- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 25, 2004

UNITED NATIONS

Polio returns in Africa

ATLANTA — New cases of polio have been discovered in two African countries that were free of the crippling disease for five years, gravely threatening the global eradication effort, the World Health Organization said yesterday.

The discoveries — one paralyzed child in Guinea and two in Mali, plus additional cases uncovered in the chaos of Sudan’s Darfur region — bring the number of polio-affected countries in Africa to 14.

Twelve were reinfected by virus accidentally carried from Nigeria, where a single state, Kano, refused to vaccinate for 11 months ending in July, causing an upsurge of polio that has spread thousands of miles.

As of yesterday, 602 cases of polio have been reported in 16 countries so far this year, according to the WHO. Ninety percent of them were in Nigeria or in countries where the Nigerian polio virus migrated after immunizations stopped.

UZBEKISTAN

Court sentences terrorists to prison

TASHKENT — Uzbekistan’s Supreme Court yesterday sentenced 15 al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants to as much as 18 years in prison for a series of bombings that killed at least 47 persons earlier this year.

Furkat Yusupov, 24, and Farkhad Kazakbayev, 22, each was sentenced to 18 years in prison. They were described as the most active members of the al Qaeda-linked group Jamoat, which was behind the blasts.

Eleven other men were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 11 to 16 years, while the wives of the two suicide bombers were sentenced to six years and 10 years.

JAPAN

Former chess champdenied asylum

TOKYO — Japan yesterday ordered the deportation of former world chess champion Bobby Fischer, wanted at home in the United States for breaking sanctions, rejecting his demand for protection as a political refugee.

The grandmaster, arguably the greatest chess player the world has seen, has been in detention in Japan since July 13 when he was stopped at Tokyo’s Narita Airport for traveling on a passport that U.S. officials said is invalid.

Yesterday, Justice Minister Daizo Nozawa rejected Mr. Fischer’s request for refugee status, also possibly putting an end to his plans for a more romantic attempt to escape deportation by marrying Japanese chess great Miyoko Watai.

NEPAL

Maoist rebels lift blockade

KATMANDU — Nepalese rebels said yesterday they were removing a blockade of the capital that had cut off Katmandu from the rest of the country for a week.

In a statement, the rebels said they made the decision after considering requests from the business community, human rights activists and ordinary citizens.

Fearing violence from the rebels, vehicles had stayed off the highways leading in and out of Katmandu. Most people have been unwilling to challenge the blockade.

TAIWAN

Typhoon Aere lashes capital, kills seven

TAIPEI — Typhoon Aere lashed northern Taiwan yesterday, closing schools, grounding flights to Northeast Asia and dumping rain that threatened to cause deadly flash floods and landslides. Rough seas have killed five fishermen in Taiwan and two children in Japan, officials said.

The domestic airport in the capital, Taipei, was closed after a jetliner carrying about 100 passengers slid off the runway in the process of landing in heavy wind and rain, officials said. No one was injured on the Far Eastern Air Transport flight, the airline said.

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