World briefs 2/9/04
Monday, February 9, 2004
Jordan road accident kills American child
AMMAN, Jordan -- A 6-year-old American was killed and four others in the child's family were critically injured when their minibus collided with a truck as they returned from the southern resort city of Aqaba, a Civil Defense official said Sunday. The Saturday evening accident also killed the family's Jordanian translator. The drivers of the minibus and the truck were not injured. The Americans were listed in critical condition. Their names and hometowns were not released.
Three U.S. Navy personnel arrested in Australia
DARWIN, Australia -- Police have arrested three U.S. Navy personnel on charges of raping two women in the northern city of Darwin while on shore leave, authorities said Sunday. Police said the three men, ages 20, 21 and 22, were charged early Sunday with assaulting two sisters after returning to the women's apartment from a nightclub Friday night. The men are assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu, said Lt. Chris Davis, public affairs officer with the navy's Expeditionary Strike Group. The Navy will cooperate with the investigation, Davis said.
Britain offers to lead mission in Afghanistan
MUNICH, Germany -- Britain has offered to lead an expanded NATO peacekeeping mission in northern Afghanistan. Officials said Britain would lead a network of NATO military teams based in five or six cities across a swath of northern territory. Eventually, the alliance plans to set up similar arrangements around the country in an effort to improve stability and support the rule of the Afghan government. Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed Friday's offers from NATO to expand the force, which currently has around 6,000 troops confined to Kabul, the capital, and the northern city of Kunduz. -- From wire reports
Aside from Britain, Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino confirmed Italy's commitment, but said it was contingent on parliamentary approval. In Berlin, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder also said units from a 5,000-strong Franco-German army brigade could play a role.
Rumsfeld praises Croatian government for support in fighting terrorism
ZAGREB, Croatia -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld praised the leaders of Croatia's new government Sunday and encouraged their pursuit of defense reforms designed to make the Balkan nation eligible for NATO membership. In a three-hour visit, Rumsfeld also thanked President Stipe Mesic and other government officials for supporting the U.S.-led fight against terrorism. Croatia has a small contingent of military police in Afghanistan but it has not yet asked the Parliament to approve troops for Iraq. At a joint news conference with Rumsfeld, Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said, "Croatia sees in the United States not only a friend and partner but also an ally." He also said his government supports President Bush's policy of pre-emptive military action to stop terrorists before they can strike.
China confirms new cases of bird flu in fowl
BEIJING -- China confirmed Sunday that poultry in six provinces was infected with bird flu, while Japan, Malaysia and Singapore banned U.S. poultry imports following an outbreak in Delaware. Chinese state television said the bird flu cases were confirmed in Hubei, Shaanxi, Gansu, Hunan, Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces. Suspected cases also were found in the Guangdong and Guangxi regions. Quarantine and control measures were immediately instituted in those provinces, the report said, adding that the government has "not yet discovered any cases of humans catching the disease." Meanwhile, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore joined South Korea in banning U.S. poultry imports. Hong Kong banned the import of live birds and poultry from Delaware only. The avian influenza sweeping Asia has killed 13 people in Vietnam and five in Thailand. More than 50 million chickens have been slaughtered in Asia to stem the spread of the virus.
-- From wire reports