- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 9, 2006

VATICAN CITY

Israel’s gay pride parade condemned

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has condemned a gay pride parade scheduled to be held in Jerusalem tomorrow as offensive to religious believers and urged Israeli authorities to stop it from taking place.

“It is with bitterness that we have learned that the day after tomorrow, Nov. 10, 2006, there is scheduled in Jerusalem a so-called ‘gay pride parade,’ ” the Vatican said in a statement issued yesterday.

The parade is expected to attract up to 8,000 people.

NICARAGUA

Ortega promises no radical change

MANAGUA — Nicaraguan President-elect Daniel Ortega, a former Marxist revolutionary, promised yesterday he would make no radical changes to the Central American country’s economy when he returns to office.

Mr. Ortega, 60, led Nicaragua through a bitter civil war with U.S.-backed Contra rebels in the 1980s, and critics say he has not dropped his radical leftist views.

“I am not contemplating dramatic, radical changes in the economy, which has stabilized in recent years,” Mr. Ortega told reporters.

SOUTH AFRICA

Government makes about-face on HIV

CAPE TOWN — The South African government, long reluctant to face up to the country’s overwhelming number of AIDS deaths and infections, has finally changed its stance, AIDS activists said yesterday.

The deputy president, Phumzile Mlambo-Ncguka, who was named last month to head a revitalized government council tasked to address the issue, met with activists and effectively sidelined the health minister, who has promoted the benefits of lemons, garlic and beets as effective treatments for the disease.

“We are now witnessing the emergence of a united front of government, civil society and communities in a common effort,” said Sipho Mthathi, general secretary of the AIDS activist group Treatment Action Campaign.

UNITED NATIONS

China’s Chan poised to be new WHO chief

GENEVA — The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday nominated China’s Margaret Chan, its top official on bird flu, to lead the U.N. agency as it seeks to prevent a flu pandemic and fight global scourges such as AIDS.

Dr. Chan, 59, will become the first person from China to head a major U.N. body if her selection as director-general is approved today by the World Health Assembly, the 193-state WHO’s top decision-making body.

The assembly has never rejected a candidate recommended by the 34-member executive board.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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