Nat-world briefs 5A

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Education secretary to leave job, official says

WASHINGTON -- Rod Paige, who rose from racial segregation to become the nation's first black education secretary, intends to leave his Cabinet position, an administration official said Friday. "The secretary has been looking at leaving, and he's been in discussion with the White House about the right time to do so," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The administration official said Paige is content to move on after overseeing Bush's education agenda for four years. The official declined to be identified because Paige has yet to resign.

Japan protests Chinese submarine intrusion

TOKYO -- Japan lodged a formal protest with Beijing on Friday after determining that a nuclear submarine that entered its territorial waters without identifying itself belonged to China. Japan's navy had been on alert since Wednesday, when the submarine was first spotted off the nation's southern island of Okinawa. The submarine spent about two hours inside Japanese waters before heading north. Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura summoned Chinese envoy Cheng Yong-hua to formally protest the incursion and demand an explanation, a ministry spokesman said on condition of anonymity. Cheng said Chinese authorities were investigating the incident and he would pass the protest on to Beijing, the spokesman said.

Iraqis rush more troops to quell uprising in Mosul

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The Iraqi government rushed reinforcements Friday to the country's third-largest city, Mosul, seeking to quell a deadly militant uprising that U.S. officials suspected may be in support of the resistance in Fallujah -- now said to be under 80 percent U.S. control. Police in Mosul largely disappeared from the streets, residents reported. Iraqi authorities dismissed Mosul's police chief after local officials reported that officers were abandoning their stations to militants without firing a shot. In Fallujah, U.S. troops pushed insurgents into a narrow corner in the southern end of the city after a four-day assault that has claimed 22 American lives and wounded about 170 others. An estimated 600 insurgents have died, according to the military.

Fires set at struggling Baltimore schools

BALTIMORE -- Four firefighters and a fire truck are stationed outside Walbrook High School every day. The chances are good they are going to be needed. Two months into the school year, Baltimore's public schools have been hit with at least 76 fires -- most of them small, most of them set by students -- compared with 168 in all of last year. Walbrook High alone has reported about 20 blazes, versus 24 in 2003-2004. So far, the fires have caused little damage and no serious injuries.

-- From wire reports

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