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Tuesday, February 10, 2004 - Page updated at 12:27 A.M.
BEIJING The World Food Program said yesterday it has nearly run out of rations for North Korea because of a shortage of donations, and that only 100,000 of the 6.5 million vulnerable children, pregnant women and elderly people it normally feeds in North Korea are receiving aid from the U.N. agency.
At this point, the organization said, people most likely will go hungry until the end of March, the next scheduled delivery of aid, which includes $26 million in food from the United States. Typically, it takes three months to arrange the purchase, shipping and delivery of food.
Ukraine denies report it sold nuclear weapons to al-Qaida
KIEV, Ukraine Ukraine yesterday denied a newspaper report that it had sold tactical nuclear weapons to al-Qaida in 1998, saying it had never controlled nuclear weapons and the former Soviet arms on its territory had passed straight into Russian hands.
The pan-Arab al-Hayat newspaper Sunday quoted sources close to al-Qaida as saying the group bought the weapons in suitcases in a deal arranged when Ukrainian scientists visited the Afghan city of Kandahar.
A Ukraine Foreign Ministry statement dismissed the report as "totally groundless." It said tactical weapons had been sent to Russia for destruction in 1992 and warheads from strategic missiles by 1996.
Musharraf thought scientist was sharing nuclear secrets
NEW YORK President Pervez Musharraf suspected for at least three years that Pakistan's top nuclear scientist was sharing nuclear technology with other countries, The New York Times reported today.
Abdul Qadeer Khan confessed to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea last week. Musharraf pardoned Khan and ruled out an independent investigation.
The Pakistani leader said in The New York Times interview in Pakistan that U.S. officials did not provide him with evidence of Khan's activities until October. "If they knew it earlier, they should have told us," the newspaper quoted Musharraf as saying.
LONDON Prime Minister Tony Blair announced plans yesterday for an elite new police force to combat increasingly sophisticated organized criminals on a national scale.
Dubbed the "British FBI" by the media, the Serious Organized Crime Agency will tackle offenses such as people smuggling, drug trafficking, high-tech crime and money laundering. It won't investigate murders or terrorism.
Saudi-Yemeni concrete fence bid to halt smuggling, attacks
CAIRO, Egypt In a bid to stop arms smuggling and terror attacks, Saudi and Yemeni officials will meet soon to review plans to build a fence along their frontier, a newspaper reported yesterday.
Saudi officials believe most weapons used in militant operations in Saudi Arabia including the May suicide attacks in Riyadh that killed 35 are smuggled from Yemen.
Lt. Gen. Talal Anqawi, head of the Saudi border police, told the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat that the fence would be effective in preventing smuggling and infiltration, especially by automobile.
Anqawi refused to call it a barrier and said the fence would be well within Saudi territory.
Mexican guest workers claim U.S. withheld part of salaries
MEXICO CITY Protesters, many of them more than 70 years old, demanded payment yesterday from a U.S. guest-worker program they say withheld 10 percent of their salaries when they worked temporarily in the United States decades ago.
The former workers, known as braceros, or "strong arms," accuse both governments of manipulating Mexican workers to help fill a labor shortage in the United States in a worker program that ran from 1942 to 1966. They claim the money was never received.
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