- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 26, 2003

RUSSIA
Theater re-opens 3 months after siege
MOSCOW The Moscow theater where Chechen militants took hundreds of people hostage in a deadly raid in October officially reopened yesterday after three months of repairs.
Chechen gunmen seized the theater Oct. 23 during a performance of the musical "Nord-Ost" and took about 800 people hostage. Three days later, Russian special-forces troops stormed the building, killing all 41 hostage-takers. In the end, 129 hostages died, the vast majority killed by a narcotic gas used to incapacitate the militants.
The theater was renovated with $2.5 million from the Moscow city government. It has a new security system with metal detectors and a refurbished interior, including a new audio system and orchestra pit.

BRITAIN
Museum displays human-cloning machine
LONDON Britain's Science Museum in London has included among its exhibits a machine that the shadowy Raelian sect says it used to clone humans.
The machine, described by the sect's scientific company, Clonaid, as an "RMX2010 embryonic cell fusion machine," went on display Wednesday. It is similar to one used by a team in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1997 to produce the world's first cloned sheep, Dolly, which is displayed alongside it.
The Raelians and Clonaid attracted media attention and widespread criticism in December after saying they produced the world's first cloned baby, Eve. Since then the group says two more cloned babies have been born but has not delivered any proof or allowed DNA tests to confirm its assertions.

GERMANY
Drastic cuts planned in heavy armor
BERLIN Germany plans to cut drastically its force of tanks and armored vehicles to help trim its defense budget of $25.94 billion a year, Die Welt newspaper reported yesterday.
Citing unnamed sources, the paper said the number of Leopard 2 tanks and Marder tracked armored vehicles would be reduced from about 2,000 to about 400.
A Defense Ministry spokesman declined to comment on the report but said the number of Leopard 2 tanks was being reduced under existing plans from about 2,230 to 850, "independently from any structural changes needed in the future."

WEEKLY NOTES …
A MAN HANGED AND KILLED HIMSELF AT THE BUCHAREST, ROMANIA, AIRPORT AFTER AUTHORITIES CAUGHT HIM TRYING TO FLY TO LONDON WITH A FAKE UKRAINIAN PASSPORT. THE MAN, WHOSE TRUE IDENTITY IS NOT KNOWN, WAS HELD OVERNIGHT AT THE OTOPENI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON FRIDAY AND WAS FOUND HANGING BY HIS BELT FROM THE TOP OF A METAL WINDOW IN THE ROOM YESTERDAY MORNING. … A SWEDISH MAN, DESOLATE AFTER HIS WIFE FILED FOR DIVORCE, CONVERTED THE FAMILY'S SHARES AND MUTUAL FUNDS INTO CASH AND BURNED THE MONEY $81,000 IN BANK NOTES IN THE TOWN OF JONKOPING IN SOUTHERN SWEDEN, THE NEWSPAPER AFTONBLADET REPORTED THURSDAY.

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