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World briefs 2/17/05

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Russia to sell anti-aircraft missile system to Syria

MOSCOW -- The Defense Ministry said Wednesday that Moscow was negotiating the sale of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria but insisted they couldn't be used as shoulder-fired weapons, an apparent bid to assuage U.S. and Israeli concerns they might fall into the hands of terrorists. The ministry said in a statement that talks were underway on the sale of Strelets air defense missile systems.

Ukrainian leader starts anti-corruption campaign

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine will contest the disputed privatization of some 3,000 former state enterprises that were turned over "to private but dishonest hands," Ukraine's new prime minister said Wednesday. Many of Ukraine's privatizations took place under murky circumstances, with the companies being sold at unexpectedly low prices, sometimes to people with close connections to former president Leonid Kuchma.

Three Germans get rabies from organ transplants

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Three hospital patients in Germany appear to have been infected with rabies through organ transplants and are in critical condition, a medical foundation said Wednesday. Three others who received transplants from the same donor, a woman who died of a heart attack late last year, are doing fine, the German Foundation for Organ Transplants said. The donor showed no rabies symptoms at the time of her death, although a recent examination of her brain showed typical signs of the disease, the group said.


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