Thursday, June 24, 2004

Danforth confirmed as envoy to U.N.

The Senate yesterday agreed to send former Sen. John Danforth, Missouri Republican, to the United Nations to serve as the new U.S. ambassador.

Mr. Danforth, an Episcopalian priest thrust back into the national spotlight after officiating at former President Ronald Reagan’s state funeral, was confirmed by voice vote. Mr. Danforth replaces John D. Negroponte, who was sworn in Wednesday as U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

President Bush called on Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican, and ranking Democrat Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware yesterday morning to get Mr. Danforth confirmed quickly so the U.S. ambassador position won’t be empty at the United Nations when the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority turns over sovereignty to Iraq on Wednesday.


Prime minister wins vote of confidence

WARSAW — Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka won a parliamentary confidence vote yesterday, bringing to a close months of political instability in the biggest European Union newcomer.

Mr. Belka’s victory averts snap elections in August and gives the unpopular ruling left a chance to regroup and win back popularity lost because of sleaze scandals.


8 British servicemen freed from detention

TEHRAN — Eight British servicemen seized in Iranian waters on Monday flew out of the Islamic republic early today, a British Embassy spokeswoman said.

“They have left. They are going to Dubai and from there to Kuwait,” she said.

Protesters angry about the occupation of Iraq tried to approach the six marines and two sailors as they arrived at Tehran’s airport accompanied by British consular officers, but were kept away by police.

The eight were detained after their boats apparently strayed into the Iranian side of the Shatt-al-Arab waterway that runs along the Iran-Iraq border while delivering a patrol boat to Iraq’s new river police.


Foreigners allowed to carry guns

RIYADH — Foreign residents of Saudi Arabia will be allowed to carry guns, the police minister announced after a series of militant bombings, attacks and kidnappings targeting Western workers in the kingdom.

“In principle, a citizen has the right to carry a licensed weapon, and so does the resident. If he senses danger, he can carry a personal weapon as he does in his country,” Prince Nayef said in the first such announcement late Wednesday.

Under Saudi law, foreigners — even security guards — cannot have weapons, while Saudis must apply for a permit.


Pyongyang demands huge energy aid

BEIJING — North Korea demanded massive energy aid at six-nation talks yesterday as Washington insisted that Pyongyang give up nuclear-weapons development.

North Korea wants the equivalent of 2,000 megawatts of power per year in exchange for freezing work on its nuclear program, the Kyodo News agency reported, citing diplomatic sources on the second day of talks in the Chinese capital.

Also yesterday, U.S. and North Korean envoys held a rare one-on-one meeting during which North Korea told the United States that it will test a nuclear weapon unless the United States accepts Pyongyang’s demand.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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