- The Washington Times - Friday, October 21, 2005

$38 million set aside to contain bird flu

The Bush administration said yesterday it had dedicated $38 million to efforts to contain the spread of bird flu around the world following a U.S. delegation’s tour of affected areas in Southeast Asia.

The delegation, led by Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt, returned home satisfied with the “active engagement” of countries in the region to address the problem, said Paula Dobriansky, undersecretary of state for global affairs.

Yesterday, Britain’s Agriculture Ministry said a parrot that died in quarantine there has been diagnosed with bird flu. In Thailand, a boy tested positive, but doctors said he was recovering and there was no sign he caught it from his infected father, calming fears of a human pandemic. His father died earlier this week.


Three more charged in oil-for-food scandal

NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors in New York have charged three more persons in connection with secret kickbacks in the U.N. oil-for-food program, the U.S. Attorney’s office said yesterday.

They were Oscar S. Wyatt Jr., a Texas business executive and the former chairman of Coastal Corp.; Catalina del Socorro Miguel Fuentes, a Swiss business executive; and Mohammed Saidji, a Swiss business executive.

The three companies involved were Nafta Petroleum Company Ltd., Mednafta Trading Company Ltd., both based in Cyprus, and Sarenco, a Swiss consulting firm.


Goodwill envoy misspeaks on gassing

JAKARTA — U.S. envoy Karen Hughes yesterday defended Washington’s decision to go to war against Iraq in front of a skeptical audience, saying Saddam Hussein had gassed to death “hundreds of thousands” of his own people. A State Department official later said she misspoke about the number.

Mrs. Hughes, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, made the comment before a group of Indonesian students who repeatedly criticized her on Washington’s original rationale for the war.

Although at least 300,000 Iraqis are said to have been killed during Saddam’s decades-long rule — only about 5,000 are thought to have been gassed to death in a 1988 attack in the Kurdish north.


Move begins to impeach president

LILONGWE — Malawi’s president has been summoned to parliament to defend himself against an impeachment motion lodged despite donor warnings that political instability slowed aid to the hunger-stricken southern African country.

Parliament Speaker Luis Chimango yesterday formally introduced the impeachment motion against President Bingu wa Mutharika submitted by the opposition United Democratic Front, triggering a walkout by ministers loyal to him.

The president is expected to appear before parliament on Oct. 27.


U.S. apologizes to visiting official

PARIS — The United States has apologized to a French minister after he was stopped at Atlanta airport by an overzealous immigration official.

The French Foreign Ministry said Azouz Begag, France’s minister for equal opportunities, was stopped on arrival at Atlanta on Oct. 13 for a four-day stay on government business.

Despite possessing a diplomatic passport and visa Mr. Begag, who is of Algerian origin, was subjected to “checks that went a bit too far, in our opinion,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.


U.S. adds entities to sanctions list

The U.S. Treasury Department designated eight North Korean entities yesterday as being proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and delivery vehicles, adding them to a list for sanctions.

The eight companies are affiliates of two of the three entities the department initially designated under an executive order issued by President Bush in June to freeze assets and take other measures, the department said.From wire dispatches and staff reports

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