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World digest 08/17/06

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Russian patrol boat fires on Japanese vessel

TOKYO -- Japan protested to Russia Wednesday after a Russian patrol boat opened fire on a Japanese vessel. A crab fisherman was shot and killed near Kaigara island, one of several islands off the northeast tip of Hokkaido that are administered by Russia but claimed by Japan. Japan insisted the boat was in Japanese waters; Russia said the Japanese ship had violated Russian waters.

Britain to pardon WWI deserters who were shot

LONDON -- "I cannot stand it." With those words, Pvt. Harry Farr refused to return to the trenches in 1916, and sealed his fate -- to be executed as a deserter. Ninety years later, the British government is preparing to pardon Farr and 305 other men who were hauled before firing squads in World War I for desertion or cowardice after summary trials. Britain is now formally acknowledging that many of the men suffered shell-shock from trench warfare.

Afghanistan headed for record opium year

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Opium cultivation in Afghanistan has hit record levels -- up by more than 40 percent from 2005, Western officials said. The United Nations reported last year Afghanistan produced enough opium to make 90 percent of the world's supply of heroin.

-- From wire reports

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