- - Thursday, January 27, 2011


Mandela hospitalized for medical tests

JOHANNESBURG | Former South African President Nelson Mandela was hospitalized for a second straight day Thursday for what his office described as routine tests but which drew concern over the health of the 92-year-old anti-apartheid icon.

Mr. Mandela undergoes regular hospital checkups, but his latest visit starting Wednesday stretched into an unusually long stay.

Journalists camped outside the hospital Thursday as Mr. Mandela’s relatives and friends entered for visits.

President Jacob Zuma, attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, is being updated on developments by the defense minister, whose department is responsible for current and former presidents’ health care, Mr. Zuma’s office said.

The president’s office cautioned reporters not to put pressure on Mr. Mandela’s doctors and to give “a national hero” dignity and respect.


Justice system to probe Allende’s death

SANTIAGO | Chilean judicial officials vowed Thursday to investigate the death of President Salvador Allende for the first time, 37 years after the socialist leader was found shot through the head with a machine gun during a withering attack on the presidential palace.

Mr. Allende died during the Sept. 11, 1973, coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who governed as a dictator until March 11, 1990, and died in 2006. Authorities have never before opened a criminal probe of Allende’s death, which many believe to have been a suicide.

Chile’s truth commission reported in 1991 that the Pinochet dictatorship killed 3,797 people. Most of those cases have been investigated, leading to human rights trials for some 600 military figures and a small number of civilian collaborators. About 150 have been convicted, including feared secret police chief Miguel Contreras, now imprisoned for dozens of crimes against humanity.

But 726 deaths were never investigated, including Mr. Allende’s.


Palestinian official seeks foreign help in TV leak

RAMALLAH | A senior Palestinian official said Thursday that he has asked the U.S., Britain and France to help bring three of their nationals for questioning about the massive leak of confidential Palestinian documents.

Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the three include a former British intelligence officer, an American employee of Al Jazeera TV and a French citizen. He said he is not accusing them of wrongdoing, but would like them to appear before an investigative committee.

Al Jazeera, a Qatar-based Arab satellite station, this week published excerpts from what it said is a cache of hundreds of documents covering a decade of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The station, widely watched in the Arab world, alleges that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas secretly made major concessions to Israel.

Mr. Abbas and his aides say they are victims of a smear campaign.


Berlusconi probe widens in Rome

ROME | Prosecutors investigating Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on suspicion he paid for sex with a 17-year-old Moroccan girl have provided 200 more pages of documentation to lawmakers who must decide whether to authorize police searches of the prime minister’s properties.

The documents include references to another minor, a Brazilian, who allegedly received jewels and other gifts in exchange for her participation at parties at a Berlusconi villa, according to Italian news agency LaPresse and other news reports Thursday.

The revelations that another minor might have been at some of Mr. Berlusconi’s parties widens the probe and potentially adds to the 74-year-old leader’s woes. Mr. Berlusconi has denied ever paying for sex and called the allegations against him “outrageous.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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