Archive for Thursday, September 6, 2001

World Briefs

September 6, 2001

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Peru : Homicide charges filed against ex-president

Peru's attorney general filed homicide charges against disgraced ex-President Alberto Fujimori on Wednesday, linking him to two massacres by paramilitary death squads in the early 1990s, a statement said.

Fujimori is in exile in Japan, and Peru hopes that the charges will prompt the Asian nation to extradite him.

Prosecutors allege that the now-exiled Fujimori "co-authored" the killings and "knew in detail the operations" of the death squad known as the Colina group, the attorney general's office statement said.

The Colina group is accused of gunning down 15 people in 1991 during a barbecue at a Lima tenement building. Group members were also linked to the kidnapping and murder of nine students and a professor at La Cantuta University in 1992.

India: Bishop: Mother Teresa underwent exorcism

Mother Teresa had an exorcism performed on her during while hospitalized in 1997, the Archbishop of Calcutta said Wednesday.

Archbishop Henry D'Souza said the exorcism would not affect the nun's candidacy for sainthood. He said the exorcism took place in a hospital where the nun was admitted because of heart trouble before her death on Sept. 5, 1997, at age 87.

The doctor treating Mother Teresa reported that she was having trouble sleeping, D'Souza said.

"There was no medical reason for that," the archbishop said. "It struck me that there could be some evil spirit which was trying to disturb her."

He said he had subsequently asked with the nun's consent for a priest to perform an exorcism.

Along with the priest, Mother Teresa participated in a "prayer of protection" and "slept peacefully after that," he said.

Russia: Arctic artifacts show early settlement

Primitive stone tools and other artifacts discovered close to the Arctic Circle in the desolate far north of European Russia indicate a band of hunters set up camp there almost 40,000 years ago far earlier than previously thought, researchers report.

The researchers said they are not certain if the remnants were left by Neanderthals or modern humans. Either way, it would be significant.

If they were Neanderthals, they had spread much farther north than previously thought. If they were modern humans, they had traveled from southern Europe to the Arctic in an exceedingly brief period of time.

Morever, survival in the harsh environment there suggests a relatively high level of social development of the sort generally associated with modern humans, researchers said.

Germany: Organ performance to last 639 years

A performance of an organ piece by American composer John Cage that is meant to last 639 years began in an eastern German church with 16 months of silence.

The project honoring Cage's avant-garde work started at midnight Tuesday in Halberstadt and foresees taking the composer at his word by stretching Organ2/ASLSP the letters stand for As Slow As Possible over centuries.

"We hope each generation will continue the project and as long as there are no more wars or other major disruptions, it will go on until its end," Michael Betzle, head of the John Cage Organ Foundation in Halberstadt, said by telephone Wednesday.

Only the bellows are ready so far on the organ being built for the extended concert in the St. Burchardi Church, 125 miles west of Berlin.

That's no problem, since the first three notes won't be played until Jan. 5, 2003. Until then, time will be marked by the sound of air rushing through the bellows.

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