- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 24, 2002

GERMANY
Permit issued for stem cells
BERLIN Germany has issued its first permit to import human embryo cells for research under a law approved earlier this year, a spokesman for a government lab said yesterday.
Lawmakers in April approved stem-cell imports, backing a compromise aimed at balancing scientific promise with moral concerns tinged by the Nazi past.
Oliver Bruestle, a neurobiologist at the University of Bonn, said he plans to use the stem cells, being imported from Israel, for research into Parkinson's and other incurable diseases.

LITHUANIA
President faces election runoff
VILNIUS President Valdas Adamkus, who guided this former Soviet republic to the verge of membership in the European Union and NATO, is facing an unexpectedly strong challenge in his efforts to capture a second term.
Mr. Adamkus failed to get an absolute majority in national elections Sunday, forcing him into a Jan. 5 runoff with former Prime Minister Rolandas Paksas.
Lithuania's Central Election Commission said yesterday that the unofficial results gave Mr. Adamkus 35.2 percent of the vote, a few more points than late pre-election polls forecast. Mr. Paksas, the mayor of Vilnius, got 19.8 percent, more than observers expected.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
State claims credit for al Qaeda arrest
DUBAI The United Arab Emirates said yesterday it was responsible for arresting Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, identified as al Qaeda's chief in the Gulf, and handing him over to the United States.
The United States said in November it was holding al-Nashiri, a suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen's Aden harbor in 2000, which killed 17 U.S. sailors.

IRAN
Plane crash kills all 46 passengers, crew
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan All 46 persons on board an Antonov plane carrying Ukrainian and Russian aeronautical engineers to Iran were killed when it crashed near the central city of Isfahan yesterday, Transport Minister Ahmad Khoram said.
The plane was carrying the Eastern European engineers to Isfahan to carry out the last tests on a new factory producing a locally made version of the Antonov, the Iran-140.


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