- The Washington Times - Monday, November 28, 2005

VENEZUELA

Blaming ‘icing’ hasty, air-crash analysts say

PARIS — A conclusion by West Caribbean Airways that ice on the wings of one of its planes was responsible for the Aug. 16 crash in Venezuela that killed all 160 persons on board was “hasty,” French accident investigators said Friday.

France’s Bureau of Inquiry and Analysis (BEA) said it “regrets that the operator is drawing hasty conclusions from this accident on the basis of just one of the elements plucked from the initial evaluations of the inquiry,” adding: “None of the elements from the inquiry allow this conclusion to be reached.”

The BEA was reacting to a report Sunday in the Colombian newspaper El Colombiano in which the director of West Caribbean, Jorge Perez, said, “The accident was caused by weather conditions, the loss of control due to excess ice on the wings.”



CANADA

Government fails to meet Kyoto target

OTTAWA — The government of Canada, where a major conference to find a successor to the Kyoto climate-change treaty opened yesterday, is faced with an embarrassing predicament.

Under the Kyoto pact, Canada promised to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent by 2010 from 1990 levels, but recent data from the United Nations show such emissions were nearly 25 percent above 1990 levels in 2003.

Canada has campaigned for the world to do more to combat climate change, but its own emissions levels are set to soar as the country develops oil-sand deposits in the west.

SURINAME

Dutch premier unhurt after car is rammed

PARAMARIBO — Surinamese security officials have seized a former soldier who rammed his car into a convoy carrying Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, authorities said Saturday.

The ex-soldier crashed into a vehicle traveling with Mr. Balkenende’s convoy on the way to the airport outside this capital, said police spokesman Humphrey Naarden.

Weekly notes …

Rescue workers searched yesterday with helicopters and boats for 11 passengers after six others died in a ferry boat accident on a lake in southern Chile, but officials said there was little hope of finding survivors. Six persons, including students returning from a school trip, died Sunday when a ferry capsized in bad weather on Lake Maihue, 560 miles south of Santiago. Sixteen persons survived. … Argentine Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna resigned yesterday, and will be replaced by Felisa Miceli, head of the state-owned Banco Nacion, a government spokesman said. Cabinet chief Alberto Fernandez made the announcement after days of speculation about a shake-up in the government of President Nestor Kirchner.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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