- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 23, 2010

ARGENTINA

British oil firm drilling in Falklands

LONDON | A British oil-exploration company said Monday it began drilling near the Falkland Islands, a development that could worsen tensions between Britain and Argentina, which fought a war over the disputed islands in 1982.

Desire Petroleum PLC said it started drilling for oil about 62 miles north of the disputed Falkland Islands, despite strong opposition from Argentina. The country claims the South Atlantic islands as its own and calls them Las Malvinas.

Argentina lost a seven-week war over the islands to Britain in 1982, and the two countries have since pledged to resolve their differences peacefully. But moves to begin exploiting what could be lucrative reserves of oil and gas around the islands have sent tensions soaring.

As the drilling platform made its way to the islands, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez decreed that any ship traveling to or from the islands must get prior permission from her country — a requirement Britain told captains to ignore.

The Latin American nation is taking the diplomatic offensive, lobbying countries at the Rio Group summit in Cancun, Mexico, next week to condemn Britain. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pledged Sunday to send his armed forces to Argentina’s defense if Britain attacks.

HAITI

Homeless: Aid halted to force them out

PORT-AU-PRINCE | Homeless victims of Haiti’s earthquake said Monday that police are halting deliveries of food and water to try to force them to leave their camp on the grounds of the prime minister’s office.

Police have padlocked gates to the camp, where about 2,500 homeless people live under bedsheets propped on sticks on the sloping hill leading to the office. Stinking garbage with swarms of flies is piling up, and portable latrines are filled, camp residents complained.

Many government buildings were damaged in the Jan. 12 quake, which killed an estimated 200,000 people and left 1.2 million homeless, according to the government.

PANAMA

Officer hurt in clash on border

PANAMA CITY | The government of Panama said it will defend its territory following the wounding of a police officer during a clash between Panamanian police and armed men along the border with Colombia.

The Foreign Ministry said the government will not allow any part of Panama to be used by groups for drug trafficking or other illicit activities.

Sunday’s statement did not identify the group that attacked a government patrol boat Saturday. But the wording suggests they may have been related to Colombian cocaine traffickers or rebels who participate in the trade. A similar border clash in January resulted in the deaths of three Colombian rebels.

BOLIVIA

Girl born on plane to get free flights

LA PAZ | A baby girl born on a military-run airliner in Bolivia will be baptized on the plane as well — with the chief of the air force presiding as godfather.

Tami Fabiola was born on Feb. 14 on a Transportes Aereos Militares plane at an altitude of 24,000 feet. A doctor and a nurse who were passengers on the flight helped out. Tami was named after the airline, which is known as TAM.

TAM is giving Tami free flights until she turns 21. She’ll also get a scholarship through high school.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide