- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Illegal aliens flock to Canary Islands

MADRID — More than 100 illegal aliens from Africa, including about 30 children, reached Spain’s Canary Islands aboard a two-engine fishing boat yesterday, a day after another 150 Africans arrived aboard two fishing boats at Tenerife, the largest of the three islands, raising concern in Spain.

More than 7,500 arrivals in the Canaries from Africa have been registered so far this year, which seems sure to top the record 9,929 arrivals in all of 2002. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero insisted at the national assembly yesterday that Spain is not “a sieve” for illegal entry, as the opposition says.

On Tuesday, the same day Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de La Vega visited Brussels, the European Union announced measures to help bring illegal immigration under control.


Muslims stone Christian homes

ADDIS ABABA — Islamic youths in Jijiga, capital of Ethiopia’s Somali region 450 miles east of here, stoned the homes and businesses of Christians yesterday after what they said was desecration of the Koran.

Between 50 and 100 Muslims rampaged through the streets of Jijiga shouting, “God is Great,” after discovering that a Christian-run restaurant there was using pages of the holy book to wrap food, officials said.

Police in Jijiga confirmed the rioting but reported no deaths or injuries in what is thought to be the first such incident between Muslims and Christians in Ethiopia.


Author refuses Portuguese prize

LISBON — Angolan author Luandino Vieira has turned down the most important Portuguese-language literary prize, worth more than $128,000, citing personal reasons, Portugal’s Culture Ministry said yesterday.

Mr. Vieira, who spent time in prison for his activism against Lisbon’s colonial rule of Angola, on Friday was awarded the Camoes Prize, named after Luiz Vaz de Camoes, Portugal’s greatest poet.

“Stressing his thanks for the distinction, the writer justified the decision not to accept it for ‘intimate, personal reasons,’” the ministry said. Mr. Vieira, born in Portugal in 1935, moved to Angola with his parents at age 3. His novels and short stories examine the oppressive Portuguese rule there that ended in 1975.

Weekly notes …

All four persons aboard were feared killed when the only aircraft owned by Air Sao Tome, a 12-seat Twin Otter, crashed into the sea near the island republic off West Africa, civil aviation and airline officials said yesterday. The body of a woman was recovered from the sea, they said. Body parts of other victims were retrieved but not formally identified, the local air safety authority said. … Anderson Mazoka, Zambia’s main opposition leader, has died in a South African hospital after prolonged kidney problems, his spokesman announced yesterday. Mr. Mazoka, 63, a wealthy businessman and former managing director of South African mining giant Anglo American Corp., lost the 2001 presidential election to Levy Mwanawasa by a slim margin. “He passed on in the early hours of Wednesday,” said Patrick Chisanga, spokesman of the United Party for National Development.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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