Abdullah Saleh al-Ashtal

SAN`A, Yemen (AP) _ Abdullah Saleh al-Ashtal, who served as Yemen's ambassador to the United Nations for nearly 30 years, died in New York on Thursday after a long illness, Yemen's Foreign Ministry and its U.N. Mission said Friday. He was 66.

Al-Ashtal was considered one of Yemen's leading and most-articulate diplomats and was known for advocating modernization and human development.

He died after a struggle with lung cancer.

Al-Ashtal presented his credentials on May 29, 1973, as the permanent representative of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen to the United Nations.

He continued to represent a united Yemen after the Yemen Arab Republic and the People's Democratic Republic joined in 1990. He remained in the post until July 2002.

Yemeni officials said al-Ashtal was repeatedly offered senior positions in the government, including foreign minister, but he turned them down, preferring instead to remain in New York.

Al-Ashtal, whose wife is Iraqi, cast Yemen's vote against the 1990 U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing military action to oust Iraqi's invading army from Kuwait. The move proved costly: shortly afterward, Saudi Arabia deported thousands of Yemeni workers and the United States cut off $70 million in foreign aid to the country.


Enrique Alonso ``Cachirulo''

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Enrique Alonso ``Cachirulo,'' an actor, writer and producer whose long-running television show made his name practically synonymous with children's theater in Mexico, died Friday. He was 79.

He died of a heart attack, according to the government news agency Notimex.

Alonso was born Enrique Fernandez Tellaeche in the port of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, on Aug. 28, 1924, but he became better known for his nickname, which roughly means ``gullible'' in Spanish.

He produced and directed the ``Teatro Fantastico'' television show, which ran from 1955 to 1969, and adapted countless classic children's stories for the stage and television, as well as writing original material.