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WORLD WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2001 A13 The Arizona Republic Getting to top starts with bottom Britain testing looser rules on use of marijuana 1 a i ff. r'V Jf A V. juana use as part of their religious activity and use the drug daily. Now they can light up without fear, said David Clarke, who wears the traditional Ras-tafarian dreadlocks. "It's safer than alcohol and cigarettes," he said.
"It makes sense to change the law. They should change the law in the whole country." The policy angers some in Brixton, particularly shopkeepers who say they have found a rise in street crime to be associated with widespread drug use. Blacks who own small businesses in downtown Brixton said they resented that their neighborhood had been chosen for the pilot project. "It's not a good idea," said Kwaku Nyami, who runs a small food shop. "Some people use it excessively, and it gives them mental problems.
It's a crazy idea to try it here. They should try it somewhere else. We already have a lot of drug-related problems." Others worried the Brixton area would become a lure for drug-using youths from elsewhere. This phenomenon of "drug tourists" has caused some problems in the Netherlands, where border towns have become magnets for marijuana users from Germany, France and other countries. Some business owners said they are untroubled by the policy shift, saying it simply recognizes the reality that the police do not have the staffing to shut down the marijuana dealers and should instead concentrate on those selling heroin and crack cocaine.
By Gregory Katz Dallas Morning News LONDON A sudden movement to loosen controls on marijuana use is sweeping Britain, setting the stage for possible decriminalization of the drug. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who promised a hard-line approach to drug abuse, has not spoken out. But senior figures in his Labor Party have called for the use of small amounts of marijuana to go unpunished. Surprisingly, some leaders in the Conservative Party have agreed that the time has come to change the law. Newly appointed Home Secretary David Blunkett has called for an "adult, rational debate" on the subject, showing far more openness than his predecessor, Jack Straw, who frequently ruled out easing any drug laws.
Some politicians have suggested that marijuana be sold in licensed stores and taxed, much as it is in the Netherlands, which has Europe's most liberal drug policy. The epicenter of change is the predominantly African and Caribbean neighborhood of Brixton, where police have announced a six-month experiment. They will not charge people smoking or carrying marijuana with any criminal offense if the quantity is small. Instead, pot smokers will have to surrender their drugs and will receive a warning that carries no criminal penalty. The sudden announcement of a no-prosecution zone has delighted Brixton's many Ras-tafarians.
Many regard mari Associated Press Pauline Amlan, a contestant in the Queen of Ivory Coast pageant, puts on her makeup before the event. much of Africa, however, plump still means prosperity. Thin represents everything bad: poverty, AIDS and other diseases, misery and hunger. "If we see a woman like one of those Misses, we think she doesn't get enough to eat, or maybe she's sick, or she's mistreated by her husband," says contestant Pauline Amlan, 33. Some contestants are slighter, but none skinny.
Queen of Ivory Coast was started in 1999 to reinforce Africans' traditions of beauty, eant is in West Africa, where thin is not yet entirely in. Fat farms flourish here; not for the shedding of pounds, but for the getting of them. In some villages, self-esteem groups counsel skinny-and-worried-about-it adolescent girls, telling them it's OK to be thin. Secretly, though, the village girls know: Big is better. Outside Africa, billions of dollars are spent by Americans and others to try to work off, diet off or suck out fat.
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"One of your Misses, she follows a no-food diet," says the 27-year-old Zisson Sina, a cushion of calm amid the backstage bustle of preparations for the Queen of Ivory Coast pageant. "She's skinny, her stomach is very flat here, she's bony here," says Zisson Sina, her hand fluttering up to her own rounded collarbones. "We eat well, to keep our shapes." If ever there was an occasion to mull over what is beautiful, and why, Queen of Ivory Coast could be it. Sponsors make clear they're looking for that classic "guitar shape" specifically, as the pageant rule book notes in detailed unblushing description of the ideal Queen, "a rounded, full-fleshed bottom, well-developed and in movement when the woman moves." Cabinet ministers presided at the title's awarding on Saturday. With the title comes honor, sacks of rice and trips to France, Britain and Senegal.
It's not by chance the pag- raises ire en were convicted in New York on May 29 and sentenced to life in prison for the bombings. Prudence Bushnell, who headed the U.S. mission to Kenya at the time of the blast and is now ambassador to Guatemala, acknowledged the raw feelings that still linger. "I understand that you often feel angry," said Bushnell, who was slightly injured by flying glass in the attack. "I want to say to you again, as a fellow human being, pole sana." That is Swahili for "very sorry." Kenyans said they appreciate the sympathy but need material help.
The Kenyan government paid $4.5 million to victims and their families. And the U.S. Congress specified $42 million in aid, much of it for medical bills and children's school fees. But the U.S. government has refused direct payments to individuals to avoid the appearance of acknowledging legal responsibility for the attack.
Vietnam, dies President Ngo Dinh Diem, who was killed along with his brother, Police Chief Ngo Dinh Nhu, while trying to escape. Minh, the second-highest ranking general at the time, took power under a military junta. Two months later, Gen. Nguyen Khanh deposed the junta and took control of the country. Minh went into exile.
He resurfaced in 1971 and challenged President Nguyen Van Thieu, who was supported by the United States. Minh said the election contest was rigged and quit the race. Thieu then ran unopposed. Minh was widely regarded as the potential leader of a "third force" that could find an accommodation with the North to avoid a takeover, but the effort was stifled by Thieu. Arizona's Most i 1 1 11 jr- i I i i founder Poi Dokoui says.
"African women were getting a complex from the ads they see on TV," Dokoui says. Competitors wear traditional robes known as boubous, head wraps, and other traditional clothing. Swimsuit competition? Not a chance. The audience perks up most when two women entertainers come out to perform a dance called the mapuka. Dressed in evening gowns, they turn their backs to the audience, lean over and stick their hips out, launching into something that's kind of like a belly dance, but not at all.
Audience member Xayier Niadue and his friends, lounging up to now in a back row like passengers waiting for a plane, snap to as if their flight has just been called. "When a woman does that, a guy goes crazy," says Niadue, trying to answer questions without missing any onstage oscillating. "With Americans, you think a woman should be like this," Niadue says. He holds his hands out in front of his chest. "But for Africans, we think the most important thing" he reaches his hands back behind him to grab the most important thing "is here." Back on stage, the action has turned to Stately Walking.
The climax of each walk comes when each contestant hits the end of the runway and turns around. Slowly, sinuously, she gathers her robes about her at her hips as if it were to avoid tripping on the hem but not really. The audience applauds. Niadue and his friends fall silent and stare hard. The Queen contender sails slowly and serenely back up the runway.
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Offer available through 13 Wtl1MSBS1lir I fuuri Dow daafe ff Park dedicated to bomb victims Washington Post NAIROBI, Kenya Three years to the hour after a terrorist bomb demolished the U.S. Embassy, Kenyan and American officials opened a park dedicated to the memory of the 219 people killed in the blast. But moments after the motorcades departed, scores of Nairobi residents who had respectfully watched the ceremony swept angrily over the turnstile at the park entrance. Clambering atop a stone slab inscribed with victims' names, the protesters called the park's roughly 25-cent admission charge an insult and the latest example of insensitivity to the Kenyans who were the principal victims of the bombing. "It's very bad for us to pay, because we Africans are the ones who perished," Nicholas Gen.
Minh, last Associated Press PASADENA, Calif. Gen. Duong Van "Big" Minh, who was president of South Vietnam for just a few days before the country fell to Communist invaders in 1975, has died at 86. Minh fell at his home on Sunday, his daughter, Mai Duong, said Tuesday. He died Monday night at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena.
Minh was installed as president in April 1975 as the country crumbled under the onslaught from North Vietnam's Communist forces. In a matter of days, Minn's short political reign ended as Communist troops overran Saigon and captured the country's leaders. He was arrested and put in detention, but allowed to 1ST" I I -vllllli 111 11V Mukala said of the 1998 bombing that killed 207 Kenyans and 12 Americans. The admission charge was established by the public trust that operates the park in order to fund its upkeep. A spokesman for the embassy, which donated the site of the demolished embassy, had no comment on the fee.
Tuesday's apparently spontaneous protest cast a shadow over a sometimes moving ceremony intended to demonstrate solidarity between the Americans whose embassy was targeted and the Kenyans who were more damaged. The truck bomb, detonated almost simultaneously with one at the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Tanzania that killed 11, severely damaged the Nairobi embassy and leveled a private office building next door, injuring about 5,000 Kenyans. Four men with links to Islamic militant Osama bin Lad president of S. emigrate to France in 1983.
"He was a good general and a good man. But I think history will view him as lacking political leadership skills. He did not know how to deal with politics," said Ngo Nyugen, an Orange County judge who knew Minh from' Vietnam. Minn's military career began in the 1940s when he was one of only 50 Vietnamese officers to be commissioned in the French colonial army. After colonial rule ended in 1954, Minh ascended through the ranks of the new South Vietnamese military, where he was known as "Big Minh" because fellow troops were dwarfed by his 6-foot frame.
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