- The Washington Times - Monday, June 12, 2006

CANADA

Terror suspects see no fair trial

BRAMPTON, Ontario — Seventeen men accused of planning al Qaeda-inspired attacks across densely populated southern Ontario stand no chance of a fair trial after prejudicial comments from police and intelligence services, one of their attorneys said yesterday.

Attorney Rocco Galati also complained of tough prison conditions and oppressive security at the Brampton courtroom, where most of the 17 suspects are to appear. He said attorneys have inadequate access to their clients, who are all Canadian citizens or residents.

Police say the group plotted to detonate bombs at targets including the Parliament buildings in Ottawa and the Stock Exchange in downtown Toronto. Defense attorneys have said police and intelligence officials purport that one suspect wanted to behead the prime minister.

VENEZUELA

Chavez defies U.S. on council candidacy

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez says he will defy Bush administration opposition to a seat for Venezuela on the U.N. Security Council, as well as a U.S. attempt to deny him weaponry.

“Venezuela is a candidate and will not withdraw as candidate for a seat on the Security Council. With any weapon at hand, like David against Goliath, we don’t care if the empire bares its claws and pressures other governments,” he said on his Sunday television and radio talk show, “Hello, Mr. President.”

“The empire has already begun to oppose” Venezuela’s candidacy, he said, through psychological warfare, pressure and blackmail of other nations. Mr. Chavez also said he would ignore Washington pressures to deny him weapons, adding that his government will make its own assault rifles.

BRAZIL

Soccer fans pray to St. Anthony

SAO PAULO — Though Brazil is the World Cup favorite, many Brazilians will seek a helping hand from the country’s patron saint, St. Anthony, when the national soccer team takes on Croatia in its opening game in Berlin today.

June 13 is also St. Anthony’s Day, and crowds of devout in the world’s largest Roman Catholic nation are expected to attend Mass. Churches in parishes dedicated to St. Anthony here in Brazil’s biggest city have announced they will invite worshippers to stay after Mass to watch the game in church halls.

One complication is that rival Croatia is also a strongly Catholic country. The Rev. Antonio Carlos, in Limao parish, said he thinks the saint will stay neutral in the match. “St. Anthony is popular the world over,” he said. “I say St. Anthony will not be involved: These things will be decided on the field, not at Mass.”

Weekly notes …

Newspaper tycoon Ken Thomson, 82, Canada’s richest man and the ninth wealthiest in the world, died yesterday morning at his office of an apparent heart attack. Mr. Thompson, who helped transform his father’s print empire into one of the world’s biggest electronic publishers, had a fortune of $19.6 billion, Forbes magazine reported. … A long-range forecast last week became the second recent prediction that this year’s Atlantic storm season will be bad. Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), a London-based group of scientists, expects 14 tropical storms for the Atlantic through Nov. 30. Eight will be hurricanes and three will be intense hurricanes, it said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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