tampabay.com

Detainees in orphan scandal sent to capital

By Times Wires
Published November 3, 2007


N'DJAMENA, Chad

Seventeen Europeans held in the alleged kidnapping of 103 African children were flown to Chad's capital Friday from a remote eastern city. The 17 detained since last week included six French citizens charged with kidnapping. A charity calling itself Zoe's Ark was stopped last week from flying the children, which it said were orphans, to meet host families in Europe. The French Foreign Ministry and others have cast doubt on claims that the children are orphans from Sudan's Darfur war-torn region. Aid workers who interviewed the children said Thursday most of them had been living with adults they considered their parents. Chadian authorities also detained French journalists accompanying the Zoe's Ark team and the crew of the plane

CARACAS, Venezuela

Chavez wins vote on more powers

Venezuela's National Assembly overwhelmingly gave final approval Friday to constitutional changes that would greatly expand the power of President Hugo Chavez and permit him to run for re-election indefinitely. The passage of 69 amendments threatens to spur fresh political upheaval in this oil-rich nation. If approved by voters Dec. 2, the changes would be Chavez's most radical move in his push to transform Venezuela into a socialist state.