- The Washington Times - Monday, July 3, 2006


Candidate dies of heart attack

MANAGUA — Nicaraguan presidential candidate Herty Lewites, who broke with the leftist Sandinista party to run against its leader Daniel Ortega, died of a heart attack Sunday, a political ally said. He was 67.

His death increased the chances that Mr. Ortega — the rebel leader who fought the U.S.-backed Contra rebels in a bloody 1980s civil war — could return to the presidency in elections on Nov. 5.

Mr. Lewites, a former Managua mayor with longtime heart problems, died at a hospital in the capital, said Dora Maria Tellez, president of his splinter party, the Sandinista Renovation Movement.

Election officials said it might be too late to replace Mr. Lewites on the ballot.


Separatists losing support in Quebec

OTTAWA — Separatists in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec are losing popularity, and there is no guarantee they would win an election if it were held today, according to a poll released last week.

The CROP survey for the La Presse newspaper put backing for the separatist Parti Quebecois at 35 percent, compared with 39 percent at the end of March. The governing Liberals rose slightly to 32 percent from 31 percent.

Quebec’s Liberal premier, Jean Charest, does not have to call a provincial election until early 2008, but there is widespread speculation the province will go to the polls within the next year.

The poll of 1,001 persons was carried out from June 12 to 25 and is considered to be accurate to within three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


U.S. climbers’ bodies found on mountain

LIMA — Peruvian police said they had recovered the bodies of three young U.S. climbers who disappeared last week during an attempted mountain ascent near the city of Caraz in the northern province of Ancash.

The bodies were found inside a crevice about 115 feet deep, police told Agence France-Presse.

The climbers, all in their early 20s, had left Caraz on June 23 in a bid to climb the snowcapped Artesonraju, which is about 20,000 feet high.


Librarians hit bid to ban book in Miami

HAVANA — Cuban librarians last week criticized attempts by the Miami-Dade County school board to ban a children’s book that presents a positive depiction of life on the communist-run island.

Margarita Bellas Vilarino of the Cuban Association of Librarians and Abel Ponce of the Jose Marti National Library in Havana told the newspaper Juventud Rebelde that government-run libraries islandwide were protesting the Florida ban on the book, “Vamos a Cuba.”

The American Civil Liberties Union has argued that a June 14 decision to ban the book violated students’ rights. A U.S. federal judge ruled last Tuesday that the school district must keep the book on library shelves pending a July 21 court hearing.

“Vamos a Cuba,” and its English-language version “A Visit to Cuba,” by Alta Schreier, is intended for students ages 5 to 7.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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