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World in brief

Nine new SARS cases hospitalize travelers

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 12, 2003

SHANGHAI -- Nine foreigners, including two Americans, were hospitalized Friday with suspected cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome, officials said.

There also were 61 new cases of SARS reported in Hong Kong, and authorities banned quarantined residents from leaving the territory as the deadly SARS virus turned up Friday for the first time in two more Asian nations. The cases in Indonesia and Philippines were among foreigners who had recently been to Hong Kong.

Bosnian Muslim wartime commander captured

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- A Bosnian Muslim wartime commander in the town of Srebrenica was handed over to the international war crimes tribunal Friday to face charges of committing war crimes against Serbs.

Naser Oric was captured Thursday night by NATO-led forces. He arrived Friday in the Netherlands.

He and his forces are accused of massacring Serb civilians, pillaging villages and torturing prisoners in 1992 and 1993.

However, Oric is revered by many Muslims for fighting the Serbs. In 1995, Srebrenica, a mostly Muslim town, was the scene of the worst massacre of civilians since World War II. An estimated 8,000 men and boys were killed.

Elsewhere ...

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea launched a stealth warship Friday capable of spying on North Korea. Meanwhile, the communist nation accused the United States of "plotting to apply the pattern in Iraq to us . . . by demanding (nuclear) inspections to find an excuse for invasion."

GERMANY: A Turkish man charged with conspiring to bomb the U.S. military base in Heidelberg, which is home to the U.S. Army's European headquarters and a NATO facility, denied plotting any attack as his trial opened Friday, insisting that chemicals found in his home were intended for making firecrackers.

FRANCE: Investigators said Friday that the content of several bottles found at a Paris train station last month and believed to be the deadly poison ricin actually was ground wheat germ and barley.

MEXICO: More than 40 police officers were arrested in the city of Ecatepec for selling drugs to schoolchildren, government officials said Friday.

CHINA: Two weeks after declaring that China had a poor human rights record, the State Department said Friday it will not seek a resolution criticizing China in the top U.N. rights forum. Spokesman Richard Boucher credited China with "some limited but significant progress."

AUSTRALIA: Teenager Natasha Ryan, who disappeared four years ago and was presumed dead, has resurfaced -- midway through the trial of an alleged serial killer charged with her murder. Ryan, now 18, was found Thursday, hiding in a closet at her 26-year-old boyfriend's home just half a mile from her mother's home.

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