Archive for Monday, January 29, 2001

World Briefs

January 29, 2001


State workers' strike snarls everyday life

Tons of garbage littered the streets of Israel's major towns, government offices were closed, and most flights at the main international airport were canceled Sunday in a widening strike of state workers.

The walkout by workers at the Ben-Gurion airport near Tel Aviv forced the cancellation of most outgoing flights, though some were able to depart. Some incoming flights were allowed to land but passengers had to leave the airport without their luggage as the baggage handlers were on strike.

Twenty-five foreign airlines canceled flights to Israel for fear that their planes would be unable to take off again, said Rafi Katashvili, a union official.

The strike was called by the Histadrut, Israel's giant labor federation, in support of pay demands. In addition to the airport staff, the strike has hit government offices, hospital administration, telephone services, railways, seaports and garbage collection.

History buffs remember king's beheading

When King Charles I stepped onto the scaffolding outside Banqueting House more than 350 years ago for execution as a traitor, one of the last things he said was "Remember."

Some 500 royalists and history buffs tried Sunday to fulfill the king's last wish as they marched solemnly through central London to commemorate the anniversary of Charles' beheading on Jan. 30th, 1649.

Charles I believed in the divine right of kings to rule with absolute authority, leading him to inevitable clashes with Parliament, culminating in the 1642-1649 Civil War.

Despite some early victories, the king's Royalists or Cavaliers were badly beaten by the Roundheads, transformed by Oliver Cromwell into a professional fighting force, the New Model Army. In January 1649, Charles was tried for treason, found guilty by a one-vote majority and sentenced to death.

Dominican Republic Plane crash kills 7

A small plane that authorities suspect was carrying illegal immigrants to the United States crashed Sunday, killing at least seven people.

The twin-engine plane, which left Santo Domingo early in the morning, crashed in the mountainous Tamboril region about 125 miles north of the capital, Civil Aviation director Anibal Amparo Garcia Diaz said.

While the flight plan said the plane was heading to the resort town of Puerto Plata with a pilot and two passengers aboard, seven bodies were found, and the pilot named in the flight plan was not on board, Garcia Diaz said.

"We presume they were trying a new way of trafficking illegals," he said.

Each year, thousands of Dominicans try to make it by boat to the neighboring U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Immigration agents in Puerto Rico say they stopped 600 Dominicans trying to enter illegally in the last two months.

Last queen of Italy dies in exile at 94

Maria Jose of Savoy, the widow of Italy's last king, Umberto II, died Saturday at her family's home in exile in Switzerland, relatives said. She was 94.

Maria Jose had battled lung problems at a Geneva clinic for some time, but a family spokeswoman who confirmed her death did not say what caused it.

Umberto was king for a month in 1946, until a June referendum in which Italians voted to scrap the monarchy and make the country a republic. In the wake of Italy's war defeat, many blamed the country's plight on the royal family's earlier support for the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini.

Members of the ousted dynasty spent their exile in a lakeside village on the outskirts of Geneva, where Umberto died in 1983. Maria Jose penned many historical essays on the house of Savoy.

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