World and Nation

Shorts (left)

Opposition the ‘Clear Victor’ In Zimbabwe, U.S. Says

The top American envoy to Africa declared Thursday that Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was the “clear victor” over President Robert Mugabe in the nation’s disputed election and called on other countries — including the United States — to help solve the deepening political and humanitarian crisis there.

The diplomat, Jendayi Frazer, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said the election results, based on projections by independent monitors, removed the rationale for any negotiated settlement that left Mugabe in charge, as was proposed Wednesday in an editorial in The Herald, the state-run newspaper.

“This is a government rejecting the will of the people,” Frazer said, referring to the Zimbabwe electoral commission’s refusal to announce who won the March 29 presidential election. “If they had voted for Mugabe, the results would already have been announced. Everyone knows what time it is.”

U.S. Releases Images to Bolster Claims About Syrian Reactor

The Bush administration released detailed photographic images on Thursday to support its assertion that the building in Syria that Israel destroyed in an airstrike last year was a nuclear reactor constructed with years of help from North Korea.

The administration said it withheld the pictures for seven months out of fear that Syria could retaliate against Israel and start a broader war in the Middle East.

The photographs taken inside the reactor before it was destroyed in an air raid on Sept. 6 clearly show the rods that control the heat in a nuclear reactor, one of many close engineering similarities to a reactor halfway around the world where North Korea produced the fuel for its nuclear arsenal.

While the photographs were not dated, it seemed that some of the photos taken on the ground go back to before 2002.

Connecticut’s Wealthy Not Immune From Foreclosure

This wooded town of roughly 60,000 on Long Island Sound — home to dozens of hedge funds, many millionaires and more than a few billionaires — is one of the wealthiest enclaves in the country. But even Greenwich is not immune to the wave of home foreclosures sweeping the nation.

On Hettiefred Road, for example, the owner of a 2,720-square-foot, four-bedroom colonial featuring a luxury kitchen, swimming pool and tennis court, has been threatened with foreclosure for months. On Stanwich Road, another house worth $2.6 million is close to going on the block. Several dozen others have received foreclosure notices this year.

But there is a difference from most other communities. Auctioning off such homes is a far greater challenge here than elsewhere, as affluent but cash-squeezed owners often find ways to delay losing their home, sometimes by coming up with just enough to make last-minute payments, avoiding a final sale — for a while, anyway.

Just ask John Thygerson, who parked his Jeep sport utility vehicle in front of the empty house on Hettiefred Road on the flawless spring day last Saturday. As a foreclosure auctioneer, he was scheduled — for the third time since January — to sell the house. But the owner, a construction business owner who has fallen on hard times, made a last-minute mortgage payment and the foreclosure was postponed yet again.