 25 and called the police, thinking she was going to jump.

A firefighter climbed up and inched along the beam to where the girl was sleeping. He took care not to startle her as he secured the unidentified teen in a safety harness, the Times of London said.


Pit bulls banned from Rio beaches

RIO DE JANEIRO — Pit bulls were banned from Rio de Janeiro’s famous beaches and other public places in the Brazilian city yesterday under new regulations that eventually could make the sometimes aggressive breed extinct in the area.

Many residents own the fearless, sturdy dogs for protection in a city where murder rates are among the highest in the world.

Gov. Rosinha Matheus announced a ban on breeding, importing and selling pit bulls and made compulsory the registration and sterilization of existing dogs within the next four months.


Citizens growing more obese

OTTAWA — Canadians have grown much heavier in the past quarter-century, according to a government survey, by eating too few fruits and vegetables, watching too much television, playing video games and not exercising enough.

Obesity rates among children have climbed almost threefold to 8 percent (500,000 children) from 1978 to 2004, and almost twice as many adults as before, or 5.5 million people, are considered overweight, Statistics Canada reported yesterday.

The increases, however, are meager compared with U.S. obesity rates — 23 percent of Canadian adults versus 30 percent in the U.S.


Zarqawi’s mentor rearrested

AMMAN — The spiritual mentor of al Qaeda’s reputed leader in Iraq was back in a Jordanian jail yesterday, days after being let out, and his supporters accused Washington of pressuring Jordan to imprison him.

Isam Mohammad Taher al-Barqawi, also known as Sheik Abu-Mohammed al-Maqdisi, is said to have taught radical Islamic ideology to Abu Musab Zarqawi, head of al Qaeda’s branch in Iraq, which is waging a bloody insurgency against coalition forces.

“The order came from [President] Bush, the supreme master of Arab leaders,” said one of scores of supporters who swamped a Muslim Web site with messages of sympathy for al-Barqawi, who was detained for questioning.


Court strips Pinochet’s immunity

SANTIAGO — The Santiago Appeals Court yesterday stripped ailing ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet of his immunity in a case involving political prisoners killed during his iron-fisted rule.

The full court ruled 11-10 to strip Gen. Pinochet’s immunity as an ex-head of state in the case, which accuses him of involvement in the abduction and killing of political prisoners during what his intelligence services dubbed “Operation Colombo.”

Gen. Pinochet, 89, seized power in a 1973 coup, which toppled elected socialist President Salvador Allende. Gen. Pinochet ruled until 1990.

Last month, a Chilean court lifted his immunity from prosecution for fraud but said he should not stand trial on human rights charges over his role in a conspiracy of South American dictatorships.

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