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World in brief

Bombing by Colombian rebels kills 6 more

By wire services
Published May 24, 2004

BOGOTA, Colombia - A bomb planted by suspected rebels exploded in a crowded discotheque in northwest Colombia, killing at least six people and wounding 82 - the bloodiest in a series of attacks marking the 40th anniversary of Colombia's main rebel group.

Another bomb blew up early Sunday at a pool hall in the Caribbean port city of Cartagena, killing one person and wounding three. It was not immediately clear who was behind that attack.

At least 13 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, began its wave of attacks Thursday, apparently to mark the 40th anniversary of its founding this week.

Gorbachev: Yes to Bush party, no to sky diving

MOSCOW - Mikhail Gorbachev will attend former President George Bush's 80th birthday celebration next month, but declined an invitation to join him in a parachute jump, the Interfax news agency said Sunday.

Bush invited the last Soviet president to his birthday during a visit to Moscow last year, Interfax quoted Gorbachev aide Vladimir Polyakov as saying.

A Navy pilot who bailed from a crippled plane during World War II, Bush has gone skydiving twice for fun since 1997 and plans another jump, in Texas, to mark his 80th birthday.

"He asked Gorbachev to jump with him, but this idea was politely refused," Interfax quoted Polyakov as saying. "Gorbachev said he'd rather greet Bush on the ground, with flowers."

Gorbachev is 73.

China starts human testing of SARS vaccine

BEIJING - Chinese scientists have begun testing a SARS vaccine on four volunteers at a Beijing hospital, state media said Sunday, in what appears to be the first such experiment on humans.

The volunteers, all in their 20s, were injected with the vaccine on Saturday at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital under tight security, reported the Beijing Youth Daily and the Guangzhou Daily, two of China's largest newspapers.

A hospital official, contacted Sunday, said she could not confirm that the tests took place.

Roy Wadia, a Beijing-based spokesman for the World Health Organization, said he believed China is the first to get to the human testing stage.

Most on Bangladesh ferry are feared dead

CHANDPUR, Bangladesh - A river ferry carrying about 250 passengers capsized early Sunday during a storm in southeastern Bangladesh, and most of those aboard were feared dead, police said.

Many of the passengers were asleep when the accident occurred and were believed to be trapped inside the double-decker ferry, said Mohammad Dulal Miah, a police officer at the scene.

About 50 people were able to swim ashore.

Fifteen bodies - five of them children - had been recovered so far, authorities said, but added that more than 180 were still missing and feared drowned inside the M.V. Lightning Sun.

India, Pakistan delay nuclear talks

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan and India agreed Sunday to postpone nuclear talks originally set for this week so the new Indian government has time to settle into power, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry said India had requested the delay because Prime Minister Manmohan Singh still hadn't chosen a foreign minister. The talks had been set for Tuesday and Wednesday.

[Last modified May 24, 2004, 01:00:32]


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