- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 25, 2004

BRAZIL

U.N. to permit uranium enrichment

BRASILIA — Brazil said yesterday it got a go-ahead from the U.N. nuclear watchdog to crank up its uranium-enrichment plant this year after months of negotiations over access for nonproliferation inspectors.

Washington had pressured Brazil to give International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors greater access to the Resende installation, worried that Brazil’s initial reluctance might embolden countries such as Iran to close off their atomic programs to international inspections.



AFGHANISTAN

Explosion kills two U.S. soldiers

KABUL — A bomb exploded near a U.S. patrol in southern Afghanistan yesterday, killing two American soldiers and wounding another, the military said. The patrol was attacked near Deh Rawood in Uruzgan province, a military spokesman said, an area where the military has clashed repeatedly with Taliban militants.

About 150 troops have died since the United States attacked Afghanistan’s former ruling Taliban and their al Qaeda allies in late 2001, according to the Department of Defense.

QATAR

Al Jazeera to begin English broadcast

DOHA — Al Jazeera television announced yesterday that it would start an English-language satellite channel in late 2005 to rival the established 24-hour international news stations like CNN.

“Our target now is to launch Al Jazeera International by November 2005,” managing director Nigel Parsons said of the service that, like its Arabic-language service, would be based in the Qatari capital, Doha.

“The headquarters will be in Doha, the Asian bureau in Kuala Lumpur [in Malaysia], the European bureau in London and the American bureau in Washington,” he added.

Initial staff would number about 300, he said, and would be recruited for their professional experience and mastery of English, with no consideration for ethnicity or nationality.

UNITED NATIONS

Congress to recoup envoys’ parking fines

Frustrated by deadbeat foreign diplomats, Congress has voted to cut aid to their countries by about the sum they owe in unpaid parking tickets in the United States.

At the urging of New York lawmakers, Congress tucked the measure — to cut aid to countries next year by 110 percent of the amount their diplomats owe in parking tickets and penalties — into the huge $388 billion spending bill that lawmakers approved over the weekend.

New York City, which is home to the United Nations, would stand to recover about $195 million from about 200 countries, New York’s senators said.

“It is simply outrageous for these individuals to park illegally and blatantly ignore paying their parking tickets. New Yorkers face severe penalties if they do this and so should diplomats,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

BRITAIN

Bid to impeach Blair makes waves

LONDON — Parliamentarians and celebrity campaigners launched a bid yesterday to impeach Tony Blair for “gross misconduct” over his justification for the Iraq war.

The impeachment move, a symbolic parliamentary process rather than a realistic proposition in Mr. Blair’s case, is the first since the mid-19th century.

With only 23 lawmakers backing an impeachment motion in parliament, Mr. Blair has little to worry about beyond the potential for embarrassment.

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