Clinton urges U.N. to restart talks on curbing nuclear...

Foreign Digest

January 22, 1999

Clinton urges U.N. to restart talks on curbing nuclear arms

GENEVA -- Laying out his position for the world's "next major" disarmament treaty yesterday, President Clinton called on the United Nations to restart negotiations aimed at halting production of material for making nuclear bombs.

John Holum, director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, said an agreement at the Conference on Disarmament, which he is attending, to limit production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium will help avoid a "runaway arms race in South Asia."

Holum also called for an agreement by early next year on a protocol on verification that would guard against cheating on a 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. Separately, experts on biological weapons will end three weeks of negotiations today. They will hold four more sessions this year.

U.S. permits staff members to leave 2 African embassies

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- The U.S. embassies in the Ethiopian and Eritrean capitals told nonessential staff members yesterday that they may leave. Fears are mounting that the two nations in the Horn of Africa are on the verge of renewed war.

The State Department called on U.S. citizens to defer travel to Ethiopia and urged U.S. citizens in Ethiopia to review their security measures, the embassy said.

High rates of abortion, unplanned pregnancy found

NEW YORK -- More than a fifth of pregnancies around the world end in abortion, and unplanned pregnancy remains common, a report released yesterday said.

Thirty-eight percent of the estimated 210 million pregnancies each year are unintentional, and 22 percent end in abortion, said the study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that receives funding from Planned Parenthood.

About 35 of every 1,000 women of childbearing age have abortions each year, the report said. Rates are similar in developed and developing countries, researchers concluded, although abortion laws are generally more restrictive in poorer nations.

7 killed as hurricane Dani causes flooding in Fiji

SUVA, Fiji -- Hurricane Dani-spawned flash floods in Fiji have left seven people dead, four missing and about 2,000 people homeless, the government and police reported yesterday.

In Nadi, six miles from Fiji's international airport, Mayor Dilip Khatri said 80 percent of the shops were damaged and 50 percent lost all or nearly all their goods. Many have no insurance.

Diplomat will coordinate opposition to Hussein

WASHINGTON -- The United States named Frank Ricciardone, an Arabic-speaking career diplomat who knows Iraq well, to the new post of special representative for transition in Iraq yesterday. His job will be to coordinate opposition to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Ricciardone has been deputy chief of mission in Ankara, Turkey, an important listening post for events in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.

"With the aid of Frank Ricciardone and his team, we will persist in helping the Iraqi people reintegrate themselves into the world community by freeing themselves from a leader they do not want, do not deserve and never chose," Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said in announcing the appointment.

Striking Romanian miners attack police, take hostages

COSTESTI, Romania -- Mobs of striking coal miners stormed through police lines yesterday, attacking riot officers with clubs and homemade explosives, and taking dozens of officers hostage as they marched toward Bucharest, the capital.

At least 40 people were injured and up to 50 police officers kidnapped as 7,000 miners overran government roadblocks on a central highway leading to Bucharest, which is about 60 miles to the east. For two hours, 3,400 police officers defended their positions with smoke bombs and tear gas. Then, outnumbered and outmaneuvered, they retreated.

Pub Date: 1/22/99

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