- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 10, 2007

CUBA

Activist’s release called U.S. double standard

HAVANA — Cuba criticized Saturday what it said was a U.S. double standard on terrorism after a federal judge in Texas ordered the release of an anti-Castro activist convicted in the deadly downing of a Cuban jetliner in 1976, killing 73 persons.

“The court ruling is yet another confirmation of the George W. Bush administration’s double standard on its alleged war on terror,” the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma said.

The ruling does not necessarily mean former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles, 79, who is wanted in Venezuela, will leave prison immediately. He could be arrested by U.S. immigration officials who have a deportation order for him. On Friday, he was ordered freed on $350,000 bail on the condition that he remain confined to his Miami home.

CANADA

Copter pilot accused of disrupting seal hunt

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland — Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans is investigating whether a helicopter interfered with the annual seal hunt in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Department spokesman Phil Jenkins said hunters and members of the Canadian Coast Guard claim that a helicopter pilot contracted by the Humane Society of the United States flew in a manner that interfered with the seal hunt Thursday.

“The allegation is that the helicopter pilot, in directing his aircraft, was scaring seals off ice floes and into the water in an attempt to disrupt the seal fishery,” Mr. Jenkins said. He said he could not specify what the pilot was reputed to have done that disturbed the hunt until the investigation has been finished, and declined to identify the pilot.

MEXICO

‘Mass hysteria’ found at girls school

MEXICO CITY — Girls studying at a strict boarding school here run by a South Korean nun were to undergo psychological therapy yesterday after hundreds of them mysteriously experienced “mass hysteria,” health officials said.

The case emerged in October when two teenagers at Girls Town school near Mexico City suffered from muscle problems and nausea. The malaise struck up to 600 of the 4,500 students at one point, and health officials determined that they suffered from mass hysteria.

“We will work with the girls in specific therapy as a follow-up,” Victor Manuel Torres, undersecretary of epidemiology for Mexico state, told reporters. About 120 girls at the school still show symptoms of mass hysteria, he said.

Weekly notes …

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have made gains over their Liberal Party rivals, but still would not have enough support to form a majority government, suggested a poll published Sunday. If an election were held today, Conservatives would take 36 percent of votes while Liberals would get 33 percent, according to findings published by the SES Research Institute, which surveyed 913 Canadians between March 31 and Thursday. … The latest and most comprehensive study of public opinion in the Americas concludes that Latin America is drifting toward the political left and experiencing a rise in populism. Mitchell A. Seligson, Vanderbilt University Centennial Professor of Political Science and director of the Latin American Public Opinion Project, and a panel of other scholars will discuss this conclusion and other findings from the Americas Baromoter 2006 during a symposium today at Vanderbilt Law School.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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