- The Washington Times - Monday, December 4, 2006


Pinochet undergoes emergency surgery

SANTIAGO — Augusto Pinochet, the 91-year-old former Chilean general accused of torture, killings and other abuses during his 17-year dictatorship, suffered a heart attack yesterday and underwent emergency surgery.

Gen. Pinochet, who faces numerous charges related to his iron-fisted 1973-90 rule, was rushed to a hospital in the capital, Santiago, at about 2 a.m., family and hospital officials said.

He was given the Roman Catholic last rites — traditionally administered by a priest to the dying — before surgeons subjected him to an angioplasty to unblock clogged arteries.


Emir offers to pay Palestinian salaries

DOHA — Qatar’s emir has promised to pay the salaries of the Palestinian Education and Health ministries, covering tens of thousands of employees, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said yesterday.

Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has “taken charge of paying the salaries of all employees of the Education Ministry, almost 40,000 people, amounting to $22.5 million a month,” he said at the end of a visit to Doha. The emir will also pay Health Ministry salaries, if necessary.

Tens of thousands of Palestinian civil servants have received only part of their salaries since Hamas took office in March because of a Western aid boycott and Israel’s refusal to transfer tax revenues.


Annan says Iraq in grip of civil war

NEW YORK — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Iraq was in the grip of a civil war and that many Iraqis were worse off now than under dictator Saddam Hussein, according to an interview to be broadcast Monday.

Mr. Annan, who leaves office on Dec. 31, described Iraq as being in an extremely dangerous situation and again questioned the ability of Baghdad’s leadership to solve the civil strife by themselves.

“When we had the strife in Lebanon and other places, we called that a civil war. This is much worse,” Mr. Annan said in an interview with BBC television and radio. He said he agreed with Iraqis who claim that life is worse now than it was under Saddam.


New Liberal leader moves to heal party

MONTREAL — Stephane Dion, who was unexpectedly elected leader of Canada’s opposition Liberals, yesterday tried to heal splits in his party.

Mr. Dion, who ran on the need to protect the environment, came into a Montreal leadership convention in fourth place. But after making a strong speech and deftly striking deals with former opponents, he handily beat former Harvard academic Michael Ignatieff on the final ballot Saturday.

Many political observers expect a national election in the next few months and some doubt the ability of the famously prickly Mr. Dion to mend enough bridges by then.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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