- The Washington Times - Friday, January 31, 2003

Four Americans die in helicopter crash
Four U.S. soldiers were killed when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a training mission in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, U.S. officials said. The cause was being investigated.
It was the deadliest day for the American military in Afghanistan since March 4, 2002, when seven soldiers were killed and 11 wounded at the outset of an offensive against Taliban and al Qaeda remnant forces.
The UH-60 Black Hawk, with two pilots and two crew members aboard, crashed several miles east of Bagram air base in an area known as the East Training Range, said Jim Wilkinson, director of strategic communications at Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Fla. There was no indication of hostile fire.

United States allowed to use airspace
AMMAN Jordan has agreed to base U.S. troops in the kingdom and to allow the United States to use Jordanian airspace if Washington fights a war against Iraq, Jordanian-based diplomats said.
The diplomats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the U.S. troop presence initially would be limited to search-and-rescue operations, but could expand in the course of any war to include attack forces against western Iraq.

Hunger eradication top priority
BRASILIA Brazil's new president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, began an anti-hunger program yesterday with a move to provide $14 a month each to 1.5 million families, most from the country's poverty-stricken northeast.
Brazil will spend $514 million this year on its food program, and the first payments start next week when 1,000 poor families in the state of Piaui receive their $14.

Mad cow epidemic feared in Europe, Asia
GENEVA Countries in Europe and parts of Asia could face an epidemic of mad cow disease if they fail to take measures to prevent its spread, the U.N. health agency said yesterday.
The U.N. World Health Organization advises consumers to ask whether animals in their country are being fed meat and bone-meal protein and what system they have for monitoring for mad cow disease.

Board fails to agree on North Korea meeting
VIENNA, Austria The U.N. nuclear watchdog said yesterday an informal meeting of key member states had failed to agree on when to hold an emergency session on whether to refer the North Korean crisis to the Security Council.
"They were unable to reach a consensus on when the meeting would be held," International Atomic Energy Agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said. "We're still hoping that it will be sometime in the first half of February."

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