- The Washington Times - Friday, February 14, 2003

Blix: Iraqi cooperation improved

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 14 (UPI) — Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said Friday no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq although some items were not accounted for. He told the U.N. Security Council Iraqi cooperation had improved since the inspections began in November and the inspection process was to be stepped up. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said he is pleased there have been improvements in the inspection process but noted there still are impediments. "But that is all process. It is not substance," Powell said.

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Saddam bans weapons of mass destruction

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 14 (UPI) — President Saddam Hussein issued a decree Friday banning individuals and companies from producing or importing weapons of mass destruction. The ban on chemical, biological and nuclear weapons was to take effect immediately and was issued some hours before U.N. chief arms inspector Hans Blix and Muhammad ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency presented reports to the U.N. Security Council on the outcome of arms inspections in Iraq. A statement issued at the end of a meeting between Saddam and his closest aides.

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Chretien to U.S.: Wait

CHICAGO, Feb. 14 (UPI) — Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien is urging the United States to wait for the United Nations to act before taking any action in Iraq. Chretien, in a speech before the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations Thursday evening, warned unilateral action by Washington would cast the United States in the role of bully. and could doom the United Nations. "The price of being the world's only superpower is that its motives are sometimes questioned by others," Chretien said. "Great strength is not always perceived by others as benign."

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Europe braced for huge anti-war protests

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Feb. 14 (UPI) — Millions of Europeans are expected to take to the streets Saturday to protest against the looming war in Iraq, in what is being billed as the continent's largest ever day of demonstrations. United for Peace and Justice, a U.S.-based campaign group, estimates 603 anti-war protests have been organized across the globe, with more than 200 taking place in European cities. Some 150,000 dissenters kicked off a weekend of worldwide protests in Melbourne, Australia, Friday in the country's greatest anti-war rally since the Vietnam conflict 30 years ago.

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Suit to block Iraq war likely to fail

BOSTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) — A lawsuit challenging President Bush's power to attack Iraq without a congressional declaration of war has little chance of success, legal experts said Friday. A federal judge in Boston will hear arguments on the suit next week. "Cases like this have been filed over and over the years and they never win because the court is not going to intrude on the foreign policy of the United States," attorney Paul Martinek, editor of Lawyers Weekly USA, told UPI. Similar federal lawsuits challenging the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War failed. The Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War were all fought without congressional declarations.

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'Preppie killer' released

NEW YORK, Feb. 14 (UPI) — Robert Chambers, dubbed by local media as the "Preppie killer" for strangling a woman in 1986, was released from prison Friday. Chambers, now 36, served his full 15-year sentence for manslaughter after being convicted of killing Jennifer Levin.

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Industrial production rises 0.7 percent

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) — The Federal Reserve said Friday U.S. industrial production, a key measure of work done by factories, mines and utilities, posted its largest rise in six months during January. The government said industrial production jumped a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent during the first month of 2003 — its largest rise since a same 0.7 percent increase posted back in July of last year. The January gain was paced by a 4.9 percent rise in the assembly of autos and their parts. Most Wall Street economists were expecting industrial production to rise 0.3 percent during the month after slipping 0.2 percent in December.

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Inventories rise for 8th month

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) — The Commerce Department said Friday U.S. business inventories rose for the eighth straight month in December as some companies replenished their stockpiles to keep pace with consumer demand. The government agency said U.S. business inventories rose 0.6 percent in the final month of 2002 to a seasonally adjusted level of $1.143 trillion after rising 0.3 percent in November. Most Wall Street economists were expecting inventories to rise 0.2 percent during the month. The level of inventories in relation to sales is an important indicator of the near-term direction of production activity.

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Markets up following Blix comments

NEW YORK, Feb. 14 (UPI) — Prices on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market were mixed in cautious pre-holiday trading Friday as investors digested chief weapons inspector Hans Blix's comments on Iraq. Markets in the United States will be closed on Monday for the President's Day holiday. Trading will resume on Tuesday. In early afternoon trading, the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average, which eased 8.30 points Thursday, was up 25.30 points at 7,775.17. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index, which slipped 1.53 points in the previous session, was ahead 9.16 points at 1,286.00.

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Els stays hot at Perth

PERTH, Australia, Feb. 14 (UPI) — Ernie Els shredded the back nine Friday and is the leader after two rounds of the Johnnie Walker Classic. Els, the first-round leader at 8-under, reached the turn on level par for the day before carding a 29, including his second eagle on the par-5 15th, to move to 15-under, four shots ahead of Greg Owen and Robert Allenby.


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