- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 29, 2005

ISRAEL

Palestinian militant killed in Gaza

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip — Missiles fired from an Israeli aircraft struck a car in this northern Gaza town yesterday, killing a Palestinian militant.

The Israeli military said its aircraft targeted the white Subaru in Beit Hanoun because the militants inside were on a mission to fire rockets at the southern Israeli town of Sderot. The dead man was identified as Majid Natat, 28, of the Gaza town of Beit Lahia, frequently used for rocket launches against Israel.

A week of bloodshed began Monday when Israeli troops killed the top Islamic Jihad gunman in the West Bank. A revenge suicide bombing Wednesday killed five Israelis.

BOLIVIA

Election postponed in redistricting row

LA PAZ — A top Bolivian court yesterday indefinitely postponed elections scheduled for Dec. 4 because of a dispute in Congress over redistricting.

The action moved the Andean nation toward a possible power vacuum when the current president steps down.

Both leading presidential candidates criticized the ruling by the National Electoral Court, with the leftist Evo Morales warning the “people could rise up against the court.” His rival, Jorge Quiroga, urged Congress to move on the dispute over the allocation of congressional seats, saying Bolivia’s fragile democracy was at risk.

Bolivia’s caretaker president, Eduardo Rodriguez, has said he will step down in January even if elections are delayed, leaving the nation without a president.

CUBA

U.S. aid officials to visit island

HAVANA — President Fidel Castro has confirmed that Cuba agreed to let three U.S. aid officials visit the island to assess damage from Hurricane Wilma’s assault on the island this week.

But during a Thursday-night television appearance, he made it clear that his idea in letting them visit was to discuss ways to improve disaster assistance among countries in the region.

According to the State Department’s Cuba specialists, this was the first time the Castro government has accepted a U.S. offer of emergency assistance, department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

VENEZUELA

Tribes protest plan to expel evangelists

PUERTO AYACUCHO — Hundreds of indigenous Venezuelans marched yesterday to protest President Hugo Chavez’s threat to expel a group of U.S.-based evangelists, amid intensifying government scrutiny of foreign missionaries operating in the country.

The protesters showed their support for Sanford, Fla.-based New Tribes Mission, which Mr. Chavez has accused of “imperialist infiltration” and exploiting indigenous communities.

SOUTH AFRICA

Mandela becomes a comic character

JOHANNESBURG — Displaying his trademark self-deprecatory wit, Nelson Mandela yesterday pronounced himself a “comic character” as he launched a cartoon serialization of his life story that he said was aimed at opening up the joys of reading to his countrymen.

“You know you are really famous the day you have become a comic character,” the South African former president and anti-apartheid hero said to laughter.

The first comic, titled “A Son of the Eastern Cape,” covers the period from Mr. Mandela’s birth in one of South Africa’s poorest regions, the Transkei, on July 18, 1918, in a royal household, until his arrival in Johannesburg as a young man.

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