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Digest

Chavez claims Christ was a socialist hero

By TIMES WIRES
Published January 11, 2007


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Invoking Christ and Castro as his socialist models, President Hugo Chavez began his third term Wednesday by declaring that socialism, not capitalism, is the only way forward for Venezuela and the world. His first stop: Nicaragua, where leftist ally Daniel Ortega was returning to power with his own inauguration hours later. His right hand raised Wednesday, Chavez declared in words reminiscent of Fidel Castro's famous call-to-arms: "Fatherland, socialism or death - I swear it." He also alluded to Jesus: "I swear by Christ - the greatest socialist in history."

Handling of police files raises furor

Home Secretary John Reid, Britain's top law enforcement official, opened an inquiry Wednesday on how files on hundreds of criminals were ignored instead of being entered into police computers. The gaffe means that criminals convicted abroad - including rapists, murderers and pedophiles - would not have set off any alarm bells if they applied for jobs dealing with vulnerable people, such as schoolchildren. Reid summoned senior officials to an urgent meeting after the Association of Chief Police Officers said the information, contained in more than 27,000 pages, was "left sitting in desk files."

Mother offers to end custody battle

Louise Campbell, the mother of a Scottish girl in the middle of a custody battle with her Pakistani father, offered Wednesday to drop the demand if she is allowed regular meetings and telephone and Internet contact with the 12-year-old, a lawyer said. Campbell made the offer through her lawyer at a hearing in Pakistan's Supreme Court. She and her ex-husband have been battling for custody of Molly Campbell, also known as Misbah Iram Ahmed Rana. The girl has been living with her father, Sajad Ahmed Rana, in Lahore since arriving there in August. The court ordered both parents to file their proposals on the offer.

Hussein execution boy's inspiration?

A 12-year-old died by hanging himself from the ceiling of his home, a hospital said Wednesday, and family members said the boy was copying Saddam Hussein's execution. It was the second death of a youngster blamed on televised images of the deposed Iraqi dictator's Dec. 30 execution. A 10-year-old boy in Houston died last week after hanging himself from a bunk bed after watching news reports of the execution. A hospital official in the southeastern province of Mus said Alisen Akti had died of asphyxiation after apparently hanging himself.

Sudan rejects U.N. forces in Darfur

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday rebuffed calls for U.N. peacekeeping troops in war-ravaged Darfur despite pleas from New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who wrapped up a four-day private diplomatic mission with a conditional promise from various factions in the conflict for another cease-fire. Bashir has resisted pressure to allow U.N. forces in Darfur, arguing they would be "colonialist," and complained that American promises to Sudan had gone unrealized while little pressure had been applied to rebel groups.

 

 

[Last modified January 11, 2007, 01:11:52]


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