- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 17, 2007

CHILE

Bomb explodes at British Embassy

SANTIAGO — A small bomb exploded outside the British Embassy in the Chilean capital Santiago Sunday night, causing minor damage to the building but no casualties, police said Monday.

Senior police officer Jorge Rojas described the device as “a cylinder filled with powder and with a detonator on a timer.”

“There was damage to the windows but no injuries,” he told reporters, adding that police were trying to ascertain the target of the attack. The embassy building also houses the offices of the Chilean subsidiary of international cigarette firm British American Tobacco.



EL SALVADOR

New troops going to Iraq

SAN SALVADOR — President Tony Saca said Saturday that his nation will send a fresh contingent of troops to Iraq, but it will be smaller than the 380 currently stationed there.

El Salvador is the only Latin American nation still part of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic have withdrawn troops.

Mr. Saca did not say how many troops would be in the new contingent. Local press reports said it could be about 300 soldiers. Five Salvadoran troops have been killed in Iraq and more than 20 others have been injured since August 2003, when the country first sent forces.

VENEZUELA

Banned TV station moves to cable

CARACAS — An opposition-aligned TV station forced off the air by President Hugo Chavez began broadcasting on cable and satellite television yesterday.

Employees and actors sang Venezuela”s national anthem as Radio Caracas Television, or RCTV, made its first broadcasts since May 27, when Mr. Chavez granted the network’s open airwaves signal to a state-controlled channel.

The station, which has remained critical of the president while other privately owned TV channels have toned down their criticism of the government, is waging a legal battle to regain its license so it can once again reach a nationwide audience. Cable and satellite television cost about $20 a month — more than many Venezuelan families can afford — and reach 30 percent of households.

ARGENTINA

Pardon overturned for ‘dirty war’ leader

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s Supreme Court Friday voided a presidential pardon of a former military officer accused of human rights abuses during the country’s 1976-83 dictatorship.

The decision declared the pardon of ex-army Cmdr. Santiago Omar Riveros unconstitutional and cleared the way for lower courts to consider repealing dozens of other pardons.

The ruling is the latest by the high court as it re-examines pardons and amnesty laws for “dirty war” military officials at the urging of President Nestor Kirchner.

A government report says 11,000 people either died or disappeared during the military’s six-year crackdown on dissent, but human rights groups say the number is closer to 30,000.

BOLIVIA

Fake braids trip beauty queen

LA PAZ — A beauty pageant winner from the Aymara Indian community here was stripped of her title a few hours after the contest ended when judges discovered she was wearing fake braids.

Mariela Mollinedo, representing the Aymara community of Zongo, beat out the competition not only for her looks but also in the dancing and history parts of the contest held late Friday in La Paz.

The contestants dress in typical Aymara costumes and have to wear their hair long and done up in two braids in traditional Aymara fashion. But the hair has to be real.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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