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U.S. is urged to ratify test ban treaty

By Wire services
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 4, 2003

VIENNA - U.N. Secretary- General Kofi Annan and other diplomats appealed to the United States and other holdout nations Wednesday to ratify an international treaty banning nuclear weapons tests, saying the agreement would help the world achieve peace.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is considered a critical element in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, since a testing ban makes developing such arms almost impossible.

A dozen countries, including the United States, have declined to ratify the measure. U.S. senators who voted against the treaty in 1999 argued that ratifying it would have threatened national security by closing off U.S. options to test.

The other holdouts are China, Colombia, Congo, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and Vietnam.

Serbians accused of torture in murder inquiry

BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro - A leading international human rights group demanded an investigation into allegations that security forces tortured suspects arrested in connection with the assassination of Serbia's prime minister this year.

In a report released today based on accounts of victims and their lawyers, Amnesty International detailed a pattern of torture of the nearly 2,000 detainees rounded up after Zoran Djindjic was killed by a sniper in Belgrade on March 12.

Elsewhere ...

COMPUTER WORM ARREST: Police in Romania on Wednesday arrested a 24-year-old former student in connection with a computer-crippling Internet worm, according to a computer security company that aided police.

The company, Bucharest-based BitDefender, identified the student as Dan Dumitru Ciobanu. Police detained Ciobanu in connection with a modified and milder version of the Blaster worm.

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