- The Washington Times - Monday, January 15, 2007

CANADA

4 youngsters held on terror charges

BRAMPTON, Ontario — Preliminary hearings for four youngsters accused of belonging to a terrorist group began yesterday with questions about Canada’s anti-terrorism laws expected in a lengthy trial.

The Toronto-area suspects, who cannot be named, were to appear in a courtroom in this Toronto suburb, where prosecutors were to outline evidence against them and let the court decide if there is a case to answer. Another youth is to be tried in August.

Thirteen adult suspects, also arrested last summer, await a preliminary hearing on charges of planning bomb attacks in major Canadian cities.

MEXICO

Calderon defends use of troops on crime

MEXICO CITY — President Felipe Calderon defended his decision to fight crime with the military and insisted that the country has experienced “more peace and certainty” during his first 45 days in office. He said his administration has also taken steps to tackle poverty and generate jobs to stem the tide of Mexican emigrants seeking work in the United States.

“We have acted with decisiveness and energy to respond to the most urgent demands of the people: public safety, combating poverty and generating employment,” Mr. Calderon told reporters Sunday.

CUBA

Hip-hop rappers demand better life

BARRERAS — Using a modest home recording studio, Humberto Cabrera has joined Cuban rappers who rhyme and roar for change in a country whose communist regime usually quiets dissent. Hip-hop artists have some of the most critical voices on the island, and many flock to Mr. Cabrera’s home here to record their pleas for a better life.

One song complains about harsh life in Havana, “where there is no hope, from where the savvy leave.” Mr. Cabrera, 23, whose stage name is “Papa Humbertico” formed the rap duo Mano Armada (Armed Hand) with Yoandy Gonzalez, “El Discipulo” (The Disciple).

Weekly notes …

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Saturday in his annual state of the nation address to parliament that the country’s entire energy sector must be nationalized, reinforcing his socialist revolution and perhaps seeking more targets for state takeover. But Mr. Chavez said he would allow foreign firms to hold minority stakes in energy projects in Venezuela, the No. 4 crude-oil exporter to the United States. … Mexico ordered a plane carrying Taiwan’s leader, Chen Shui-bian, to leave its airspace last week at the request of China, El Universal newspaper reported Saturday. Mr. Chen was flying home from Wednesday’s inauguration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega when his plane was directed to leave Mexican airspace and detour on its way to Los Angeles, the paper said. Nicaragua has diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which Mexico does not recognize and instead has ties with China.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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