Candidate in Haiti is kidnapped at home by 4 men in a...

FOREIGN DIGEST

April 20, 2000

Candidate in Haiti is kidnapped at home by 4 men in a truck

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Gunmen kidnapped a local opposition candidate in the latest violence to hit Haiti's election campaign, a party official said yesterday.

Four men in a pickup truck abducted Claudy Myrthil, a candidate for a city advisory board, in front of his home in a Port-au-Prince suburb Tuesday, said Mischa Gaillard, spokesman for the five-party opposition coalition, known as Space for Concord.

"The atmosphere is one of terror," Gaillard said. "We need security for candidates and voters to have a free and fair election."

Mitchell says peace is attainable in N. Ireland

EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, mediator behind Northern Ireland's Good Friday peace accord, said yesterday the pact would survive current feuding between Protestant and Roman Catholic politicians.

"I know that there is a strong determination on the part of all involved not to let the Good Friday Agreement fail," Mitchell, who has bowed out of the peace drive, told reporters. "It's very difficult, of course. ... But they are going to stay at it and I believe in the end they will succeed."

The pact, aimed at ending 30 years of sectarian strife in the British province, has ground to a halt amid disputes over guerrilla disarmament.

Bodies in plane crash found in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala -- The bodies of a U.S. pilot and five Guatemalan passengers were found yesterday, a day after their small plane crashed in the Guatemalan mountains, rescue workers and a U.S. charity said.

Pilot Ervin Ashford, from Corpus Christi, Texas, who was volunteering for the U.S. humanitarian group Wings of Hope, was killed with all five passengers when the Cessna-206 crashed near the remote mountain village of Nebaj, 150 miles northwest of Guatemala City, said Doug Clements, executive director of the charity organization.

Authorities have not determined why the plane crashed.

North, South Korea will meet to plan talks

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korean and South Korean leaders will meet this weekend to prepare for the first summit between their leaders, officials from the south said yesterday.

The officials said the north has accepted a South Korean proposal for the preparation meeting, which will set up a a summit of their leaders in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on June 12-14 -- a dramatic breakthrough in a half-century of division. The summit agreement was announced last week.

Heavy dust storm closes port, disrupts flights

CAIRO, Egypt -- Dust-laden winds from the Libyan desert swept across the eastern Mediterranean yesterday, blotting out skies, disrupting flights and closing the Egyptian port of Alexandria. Yellow dust blanketed Cairo and worsened the city's already severe air pollution. Pedestrians clutched handkerchiefs to their noses as gusting winds blew debris around crowded streets.

Egyptian meteorologists predicted the dust storm would last until tomorrow morning. Their Cypriot counterparts said westerly winds would drive it away by this afternoon.

Officials said Alexandria's port had been closed since 6 a.m. local time. Airport sources said poor visibility at Aswan's airport, 430 miles south of Cairo, had forced one Aswan-bound flight to return to Cairo's airport.

Pro-Hitler birthday rally banned on German island

BERLIN -- A German court upheld a local ban against a planned far-right rally to mark the 111th anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler today.

The court, in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, backed the ban on a planned demonstration by "People Stand Up" on the small German island of Foehr off its north coast.

Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, in Austria near the German border. His birthday still prompts occasional rallies from neo-Nazi groups.

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