- The Washington Times - Monday, April 19, 2004

JORDAN

Chemical attack plan said to be thwarted

AMMAN — Security sources said yesterday that they had thwarted a plot by Islamist militants for a chemical attack that could have caused thousands of civilian casualties.

Dawn raids this month on people suspected of being members of an underground group turned up sufficient quantities of raw chemicals for a large-scale chemical attack as well as explosives probably obtained locally or from a neighboring country, the sources said.



KOREA

Secretive leader travels to China

SEOUL — North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il arrived in Beijing today on a surprise visit for talks with Chinese leaders, media reports here said.

Mr. Kim’s special train arrived at Beijing Station early today amid tight security, Yonhap news agency said, adding that he immediately left for the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

Mr. Kim and Chinese President Hu Jintao will meet today to discuss Beijing’s economic aid to the impoverished North and the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs, Yonhap said.

FRANCE

New U.N. resolution favored on Iraq

PARIS — France backed calls yesterday for the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution to guarantee a genuine transfer of power to the Iraqi people when the U.S.-led administration ends June 30.

“We want to find in [the resolution] the conditions under which a new Iraqi government will take over on July 1,” Foreign Minister Michel Barnier told Europe 1 radio.

BRAZIL

Diamond prospectors slain in jungle

SAO PAULO — By helicopter and on foot, police entered the dense Amazon jungle yesterday to recover the bodies of 26 diamond prospectors slain in a mysterious clash with Indians in the remote area.

The bodies of an additional 30 prospectors still could be inside the reservation in Brazil, also victims of the attack in which Cinta Larga Indians apparently massacred dozens of prospectors April 7.

INDONESIA

Presidential favorite picks running mate

JAKARTA — Presidential front-runner Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said yesterday that he had chosen popular Welfare Minister Jusuf Kalla as his running mate, forging a ticket that polls show easily could defeat incumbent Megawati Sukarnoputri in July.

The wealthy businessman from South Sulawesi brings extensive business experience to the team, strong Islamic credentials and, most importantly, the ability to draw votes from Indonesia’s outer islands.

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