News The Teknik Perdana was looking for oil off the coast of Guyana

Two Britons are believed to be among the crew of a seismic research vessel under effective “ship arrest” today after becoming snarled in a territorial dispute that flared over the weekend between Venezuela and neighbouring Guyana, which dates back over a 100 years to when Guyana was under British control.

Voice of the poor at Clinton's free-trade gala

Out of america

The dangerous cult of follow my leader

THREE reasons are usually given when a cult implodes: isolation, apocalpytic fervour and a charismatic leader. However, if they were all that was needed, far more new religions would end in mass suicide like this week's in Switzerland. One additional factor is needed, which by its nature is unpredictable.

Cricket: Ambrose out of India tour

INDIAN hearts were beating a little less fearfully yesterday when Curtly Ambrose withdrew from the West Indies' forthcoming tour of the subcontinent because of a persistent shoulder injury which requires surgery.

Guyana trek

Guyana means 'land of many waters', and Discovery Expeditions (01747 855050) has adopted the name for a three-week trip into South America's only English-speaking country. There are three places left for the expedition which departs on 22 September. Participants will live and work with scientists, researching the indigenous Indian community. The price is pounds 1,800, excluding the air fare from London to Georgetown - around pounds 580.

BOOK REVIEW / In the imperial sunset: arms for the poor: 'Colonial Wars and the Politics of Third World Nationalism' - Frank Furedi: I B Tauris, 34.50 pounds

TRIBAL slaughter in Rwanda, clan warlords in Somalia, black on black violence in South Africa - these are our images of the Third World. Western commentaries stress the irrationality of ethnic conflicts, the tyranny of Third World despots, the horrors of societies out of control. Implicit in such discussion is the idea that 'they' are in some way different from 'us' - that Third World societies are more in thrall to irrational, ancient customs and less willing to accept Western ideas of liberal democracy.

A clinic on the back of a truck: Anna Pavord joined a medical team that matched Guyana's annual health budget in three weeks

The story of the frogs in the lavatory is one of my sister-in-law's best childhood tales. Born and brought up on a ranch in the Rupununi district of Guyana, she described how they always kept a big stick by the loo. Before you sat down you had to rattle the stick round the bowl, causing enough disturbance - you hoped - to persuade the frogs that lived inside to jump out, rather than attach their sticky suckered feet to your bottom.

Today's Number: 182

THE lowest score of the three Test centuries that the West Indies captain, Richie Richardson, has made at the Bourda ground in Guyana, where the second Test starts today. He made his 182 against Australia in 1991, and has also scored 194 v India in 1989 and 185 v New Zealand in 1985.

Cricket: Hooper injury may reprieve Simmons: Chronic back problem forces West Indian all-rounder out of Test series

CARL HOOPER, restored to the West Indies squad for tomorrow's second Test in Georgetown, Guyana, after missing the first Test and the one-day games with a back complaint, will take no further part in the Wisden Trophy series.

Cricket: Frogs not ducks as England wait: Bourda Oval wash-out but good news on Malcolm

GEORGETOWN'S reputation for getting batsmen caught fishing outside the off stump - but only if they are in a rowing boat at the time - struck again yesterday, not only washing out the second day's play between England and a West Indian Board President's XI, but leaving the Bourda Oval looking like one of the larger tributaries of the mud-brown Demerara River.

Cricket: Paceman Lewis goes from surplus to spearhead

EITHER Mike Atherton is a man of limitless faith, or else the England captain feels he is up a creek without a paddle, but Chris Lewis is about to be given a new role on this tour as replacement strike bowler for Devon Malcolm. Until Malcolm, Lewis's closest friend, flew home with knee cartilage trouble a fortnight ago, Lewis's name in connection with England's next Test team looked more likely to be found in the wastepaper basket than pinned to the dressing-room wall.

Cricket: Battle-weary Atherton takes observation post: England on their way to monsoon territory

AFTER a couple of days of rest and reflection in Trinidad, England fly off to Guyana tomorrow bearing little resemblance to the commando unit of three weeks ago. Georgetown is located on the tip of South America's northern coast and has something in common with England's confidence in that it is somewhat run down and lies below sea level.

Queen heads for the jungle

The Queen headed for an Indian village in the Amazon jungle on a visit to this former British possession, AP reports from Georgetown, Guyana. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were to worship with Indian villagers at the mainly Catholic Santa Rosa Amerindian reservation before visiting a nature reserve. The Queen leaves for Belize tomorrow on another leg of her seven-nation Caribbean tour.

Departures: Final travel show

THE THIRD and final Independent Traveller's World Exhibition takes place today and tomorrow at the Birmingham County Ground, Edgbaston in Birmingham. As well as advice and information on cheap flights, expeditions, activity holidays, working abroad, health, travel equipment and guidebooks, there are talks by 'travel writers, enthusiasts and eccentrics'. Today at 12.30, for example, Simon Calder will talk about Guyana. At 2pm Frank Barrett, the Independent travel correspondent, will talk about writing and selling travel articles. At 3.30pm Simon and Frank will take part in a travellers' question time.

Travel: Bitten by the Karanambo bug: The Queen arrives in Georgetown, Guyana, today. Anna Pavord extols some of the delights that await the regal visitor

There are so many things that bite in Guyana that after a few days you stop counting the bumps and accept your role as mobile snack bar for mosquitoes, jiggers and other insects. Most insidious are the cabouri flies, which inflict damage out of all proportion to their size. Weeks after their feasts, you still carry the evidence around with you, each bite centred with a characteristic small black spot.

'Smuggler' aged 80

An 80-year-old great-grandmother was caught smuggling pounds 250,000 worth of cocaine into Britain from Guyana hidden under her girdle, a court was told. Mengri Jettoo, stopped at Heathrow with 1.7kg of the drug, is the oldest suspected drugs smuggler to be arrested by British Customs. The case continues.
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