News The cruise liner Lyubov Orlova, shown here among ice in Antarctica, has been drifting without a crew in the north Atlantic for the past year

UPDATE: Experts say the cruise liner, adrift in the north Atlantic, may have succumbed to stormy weather conditions

Racist murderers get long jail terms

MADRID - A Spanish court sentenced four men to jail terms totalling 126 years over the murder of a woman from the Dominican Republic, which sparked a nationwide debate about racism. The court ruled that former civil guard Luis Merino, along with Felipe Carlos Martin, Julian Flores and Javier Quilez, had entered a building where 30 Dominican immigrants lived with 'the premeditated idea of assault to cause bodily harm'. Reuter

TRAVEL / Eat, drink and merengue: There is a pleasing rhythm to life in the Dominican Republic, if you can ignore the poolside disco music. Andrew Purvis reports

'WHERE is the Dominican Republic?' the travel agent asked, leafing distractedly through yet another brochure. At first I took this for ignorance, a plea for help, but her expression betrayed a darker purpose. She was trying to catch me out. 'Central America,' I said, with an inflection that made it sound a bit like a question but not quite. I'd confirmed the booking and was signing a cheque, so of course I knew where I was going. 'Wrong,' she said triumphantly. 'Let's look at the map.'

Impatient Clinton tightens Haiti grip

BILL CLINTON said yesterday he was tightening sanctions on Haiti, including an end to all commercial flights to the island, in an effort to force out the military regime which seized power three years ago.

Boxing: Robinson's risky fight

STEVE ROBINSON risks a lucrative meeting with Duke McKenzie by taking on the elusive substitute Freddy Cruz in the fourth defence of his World Boxing Organisation featherweight title at the Cardiff Ice Rink tomorrow.

Dominican fraud charges to go to UN

The main opposition candidate in the Dominican Republic's allegedly fraud-marred presidential vote pledged yesterday to take his fight to the UN and the Organisation of American States, AFP reports from Santo Domingo. No winner has been announced in the 16 May vote, which Jose Francisco Pena Gomez says was rigged to keep him from defeating the incumbent, Joaquin Balaguer.

Letter: Haiti sanctions must be enforced

Sir: Your article 'Desperate Haitians vote with their fleet', 23 May) is correct in highlighting the new wave of Haitians building boats to flee their country. Their reversion to such a course has less to do with President Clinton's modified immigration policy and more to do with months of terror and deprivation.

Dominican Republic poll recount

Faced with opposition charges of fraud, the Dominican Republic's national electoral board announced a recount of ballots cast in Monday's presidential election, AFP reports from Santo Domingo.

Election lead

Clinging to a slim election lead yesterday, President Joaquin Balaguer of the Dominican Republic brushed aside the opposition's allegations of vote fraud and demands for a recount, AP reports from Santo Domingo.

Dominicans vote

Voters in the Dominican Republic went to the ballot box yesterday to decide whether to elect Jose Francisco Pena Gomez their first black president this century or give four more years to Joaquin Balaguer, their 87-year-old ruler, AP reports from Santo Domingo.

US does U-turn and toughens Haiti policy

IN A sharp reversal of policy, the US is to press the United Nations Security Council to toughen sanctions against Haiti unless its three top military leaders step down within the next 15 days. They must also start the restoration to power of the exiled President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, whom they overthrew in a coup in 1991.

Obituary: Zino Davidoff

Zino Davidoff, tobacco merchant: born Kiev 11 February 1906; married (one daughter); died Geneva 14 January 1994.

Baby Doc's right-hand man back in business: Machine-gun fire echoes through Haiti's capital on the day President Aristide should have returned from exile

'I AM not a violent man. But if foreign troops disembark on my soil, I shall resist. I am ready to die for my poor, dirty little country. I was an expert in anti-guerrilla warfare. Listen well.' There is doubt as to whether Franck Romain, 57, former Duvalierist mayor and police chief of Port-au-Prince would be anywhere near the beach were there to be foreign intervention. But he was well aware his staring eyes and dramatic gestures would soon be beamed around the world, and more particularly into President Clinton's Oval Office.

Spielberg spells rich pickings for amber gamblers

(First Edition)

Racism in Europe: Southern Europe: Horror at echoes of the past

HISTORICALLY countries of emigration, Spain, Italy and other southern European countries are having to contend with immigration for the first time in centuries because of freedom of movement in the European Community and the surge of immigrants coming from the Third World.

ROCK / A hot taste of Dominica: Philip Sweeney talks to the Dominican merengue man, Cuco Valoy, and, below, finds there's plenty more where he came from

SABOR - flavour, tastiness - is a word much used by Latin Americans in praising tropical dance music. It is a quality Cuco Valoy possesses in spades. If the culinary equivalent of Juan-Luis Guerra's music (see below) is a souffle - light, clever and international - Valoy's is mondongo, the rich, dark Dominican cowsfoot stew which Valoy relished until recent digestive problems turned him into a reluctant semi-vegetarian.
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