Venezuela's Chavez, opponents clash over trying officers...

FOREIGN DIGEST

August 13, 2002

CARACAS, VENEZUELA — Venezuela's Chavez, opponents clash over trying officers

CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuela's government and opposition sparred yesterday over President Hugo Chavez's demand that four military officers be tried for rebellion in an April coup.

Chavez insisted Sunday that the Supreme Court indict the four officers for leading an April 12-14 coup, warning that his supporters won't accept a ruling exonerating the officers.

Clashes between Chavez supporters demanding indictment and police have wounded at least 24 people over the past week. An opposition party accused Chavez of threatening the Supreme Court judges.

Blair's office says Britain will commemorate Sept. 11

LONDON - Britain will hold a remembrance service Sept. 11 to mark the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States, Prime Minister Tony Blair's office said yesterday.

Members of the royal family, government officials and relatives of those who died are expected to attend, Blair's office said, adding that details would be announced today. Blair's office also said a memorial to the victims of the attacks would be erected outside the U.S. Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London.

Investigator says many to blame in air show crash

KIEV, Ukraine - Ukraine's top investigator said yesterday that air force officers and city officials must share blame with the pilots of the Ukrainian fighter jet that crashed and killed 85 spectators in the world's worst air show accident.

"Numerous violations and shortcomings by the show's organizers, servicemen, Lviv city authorities and the pilots' deviation from the flight plan" caused the July 27 accident, commission Chairman Yevhen Marchuk told President Leonid Kuchma, according to the Interfax news agency.

Marchuk gave the preliminary investigation results to Kuchma at the president's vacation retreat in Crimea. No further details were immediately available.

British police try out pay-as-you go fines

LONDON - Police began a one-year pilot plan under which they impose on-the-spot fines of $60 or $120 on people accused of drunkenness and such offenses as making hoax calls to emergency services or engaging in threatening behavior.

The plan is being tried in part of London, the southeast, the Midlands and north Wales. The fines are supposed to ease pressure on courts and police cells packed with petty offenders, but people who dispute them can demand trials.

5 pro-Musharraf parties form alliance in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Several political parties that support President Pervez Musharraf formed an alliance yesterday to compete in the October parliamentary elections. Opposition leaders accused the government of providing state resources to give the alliance an unfair edge.

The Grand National Alliance comprises five parties led by several well-known Pakistani leaders, including a former president and prime minister. It has yet to name candidates for the elections, which are aimed at returning Pakistan to civilian rule.

Frenchman declared dead revives at funeral parlor

PARIS - A 68-year-old man was mistakenly declared dead last week and refrigerated for five hours at a funeral parlor before a worker noticed he was alive, a Bordeaux hospital said yesterday.

The unidentified man, in the final stages of cancer, was declared dead Friday at a nursing home near the southwest city of Bordeaux. A doctor summoned to the home issued a death certificate. The man was sent to a funeral parlor in nearby Macau, where he was refrigerated for five hours. An employee at the funeral parlor was preparing the man for burial when he noticed signs of life.

The man was transferred to the Bordeaux University Hospital and placed in intensive care, where he died Sunday night, a hospital statement said. It was unclear whether the refrigeration played a role in the man's death.

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