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WORLD IN BRIEF: Bill targets AIDS patients

From News Services

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lawmakers in Indonesia’s remote Papua province have thrown their support behind a controversial bill requiring some HIV/AIDS patients to be implanted with microchips —- part of extreme efforts to monitor the disease. Legislator John Manangsang said by implanting small computer chips beneath the skin of “sexually aggressive” patients, authorities would be in a better position to identify, track and ultimately punish those who deliberately infect others. If the proposed legislation gets a majority vote as expected, it will be enacted next month, he said.

Chavez declares vote a mandate

President Hugo Chavez on Monday said his allies’ victories in state and local elections mean Venezuelans want him to press ahead with his socialist policies. Pro-Chavez candidates held on to gubernatorial posts in 17 states in Sunday’s voting, but the oft-battered opposition also gained by winning five of the 23 states, including the two biggest —- Miranda and Zulia —- as well as mayoral races in the two largest cities, Caracas and Maracaibo.

Crisis worse than Carter expected

South African President Kgalema Motlanthe warned Monday that the situation in neighboring Zimbabwe could “implode and collapse” and announced a new round of talks to help resolve the crisis. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, meeting in South Africa with charity, donor and civil leaders from Zimbabwe, said the crisis appears to be much worse than anything ever imagined.

Refugees victims of looting, shooting

Soldiers went on an overnight looting and shooting spree in a sprawling Congolese refugee camp, stealing from hungry and traumatized people who have fled fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s east, witnesses said Monday. They said one woman was killed by a stray bullet Sunday night in Kibati, a village north of the eastern provincial capital of Goma that has been overrun by about 70,000 refugees.

Ties between countries cut back

North Korea detailed plans Monday to radically curtail ties with South Korea, announcing the end of daily cross-border train service and tours of a historic city in response to what it called Seoul’s “confrontational” policies since conservative, pro-U.S. President Lee Myung-bak took office in Seoul in February. North Korea’s army also said it will expel some South Koreans from a joint industrial zone but stopped short of closing the South Korean-run factories that are a key source of hard currency for the impoverished nation.

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