- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Iran, Russia to finish nuclear power plant
TEHRAN — Iran and Russia yesterday expressed hope of finishing construction on a nuclear power plant in Iran's southern city of Bushehr, despite bitter opposition from the United States.
During a meeting with Russia's new ambassador to Tehran, Alexander Maryassov, Iran's powerful former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, warned that Washington was looking for "excuses to halt cooperation between Iran and Russia in finishing the power plant."
"Our two countries have to remain careful so that America does not use any opportunities for a weakening of the strategic cooperation between Iran and Russia," Mr. Rafsanjani said.
During the meeting, he also referred to the "strategic" unity and cooperation among Iran, Russia and China, noting that it could serve as a "weight in the face of America and the West, and stabilize [current] international conditions."

Kursk work on time despite bad weather
MURMANSK, Russia — Bad weather has forced the Russian navy to suspend flights over the area where divers are trying to refloat the sunken Kursk nuclear submarine but the salvage operation will end on time, a spokesman for Russia's Northern Fleet said yesterday.
"The bad weather will have no impact on the time limit for the operation," spokesman Vadim Serga said.
Divers have pierced 13 of the 26 holes in the hull to which cables will be attached to lift the 20,000-ton submarine from the seabed 355 feet below the surface and tow it to a Russian military base in the Kola Peninsula, the Northern Fleet's press service said.

IRA suspects arrested in Colombia
BOGOTA, Colombia — Three suspected members of the Irish Republican Army were arrested near a southern region held by Colombia's largest leftist rebel group, an armed forces spokeswoman said yesterday.
The three were captured on Saturday at Bogota's airport after getting off a flight from San Vicente del Caguan, the army's press office reported. The town is the largest in a demilitarized zone ceded to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) by Colombian President Andres Pastrana in 1998.
Chelo Garcia, spokeswoman for armed forces chief Gen. Fernando Tapias, said the three are explosives specialists.

Wife of prelate suggests she's pregnant
VATICAN CITY — The wife of Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo marched into St. Peter's Basilica yesterday, prayed for God to return her husband and said she may be carrying the African prelate's child.
"My period is late," Maria Sung said when asked about a report that she may be pregnant.
The 43-year-old Korean, who was mobbed by reporters outside St. Peter's, also repeated a threat to go on a hunger strike until she could see her husband, who had gone into seclusion.

Angolan rebels claim responsibility for attack
LISBON — Angolan rebels from the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) said yesterday they were responsible for a deadly ambush last week of a passenger train east of Luanda that killed more than 100 people.
A UNITA statement released in Portugal, Angola's former colonial power, said at least 152 persons died in the attack on Friday and another 151 were injured.
The group said the blast from an anti-tank mine laid on the rails caused the train to derail and rebels moved in to target the passengers.

17 Algerians killed in roadblock ambush
ALGIERS — Seventeen persons have been killed by an armed group manning a roadblock in Algeria, locals in the Relizane region where the attack took place said yesterday.
The victims, all farmworkers, were traveling on small trucks when they drove into the ambush overnight Sunday close to the town of Sidi M'hamed Benaouda, some 200 miles southwest of the Algiers.
The latest deaths bring to at least 38 the number of persons killed this month in attacks, almost all blamed on Islamic militants, according to an unofficial toll compiled from press reports.

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