- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 1, 2003

IRAQ
Opposition newspaper hits the stands
The opposition group Iraqi National Congress published its newspaper in Baghdad yesterday for the first time since the Saddam Hussein regime fell to coalition forces.
Some 15,000 copies of Al-Mutamar, headlining the return of stolen antiquities to the Iraqi National Museum with the help of the INC, were printed and sold out immediately, the political group said in a statement.
INC leader Ahmed Chalabi hailed the paper's publication as "a step towards the establishment of a free media, which is a critical building block towards building democratic institutions and civil society."

COLOMBIA
Court throws out emergency powers
BOGOTA Colombia's constitutional court has thrown out a government state of emergency that granted the U.S.-backed military special powers to hunt leftist rebels and right-wing militias in war zones.
The ruling, based on what it said were flaws in the declaration, had little practical effect, but was a political blow to President Alvaro Uribe as he strives to end a 4-decade-old guerrilla war that claims thousands of lives a year.
Yesterday, the government said it accepted Tuesday's ruling, but insisted it would seek legislation to make the emergency provisions permanent.

BRITAIN
Thatcher praises Blair for war leadership
LONDON Former British leader Margaret Thatcher stepped out of the political cold yesterday and praised Prime Minister Tony Blair for his leadership during the war with Iraq.
"The prime minister has proved a bold and effective war leader," Mrs. Thatcher, 77, said on a videotape played to 2,000 business leaders at the annual Institute of Directors convention at London's Royal Albert Hall.
The former Conservative prime minister, who looked frail after suffering a stroke, had been told by her doctors not to make any more public speeches, but she received a standing ovation when she appeared briefly on stage carrying her trademark handbag.

ARGENTINA
Eight dead, thousands evacuated in floods
SANTA FE Eight persons died and 60,000 were forced from their homes in central Argentina, officials said yesterday, amid widespread flooding that President Eduardo Duhalde had dubbed a "national catastrophe."
Seven adults died in the floods in the province of Santa Fe, provincial Interior Minister Carlos Carranza said, but he could not offer details on the deaths. Officials said an eighth person drowned Tuesday night in neighboring Entre Rios province in the swollen river.
Thousands fled their homes in Santa Fe and Entre Rios because of the flooding, caused by torrential rains.

FRANCE
Scientists sequence genetic code of anthrax
PARIS A team of scientists says it has sequenced the genetic code of anthrax and exposed potential chinks in its armor, an achievement that could deliver a major blow to the bacterium dubbed the bioterrorist's weapon of choice.
The genome of Bacillus anthracis comprises 5.227 million base pairs the "rungs" that make up the ladder of DNA in living organisms and 5,508 genes, says the team, led by Claire Fraser of the Rockville-based Institute for Genomic Research, in an article published today in the British science journal Nature.
The sequenced sample came from a dead cow in Texas and was found to be almost exactly the same as a strain used in a bioterror attack in Florida in late 2001.

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