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Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2001

World briefs

April 25, 2001

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LONDON

Amnesty report warns of McVeigh 'martyrdom'

The high-profile execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh risks turning him into a martyr for those who share his radical beliefs, Amnesty International warned Tuesday in its latest attack on capital punishment.

In a lengthy report, "United States of America: The Illusion of Control," the London-based human rights group also argued the death penalty may inspire murders instead of discouraging them. McVeigh is scheduled to die May 16 by lethal injection for the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, in which 168 people, including 19 children, were killed and more than 500 injured.

"An execution ... carries with it the potential to create more grieving relatives, diminish respect for fundamental human rights and generate more violence," said Amnesty, which opposes capital punishment in all cases.

South Africa

President's remarks sparks AIDS test furor

President Thabo Mbeki on Tuesday questioned the need for people to take HIV tests, saying there was disagreement among scientists about what exactly was being tested.

Mbeki caused an international uproar more than a year ago when he courted the view of some scientists who question the link between HIV and AIDS and believe HIV testing should be stopped.

But in a rare live broadcast on the private television station e-TV, Mbeki reignited the debate Tuesday, saying he would not take a public HIV test as it would send a message that he supported a particular scientific viewpoint.

LONDON

Princess Diana's butler charged in theft

Princess Diana's former butler was charged Tuesday with stealing personal items belonging to the late princess, including a wedding gift sent to her and Prince Charles in 1981.

London's Metropolitan Police said Harold Brown, 48, faces four counts of theft involving items from the estate of the princess, who died in August 1997. The stolen items include a jewel daffodil motif, several pieces of jewelry and $1,700, as well as a model of a dhow, an Arab sailing vessel, received as a wedding gift from the Emir of Bahrain.

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