- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 13, 2003

CONGO

Opposition sold uranium to al Qaeda

LYON, France — A representative of al Qaeda bought enriched uranium capable of being used in a so-called dirty bomb from the Congolese opposition in 2000, according to sworn testimony quoted in a French newspaper yesterday.

An unnamed former soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo has told investigators looking into the murders of two Congolese opposition figures in France in December 2000 that he had attended a meeting earlier that year at which the uranium was sold, the Lyon-based Le Progres reported.

The man “described a meeting which took place on March 3 in [the German city of] Hamburg between some Congolese men and an Egyptian by the name of Ibrahim Abdul,” the newspaper said.

It quoted the man as saying, “I realized it was al Qaeda.”

BRITAIN

Court blocks Chechen’s extradition

LONDON — A British judge yesterday ruled that Chechen envoy Akhmed Zakayev will not be extradited to Russia, where he faces mass-murder charges.

Mr. Zakayev’s lawyers fought his extradition, saying he would be persecuted for his political beliefs and would not receive a fair trial. He is wanted in Russia on 13 charges, including kidnapping and participating in the murder of more than 300 militia officers. Moscow charges that Mr. Zakayev fought against the Russian Federation between October 1995 and December 2000.

AUSTRIA

Iran threatens atomic agency

VIENNA — Iran’s representative to the U.N. nuclear watchdog said yesterday there could be “unpredictable consequences” if the agency’s governing board declares Tehran in violation of the global pact against nuclear weapons next week.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s governors will meet on Nov. 20 to discuss an IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program, detailing decades of failures by Iran to report truthfully on its activities and facilities.

SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

Government falls, elections called

BELGRADE — Serbia and Montenegro dissolved its parliament and announced early elections yesterday, signaling the collapse of the government three years after the ouster of Slobodan Milosevic.

The pro-democracy coalition that came to power in 2000 nearly has unraveled, forcing Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic to agree — under pressure from political defectors and Milosevic supporters — to set a new parliamentary vote for Dec. 28, a year ahead of schedule.

Mr. Zivkovic’s Cabinet has struggled against dwindling support in the parliament, where one-time allies have teamed up with ultranationalists, conservatives and Mr. Milosevic’s Socialists in a bid to unseat the government.

JAPAN

Oldest person dies at 114

TOKYO — Mitoyo Kawate, reputed to be the world’s oldest person, died in Hiroshima yesterday at 114, less than two weeks after taking over the title from another Japanese woman.

She survived her exposure to radiation from the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, worked on her farm until 99 and spent her last 10 years at a nursing home in the western Japanese city.

She succumbed to pneumonia at a hospital at around noon after she was taken there by ambulance from the nursing home with a fever.

Guinness World Records listed her as the world’s oldest person whose date of birth can be fully authenticated after Kamato Hongo died of pneumonia at 116 in southern Japan on Oct. 31.

From wire dispatches and wire reports


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