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Bodies of 38 miners are recovered

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 25, 2007


MOSCOW - Rescuers pulled the bodies of 38 workers from a southern Siberian coal mine after a methane explosion Thursday in what was the latest accident to hit the ailing industry.

Grieving relatives gathered at the Yubileinaya mine near Novokuznetsk, 1, 850 miles east of Moscow, waiting for officials to identify the dead. Seven miners were injured.

The blast was the second to hit a mine owned and operated by OAO Yuzhkuzbassugol in two months - prompting a harsh warning from Russian industrial watchdog Rostekhnadzor, which said regional officials had sought to close down the Yubileinaya mine in the past.

 

Yushchenko fires top prosecutor

KIEV, UKRAINE - President Viktor Yushchenko fired Ukraine's top prosecutor Thursday and the interior minister appeared to defy the order, sending police to surround the prosecutor's building and raising the stakes in the political chaos in the former Soviet republic.

Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun, who has long sparred with Yushchenko, initially pledged to defy the order but later appeared to soften his stance. Still, the dismissal prompted Yushchenko's longtime rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, to cut short a trip to the Black Sea Crimean peninsula, returning home to Kiev for an urgent meeting with his government.

 

Africa AIDS effort faces staff shortage

SOUTH AFRICA - A shortage of doctors and nurses in Africa is one of the biggest obstacles to providing life-saving drugs to AIDS patients, a new report says.

The number of African AIDS sufferers getting treatment increased from 100, 000 in 2003 to 1.3-million last year, but a lack of medical workers is preventing further expansion of drug programs, according to the report by Medecins Sans Frontieres.

"It feels again like we are losing the battle, " said Eric Goemaere, who heads the agency - also known as Doctors Without Borders - in the sprawling Cape Town township of Khayelitsha.

Southern Africa is hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic, accounting for the vast majority of the 40-million infections and the daily death toll of 8, 000.

 

Jail without trial sought in terror cases

LONDON - Prime Minister Tony Blair revived a plan Thursday for jailing terror suspects without trial after three men eluded police monitoring and disappeared, but he likely faces a new battle with civil liberties campaigners, judges and political opponents.

Home Secretary John Reid told Parliament that the three men who dropped from sight Monday were suspected of planning to travel overseas to carry out terrorist attacks. The development angered Blair, whose final days in office could turn into a divisive fight over the handling of suspected terrorists.

Britain's "control order" system - a partial house arrest created after judges ruled that suspects could not be detained indefinitely without trial - has been exposed as "very much a second best option, " Blair said.

 

Communists seek clean leaders' slate

SHANGHAI, CHINA - Communist Party officials in Shanghai convened a congress Thursday to install a new generation of leaders after a corruption scandal that toppled the city's top leader. "Power bestowed by the people must serve the people's interests, " Xi Jinping, the city's party secretary, told the 809 delegates to the congress in a speech broadcast online.

Xi was named in March to replace Chen Liangyu, who was dismissed last year over allegations of corruption and other abuses - the highest level Communist Party official to be dismissed in a decade. The allegations against Chen came amid a scandal over the alleged misuse of about $400-million in pension funds that were improperly invested in real estate and road toll projects.

 

President orders propaganda to air

TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS - President Manuel Zelaya ordered private radio and TV stations to broadcast interviews and conversations with government officials to counteract what he called unfair coverage.

Zelaya said that all 500 radio stations and 100 television stations would be required to simultaneously air the reports two hours a day, for 10 days straight. Broadcasters said the transmissions were to start Monday between 10 p.m. and midnight. Under Honduran law, the government may order broadcasters to air messages that are deemed to be of importance to the country.

"We find ourselves obligated to make this decision to counteract the misinformation of the news media about our 17 months in office, " Zelaya said.

The College of Journalists, a trade organization, said Zelaya should speak to the media about his administration's accomplishment instead of resorting to an ineffective tactic used by military governments that ruled Honduras from 1956 to 1982.