- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Fujimori gets another 7 1/2 years

LIMA | A Peruvian court has sentenced Alberto Fujimori to 7 1/2 years in prison for embezzlement after the former president admitted illegally paying his spy chief $15 million in state funds.

Fujimori appeared unfazed by Monday’s conviction and told the court he was moving to overturn the ruling.

Fujimori has already been sentenced to 25 years for authorizing military death squad activity during his 10-year rule. Previously, he was convicted of abuse of power and sentenced to six years for an illegal search.

Prison sentences do not accumulate in Peru.

The 70-year-old ex-president faces yet another corruption trial for purportedly authorizing bribes and illegal phone taps.


Europe cuts funds over coup

BRUSSELS | The European Commission said Monday it was suspending all budgetary support payments to Honduras after the failure of efforts to resolve a crisis following a military overthrow of President Manuel Zelaya.

“I very much regret that it has not been possible to this date to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution to the Honduran crisis,” EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said.

An EU spokeswoman said the European Commission had earmarked 65.5 million euros ($92.73 million) for budgetary support payments for the 2007-10 period.

Honduras and its political foes are on a collision course after talks mediated by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias collapsed Sunday, and Mr. Zelaya vowed to return home despite warnings from a defiant de facto government installed after the June 28 military coup.


Robbers hit zoo in Sao Paulo

SAO PAULO | An armed gang of 15 robbers triggered panic at a crowded zoo in Brazil over the weekend, leading to a gunfight with police that left one of the criminals dead, media reported Monday.

The gang entered the zoo in Sao Paulo on Sunday, pretending to be ordinary visitors and paying the entry fee.

They then converged on a secure zone and stole 100,000 reais ($50,000) after tying up the personnel.

As they ran out, one of the robbers fired a shot, sending many of the 18,000 people visiting the zoo running for safety and alerting police.

Most of the gang escaped using waiting cars and motorbikes, but they left their trigger-happy colleague behind.


Calm winds help firefighters

VANCOUVER | Calm overnight winds aided Canadian firefighters Monday as they struggled to control forest fires that have displaced thousands of people in British Columbia.

There was no significant growth in two fires that have forced evacuations near the city of Kelowna, according to the British Columbia Forest Service. A third fire was not burning near populated areas.

About 17,000 people in the District of West Kelowna, along the shores of Okanagan Lake, have been evacuated or told to be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice because of the fires, which flared up Saturday.


U.S. Treasury sanctions suspects

The Treasury Department announced Monday that it was putting four drug cartel leaders operating in Mexico on a special-sanctions list to try to clamp down on drug dealing and violence.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said the four were being named Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, freezing any assets they have under U.S. jurisdiction and making them or anyone who does business with them subject to penalties.

The four include Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez and Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, who Treasury says are leaders of the Gulf Cartel. The agency named Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano and Miguel Angel Trevino Morales as leaders of Los Zetas, which Treasury says has historically operated as the armed wing of the Gulf Cartel.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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