- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 29, 2003

RUSSIA

11 miners rescued from flooded shaft

NOVOSHAKHTINSK — Eleven Russian miners, trapped for nearly a week after a giant underground lake burst into their shaft in southern Russia, have been found alive and brought to the surface, local officials said yesterday.

A 12th miner was dead and another was still missing in the coal mine in Zapadnaya-Kapitalnaya shaft in Novoshakhtinsk, near the Ukrainian border about 600 miles south of Moscow.

Officials said the mine would be closed after the accident. That left the miners, who said they had not been paid for seven months, with only one job opportunity in their bleak town of 100,000 — at a Soviet-era textile factory.

RUSSIA

Another shareholder of Yukos targeted

MOSCOW — Prosecutors went after another top shareholder in Russia’s biggest oil company, Yukos, yesterday, heightening a political drama that might cost one of the Kremlin’s most powerful men his job.

Shares in the oil giant, whose billionaire boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested at gunpoint on Saturday, slid 3 percent after prosecutors asked a court to lift the immunity of a key shareholder who was charged with tax evasion this month.

The general prosecutors’ office said it wanted the election to the upper chamber of parliament of Vasily Shakhnovsky, who owns 4.5 percent of Yukos, to be annulled.

NORTH KOREA

Chinese leader visits Pyongyang

BEIJING — China’s No. 2 leader visited North Korea yesterday, urging dialogue “no matter how difficult the setbacks” and adding the prestige of his position to Beijing’s efforts to encourage another round of six-nation talks about the North’s nuclear program.

The three-day trip by Wu Bangguo, a member of the Communist Party’s Standing Committee and head of China’s legislature, is the highest-level visit to North Korea by a Chinese leader since President Jiang Zemin traveled there in 2001.

GERMANY

Court refuses plea to free terror suspect

HAMBURG — A German court yesterday rejected a defense motion to free a Moroccan charged with helping the September 11 hijackers, citing evidence of his long association with the Hamburg al Qaeda cell as bolstering suspicions that he supported their plot.

Defense attorneys had sought Abdelghani Mzoudi’s release after the head of German intelligence testified that Hamburg cell members received details of the plan during a trip to al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan in late 1999.

FRANCE

Plan makes French more European

PARIS — All French children are to learn a second European language from primary-school age and, at 18, receive a handbook setting out their rights as EU citizens in a new push to make the French feel more European.

Government measures announced yesterday also will require schools to hang maps of the European Union and the text of its future constitution in classrooms, and promoters of sporting events will be urged to display prominently the blue-and-gold EU flag.

CANADA

Shortage feared over drug sales to U.S.

OTTAWA — The Canadian government voiced concern yesterday that sales of low-cost prescription drugs to the United States might cause shortages in Canada.

Health Minister Anne McLellan urged professional associations to condemn Internet drug sales to the United States. She said she had no evidence of any shortages, but that her department had called for information on the impact of the cross-border sales.

Drug prices are regulated by the Canadian government, and the lure of cheaper medicine has captured the imaginations of cities and states south of the border as they try to cut health spending in a market that does not control drug costs.

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