- The Washington Times - Friday, September 17, 2004


France, Belgium delay NATO training accord

NOORDWIJK, Netherlands — France and Belgium, two of the most vocal critics of the U.S. war in Iraq, would not agree yesterday to a planned expansion of NATO’s military training mission in Iraq, but officials were confident a deal could be reached within days.

The two nations expressed concern over several aspects of the planned mission, including how to pay for it, where to hold it and how to protect it.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called a meeting of the alliance’s decision-making North Atlantic Council for Monday at NATO headquarters in Brussels, hoping to resolve differences.


U.S. woman held on spying charge

KARLSRUHE — An American woman has been arrested in Germany for purportedly trying to sell German military secrets to a third country.

Federal prosecutors said yesterday they were preparing charges of attempted treason against the German-born woman, a 43-year-old translator living in Canada, for trying to sell sensitive military documents to a “non-NATO country” in October.


Foreign envoy sees no sign of nuke test

BEIJING — Video footage of the area where North Korea said a huge explosion occurred showed dozens of workers swarming around a dusty construction site resembling a large dam project, while a foreign diplomat who visited the site said yesterday he found no sign the blast was nuclear.

South Korea, meanwhile, said a mushroom-shaped plume thought to be from the Sept. 9 blast was 60 miles away from the site where North Korea said it occurred and may have been a natural cloud formation.

Diplomats from seven countries were flown by the secretive communist state to its remote northeast, near the border with China, on Thursday to verify claims that the explosion was part of work on a hydroelectric dam — not a test of its contentious nuclear program.


Oil pipeline explodes, killing at least 30

LAGOS — An oil pipeline exploded near Nigeria’s largest city as thieves tried to siphon oil from it, sparking a fire that killed at least 30 persons, police said yesterday.

Flames coming from the pipeline scorched the nearby vegetation and plumes of smoke billowed from the village of Amore, which sits across a lagoon from Lagos, a city of 13 million people.

The explosion occurred Thursday. The pipeline, run by state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., pumps imported fuel from the Lagos seaport to western Nigeria.


Official attacked in refugee camp

MORNEI — Pent-up tensions in a squalid refugee camp in Darfur exploded into violence yesterday, when residents almost beat to death a government official who tried to prevent them from speaking to visiting U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Andrew Natsios.

More than 70,000 people — some of the 1.2 million displaced by marauding Janjaweed Arab militia who are accused of burning and looting African villages — are crowded into the disease-ridden Mornei camp in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

In New York, the U.N. Security Council called for a vote today on a U.S.-drafted resolution that would consider oil industry sanctions against Sudan if it did not stop atrocities in Darfur.

The measure calls on Sudan to cooperate with an expanded African Union monitoring mission in Darfur.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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