Bush takes Cambodiaoff drug-trafficker list
WASHINGTON -- President Bush removed Cambodia from the list of the world's biggest drug traffickers Friday, because he said the heroin transit that put the Southeast Asian country on the list five years ago has posed no threat to the United States.
That dropped the number of nations still on the list of major drug-transit countries to 23. They include Afghanistan, the target of U.S. military action for the ruling Taliban militia's harboring of terrorists, and Nigeria, whose leader met in Washington with Bush on Friday.
Cambodia was added to the list in 1996. In recent years, Bush said, officials have seen no evidence that heroin routed through Cambodia has found its way into the United States.
"I have determined that Cambodia no longer meets the standard for a major drug-transit country," Bush said. "I will, however, keep it under observation as a country of concern."
Other countries on the majors list remained the same: Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam.
Vieques activist, sonaccused of trespassing
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- An anti-Navy activist and his son pleaded innocent Friday to trespassing in restricted U.S. Navy waters off the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.
Carlos Zenon, 65, and his son, Yabureibo Zenon Encarnacion, 21, are opposed to the Navy's use of the island as a bombing range.
The son was arrested at home by FBI and Puerto Rican agents, police said. He appeared later Friday before a federal judge in San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital.
His father, a fisherman, was not arrested but walked into court during his son's hearing and his case also was heard with both pleading innocent.
The two were released after posting bail of $5,000 each. Federal Magistrate Gustavo Gelpi ordered them to stay home between 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. unless the Navy is conducting bombing exercises, in which case they have to remain inside during the day as well.
The magistrate also forbade the elder Zenon from going fishing in his boat, at which point the activist said: "I won't accept that." He did not say whether he would appeal.
Mayor's race tightens
NEW YORK -- With the mayoral election just days away, Republican Michael Bloomberg may have pulled even with Democrat Mark Green after blanketing the airwaves with a commercial in which Rudolph Giuliani enthusiastically endorses him as the man to rebuild the tragedy-stricken city.
Only a few days ago, Bloomberg, a political outsider, was regarded as a long shot in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 5-to-1.
A poll released Friday by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion showed Green, the city's public advocate, favored by 46 percent of likely voters, compared with 42 percent for Bloomberg, founder of the Bloomberg financial news service. Twelve percent were undecided.
The margin of error was plus or minus 5 percentage points, meaning the poll shows the race to be a statistical dead heat.
Peres, Arafat meet,but not to negotiate
POLLENSA, Spain -- Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres lunched together Friday, the first meeting between the two in more than a month. There was little expectation the talk would ease Mideast violence.
The two men, along with Egypt's president and Spain's prime minister, held a "serious and intense" discussion around the table on the Spanish resort island of Mallorca, said an Egyptian delegate who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
But the discussion was not intended to lead to concrete action, such as another in a succession of cease-fire calls. Since Peres lacks a mandate from his government to negotiate, no one expected dramatic results from the encounter.
The differences between Peres and his hard-line prime minister, Ariel Sharon, weighed heavily on the meeting. "We know who's calling the shots," said the Egyptian.
It was first meeting between Arafat and Peres since Sept. 26 in Gaza, where they issued a joint call for a halt in the yearlong fighting between Israelis and Palestinians. However, the truce never took hold.