December 14, 2001.
UNESCO names new protected sites
HELSINKI, Finland 13 (AP) - A Brazilian (news - web sites) atoll, part of
the British coastline and a national park in Cuba were declared World Heritage
nature sites Thursday by UNESCO (news - web sites).
They are Brazil's Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas national parks and Fernando
de Noronha and Atol das Rocas reserves, Britain's Dorset and East Devon
coastlines and Cuba's Alejandro de Humboldt National Park.
Russia's Central Sikhote-Alin, Switzerland's Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn
and Israel's Masada National Park also were named World Heritage nature sites.
The selections were announced at UNESCO's annual meeting in Helsinki.
New cultural heritage sites, including Samarkand in Uzbekistan, the historic
centers of Vienna in Austria and Goias in Brazil and the Falun mining area in
Sweden also were added to the Paris-based U.N. group's list.
UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is responsible for implementing the 1972
U.N. Convention on the protection of cultural and natural sites around the
To its World Heritage List in Danger, it added the rice terraces of the
Philippine cordilleras and the ancient holy city of Abu Mena in Egypt, bringing
the total to 31 sites worldwide.
Other cultural sites listed were the Yungang grottoes in China, the French
town of Provins, the old town of Lamu in Kenya, the Medina of Essaouira in
Morocco, Polish churches in Jawor and Swidnica, and the historic center of
Guimaraes in Portugal.
In addition, it extended three natural sites: the Galapagos islands (news -
web sites) of Ecuador, the volcanoes of Kamchatka and Kluchevskoy Nature Park in
Russia, and the Lake Turkana national parks in Kenya.
Cuba's Castro calls spies 'heroes'
By Fabiola Sanchez, Associated Press Writer
PORLAMAR, Venezuela 13(AP) - Cuban President Fidel Castro (news - web sites)
called two convicted spies sentenced to life in prison in the United States
Cuban intelligence officer Ramon Labanino was sentenced Thursday to life in
prison for trying to infiltrate U.S. military bases. Accused ringleader Gerardo
Hernandez was sentenced to life Wednesday, and three others face sentencing
later this month.
All five were convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami in June after a
crackdown on spies operating inside the United States.
"These boys are five heroes'' who have been treated in the United
States "with incredible brutality,'' Castro told reporters Thursday after a
Caribbean summit on Margarita Island.
"Their honor and dignity have been stripped away with the help of four
North American attorneys,'' he said.
Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said Hernandez did "absolutely
nothing that put the United States in danger.'' He insisted Hernandez was in
Florida to obtain information about Cuban exile "terrorist'' groups who he
said operate in the United States with "impunity.''
Prosecutors also accused Hernandez of knowing about a plot to shoot down
rescue planes in 1996 because he warned two agents who infiltrated an exile
group not to fly during a period that included the day of the attack. Four Cuban
Americans were killed.
Castro called Hernandez "a hero capable of resisting all of the
humiliations in a strange country.''
However, Castro did praise the first commercial export of U.S. food to Cuba
in nearly 40 years. The shipment of 26,400 tons of corn from eight Midwestern
states leaves Louisiana on Friday.
Cuba's purchase is "a friendly response to a friendly gesture,'' he