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PHILIPPINES

ASEAN draft charter omits rights body

MANILA — Southeast Asian diplomats have completed the first draft of a landmark charter for the region but left out a provision creating a human rights body after a dispute, a senior official said yesterday.

The issue now will be decided at a meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) today in Manila.

The first draft, a copy of which was shown to Reuters news agency, agreed to maintain the bloc’s traditional way of deciding issues through a consensus and made no mention of sanctions for member states guilty of serious violations of the charter.

RUSSIA

Subs make test dive on way to North Pole

MOSCOW — Two Russian deep-sea submersibles made a test dive in polar waters yesterday ahead of a mission to be the first to reach the seabed under the North Pole, the ITAR-Tass news agency said.

Tass said it took an hour for Mir-1 and Mir-2, each carrying one pilot, to reach the seabed at a depth of 4,301 feet, 47 nautical miles north of Russia’s northernmost archipelago, Franz Josef Land in the Barents Sea.

As the Arctic ice cap thins as a result of global warming, a race is looming to claim ownership of the rich energy resources under the North Pole.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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