World Briefs

  • 18/09/2008 02:00
  • 18/09/2008 02:00
LA PAZ, Bolivia - Bolivian President Evo Morales says the United States has "no moral authority to talk about drugs."

LA PAZ, Bolivia - Bolivian President Evo Morales says the United States has "no moral authority to talk about drugs."

Morales sees pure politics in the U.S. decision to place Bolivia on an anti-narcotics blacklist, the latest turn in a diplomatic feud.

Morales pointed out Wednesday that the U.S. is one of the world's largest markets for cocaine and that its close ally Colombia saw a much greater increase in coca production than Bolivia last year.

The U.S. decertification of Bolivia is part of an annual review but comes just days after Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador, accusing him of backing Bolivia's conservative opposition.

U.S. anti-drug aid to Bolivia will continue despite the blacklisting. The annual money added up to US$55 million last year, which is not enough.

BEIJING - More than 6,200 babies have been sickened by tainted milk formula and dozens of infants are suffering from acute kidney failure, China's health minister said Wednesday as the death toll rose to three children.

Health Minister Chen Zhu said he expected the numbers of affected babies to increase as "more and more parents take kids to the hospital."

Meanwhile, the head of China's quality control watchdog agency, Li Changjiang, said that 5,000 inspectors will be dispatched nationwide to monitor companies after government testing showed that 20 percent of the companies producing milk powder had dairy products with melamine.

Also Wednesday, the country's two largest dairy companies, Mengniu Dairy Co. and Yili Industrial Group Co., were among the companies forced to recall baby formula.

HAVANA - Cuba, devastated in recent weeks by two powerful hurricanes, has too much dignity to accept aid from the United States, former leader Fidel Castro said in a column published on Wednesday.

He said the United States had done billions of dollars in damage to Cuba with its 46-year-old trade embargo against the island and does not understand "that the dignity of a people has no price."

Cuba suffered $5 billion in damages from hurricanes Ike and Gustav, but the government has rejected offers of up to $5 million in U.S. aid.

"If instead of five million they were one billion, the answer would be the same," wrote Castro, who has been on the sidelines since undergoing intestinal surgery in July 2006 and was formally replaced as president by brother Raul Castro in February.

"The damage in thousands of lives, suffering and more than $200 billion the blockade (embargo) has cost, and the Yankee aggressions,” he said.

Lo Nuevo
comments powered by Disqus