World briefs 10/12/05

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Queen, Blair to attend Thatcher's 80th birthday

LONDON -- Margaret Thatcher is having a big party Thursday to celebrate her 80th birthday. There will be about 680 guests with her at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near Hyde Park, her assistant Gilly Penrose said. Thatcher was Britain's first female prime minister, but has faded from public view since her doctor advised her to give up public speaking several years ago. Also expected to attend is John Major, who succeeded Thatcher when she was ousted by her party in 1990.

AK-47s used in Saudi attack traced to Yemen

SAN'A, Yemen -- Two AK-47 assault rifles used in a deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia have been traced to Yemen's Defense Ministry, according to Western and Yemeni officials, raising new fears that the country isn't doing enough to fight terrorism. The revelation comes five years after al-Qaida-linked militants bombed the USS Cole destroyer on Oct. 12, 2000, at the port in San'a, the capital, killing 17 sailors. In other worrying developments, Yemeni militants are believed to be among foreigners fighting U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi officials have said.

UNICEF bombs Smurf village to address plight

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- It may be the first time Smurfs are being used for shock value. A new ad campaign by UNICEF on Belgian television depicts the destruction of a peaceful Smurf village to address the plight of ex-child soldiers in Burundi, Congo and Sudan, according to UNICEF Belgium spokesman Philippe Henon. The end of the ad includes text that says, "Don't let war destroy the children's world."

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