- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 4, 2001

HIV may lead to TB outbreak
LONDON A rapid rise in the number of people infected with HIV in Russia could lead to a tuberculosis epidemic there, scientists warned on Friday.
An estimated 16 million people, or one in six, in Russia are already infected with TB, a highly contagious airborne bacterial disease that affects the lungs.
A 33-fold increase in HIV infections since 1997 could push the number even higher, Russian and American researchers said in a report in the Lancet medical journal.
"If the spread of HIV is not prevented, co-infection will accelerate the resurgence of tuberculosis," said Dr. Boris Kazionny of the Orel Oblast Central Dispensary in Orel, southwest of Moscow.

Former president starts coup attempt
MUTSAMUDU, Comoros Troops loyal to a former president seized the state radio and port in a coup attempt in Anjouan, a breakaway island in the Indian Ocean that declared independence from Comoros in 1997.
Gunfire was heard yesterday on the island, where state radio had gone off the air after telling people to stay in their homes and electricity had been cut, witnesses said.
Troops backing Lt. Col. Said Abeid Abderemanein, who himself was ousted in an Aug. 9 coup, took over the radio station and port late Friday. But forces loyal to the current junta of Halidy Harif, Mohammed Bakar and Hassane Ali Toilhat still were in control of Anjouan's airport, witnesses said.
The three, all of them officers in the national police, have survived two previous coup attempts by disgruntled officers in the last three months.

China's Hu goes on tasting tour
BORDEAUX, France China's Vice President Hu Jintao, on an official visit to France, took in a tour yesterday of Bordeaux, where he tasted some of the country's fine wines.
Mr. Hu, along with his wife and an 80-strong entourage, traveled on tiny French roads to visit some of the region's most prestigious wineries, including Chateau Margaux.
Mr. Hu, tipped to take over from Mr. Jiang next year as the leader of China's Communist Party, is on a five-day official visit to France. His visit to the southeastern city of Lyon on Friday was disrupted by pro-democracy demonstrators.

Norwegian whale exports to Japan delayed
OSLO Norway, which sparked controversy this year by resuming exports of whaling products, will not export them to its potential main market, Japan, until next year, the fisheries ministry said Friday.
Last January, Oslo announced it would resume exports of whale byproducts, including blubber, meat and whale skin, after setting up a genetic database designed to prevent poaching by helping to ensure the traceability of whales.
An official Japanese delegation visited Norway last month to inspect Norwegian fin whale-hunting methods and to figure out how Oslo's genetic register works.
The group also wanted to examine the PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) content in Norwegian whales.
Resumption of exports is a lucrative business for Norwegians because it means they will be able to sell off their vast stocks of blubber, considered a delicacy in Japan which is a contrast to Norway, where the meat in the form of whale steaks is preferred.

Argentina to swap $15 billion debt
BUENOS AIRES Argentina plans to swap at least $15 billion of debt in an upcoming debt restructuring aimed at avoiding the biggest sovereign debt default in history, Horacio Liendo, an aide to Argentine Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo, told the Clarin newspaper.
"If we don't swap at least $15 billion in bonds, the plan will fail," Mr. Liendo told Clarin in an interview published yesterday.
Mr. Cavallo and Argentine President Fernando de la Rua announced late Thursday an economy-stimulus package including a plan to swap billions of dollars in bonds for lower interest-rate debt backed by tax revenues.
Argentina hopes to avoid default by swapping most of its $132 billion debt.
Of the total debt, $101 billion is national and provincial paper; the rest is agency and bilateral loans that could not be included in a swap.


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