- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 9, 2001

NATO, EU to examine uranium ammo effect

BRUSSELS NATO and the European Union will examine the possible health risks of depleted uranium ammunition used in the Balkans, and the U.N. administrator in Kosovo made an "urgent appeal" yesterday for help from the World Health Organization.

NATO's political committee and the EU political and security committee scheduled talks for today. The use of depleted uranium has led to rising fears in Europe since Italy began investigating soldiers who have become ill after serving in the Balkans. Twelve have cancer and five have died of leukemia.

Britain may be seeking halt to Iraq bombing

LONDON Britain will propose to President-elect George W. Bush ending U.S. and British bombing of targets in southern Iraq as part of a wide-ranging review of policy toward Baghdad, the Guardian newspaper said yesterday.

The Foreign Office denied that any policy change was planned until Iraq complied with U.N. resolutions, but a senior official told Reuters that Britain did indeed want to end the Southern Watch air patrols. They have been in force since the 1991 Persian Gulf war and would discuss the idea with the Bush administration.

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, paying a farewell visit to the United Nations, denied any such withdrawal by Britain was under way.

Cole-attack suspect mentions bin Laden

ADEN, Yemen A key suspect in the attack on the USS Cole told authorities in his confession that he believes the suicide bombers acted on the orders of Osama bin Laden, Yemeni sources close to the investigation said yesterday.

The suspect's comments provide another in a series of circumstantial links between the wealthy Saudi exile and the deadly attack on the U.S. warship.

The sources did not identify the man, but described him as one of the three chief suspects in custody. He and up to seven others are expected to be tried, perhaps as early as this month, in the Oct. 12 bombing that killed 17 U.S. sailors and wounded 39 during the destroyer's refueling stop at Aden harbor.

Ivorian leader denounces coup bid

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast The government of Ivory Coast urged its people to go back to work today, saying they had nothing to fear after a failed coup denounced as a terrorist act but dismissed as amateurish by President Laurent Gbagbo.

Armed groups attacked strategic sites in the main city Abidjan just before midnight on Sunday, briefly capturing the state radio and television stations before being expelled by loyalist forces.

Mr. Gbagbo, who was in his home village of Mama in the west at the time, said he was not unduly worried by the trouble in Abidjan.

"The people who did this coup are amateurs, they're children," he said. Government ministers said life should start to get back to normal today.

French say Concorde could fly again

PARIS French investigators said yesterday that the Concorde could fly again if modifications were implemented to prevent a repeat of July's disaster when one of the Air France planes crashed, killing 113 persons.

Presenting an interim report about the crash into a hotel in a Paris suburb, investigators said they were moving closer to recommending adjustments that might allow aviation authorities to lift a flying ban imposed on the needle-nosed craft last August.

Tax-haven nations meet with critics

ST. MICHAEL, Barbados Under pressure from rich countries that want to recover billions of dollars lost to tax evaders, smaller nations singled out as secretive offshore tax havens met with their critics yesterday in an effort to protect their lucrative banking industries.

Officials of some 40 countries and territories met behind closed doors to exchange views on what the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of wealthy industrialized nations that includes the United States, terms "harmful tax practices."

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