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World digest 02/02/02

Saturday, February 2, 2002

Milosevic to face one trial on three charges

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic will face only one trial to answer for three separate indictments for war crimes in Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia, the U.N. tribunal said Friday.

An appellate bench of the tribunal agreed to a prosecution request to hold a single trial for Milosovic, allowing key witnesses to appear only once rather than be recalled for several trials.

The court said the trial could begin as scheduled on Feb. 12.

For all three indictments, Milosevic faces a total of 66 counts of crimes against humanity, violating the laws and regulations of war, and genocide.

Explosion at Kuwait oil field kills four

KUWAIT -- An explosion at a Kuwaiti state oil field that killed four workers and injured 17 was caused by an oil leak, Kuwait's oil minister said Friday.

Adel al-Subaih said the blast destroyed part of a facility that produces 280,000 barrels a day.

The accident will have "a temporary effect on oil production, but production will be compensated from other oil fields," Subaih was quoted as saying in a statement Friday by Kuwait Oil Co.

Kuwait produces more than 1.7 million barrels a day.

Life expectancy of French highest in EU

PARIS -- Far too many French die prematurely from cancer and other diseases, but those who make it to 65 tend to go on living for years, according to a government health report released Friday.

A 65-year-old woman in France today can expect to live another 20 years, and a man of the same age another 10, according to the study, French Health 2002. Those life expectancy rates are the highest in the 15-nation European Union.

However, the report said the risk of premature death -- defined as occurring before age 65 -- for men in France was among the highest in Europe.

Meanwhile, obesity is nearing "epidemic proportions" and is starting to become a problem in almost all regions of France except Brittany on the west coast, the study said.

High court says banking freeze unconstitutional

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Argentina's Supreme Court ruled Friday that a widely hated banking freeze is unconstitutional, striking a surprise blow to government efforts to shore up the teetering financial system.

The court voted 5-0 against the freeze, ruling in favor of favor of plaintiffs who demanded their trapped savings.

It said the executive decree authorizing the limits ran roughshod over citizens' rights to their savings, that it was "irrational" and virtually "annihilated" constitutional rights to private property. Three judges abstained.

It remained unclear whether the government would now be obliged to permit the full withdrawal of deposits.

-- From wire reports


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