- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2004


Nuclear-force drill planned next month

MOSCOW — Russia’s nuclear forces reportedly are preparing their largest maneuvers in two decades, an exercise involving the test-firing of missiles and flights by dozens of bombers in a massive simulation of an all-out nuclear war.

President Vladimir Putin is expected to personally oversee the maneuvers, which are apparently aimed at demonstrating the revival of the nation’s military might and come ahead of Russian elections in March.

The business newspaper Kommersant said the exercise was set for mid-February and would closely resemble a 1982 Soviet exercise dubbed the “seven-hour nuclear war” that put the West on edge.


Hard-liners revoke third of poll bans

TEHRAN — Iran’s hard-line Guardian Council yesterday lifted bans on one-third of the candidates it barred from next month’s parliamentary elections and refused demands to postpone the vote some reformists are calling a sham.

The council’s decision could help split the reformist camp and not give President Mohammed Khatami’s allies enough candidates to be able to win majority in the assembly.

The conservative watchdog had banned almost half of the 8,200 hopefuls for the vote.


Beijing halts poultry exports from 3 regions

BEIJING — China announced today it was halting exports of poultry and related products from three new regions suspected of having bird flu outbreaks — Shanghai city and Guangdong and Anhui provinces.

“The areas affected by the export ban include Shanghai, east China’s Anhui province and south China’s Guangdong province, increasing the possible bird flu-hit provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in the Chinese mainland to six,” the official Xinhua news agency said.

Xinhua was citing an announcement from the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.


Cannibal convicted of manslaughter

KASSEL — A man was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 8½ years in prison yesterday for killing, dismembering and eating another man who purportedly agreed to the arrangement over the Internet.

Armin Meiwes, a 42-year-old computer expert, had no “base motives” in the crime, a state court ruled, sparing him a murder conviction. Explaining the verdict, the presiding judge said Meiwes’ intention was not evil but “the fulfillment of his fantasy.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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