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Russians land at Iraq airport

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 20, 2000

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A Russian humanitarian delegation landed in Baghdad's newly reopened international airport without U.N. approval Saturday amid Iraqi hopes of more visits from abroad following last week's defiant trip by Venezuela's president.

Russia insisted that, since it was a humanitarian mission, the flight did not violate U.N. sanctions imposed on Iraq since 1990, which include an air embargo -- an interpretation the United States and other countries have disputed.

Official: Children's deaths 'human error'

BOGOTA, Colombia -- An army unit's fatal shooting of six children on a school hike in the mountains last week should not reflect badly on Colombia's human rights record, the military contends. In comments late Friday, Defense Minister Luis Ramirez said Tuesday's shooting of children by troops who may have mistaken them for guerrillas was possibly nothing more than "human error."

The case is not really a human rights issue, Ramirez added, because "there was no intention on the part of members of the armed forces to cause harm to civilians." He appeared intent on blunting the impact of the killings in Washington, which has conditioned a $1.3-billion aid plan for Colombia on human rights progress.

N. Korea returns remains of U.S. soldiers

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Remains thought to be those of 14 American servicemen missing in action from the Korean War were delivered Saturday to the U.S. military at this air base in Tokyo.

Each set of remains was contained in an individual coffin covered with a U.N. flag during a repatriation ceremony attended by some 100 people, including about 20 Korean War veterans.

The remains were to be taken to the Army Central Identification Laboratory at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii later Saturday for forensic examination and positive identification.


HEZBOLLAH WARNING: The leader of the Hezbollah guerrillas, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, warned Saturday that his group would do "anything and everything" to recover prisoners still languishing in Israeli prisons. Speaking at a rally to express solidarity with former detainees, he also called on Palestinians to follow the Lebanese example of resisting Israeli occupation.

GERMANY: Thousands of anti-Nazi activists demonstrated in three German cities on Saturday, while a court struck down a ban on a planned neo-Nazi demonstration in the northern port city of Hamburg set for today.

UNITED NATIONS: Vice President Al Gore would give more unqualified support to the United Nations and be more willing to sign international treaties than his Republican opponent, Gov. George W. Bush, an independent U.N. watchdog organization has reported. The organization, the Campaign for United Nations Reform, sent both major candidates a comprehensive questionnaire on topics involving U.S. participation in international affairs.

BOSNIA: Twenty-seven bodies have been exhumed from a mass grave found last week in the Serb-controlled part of Bosnia, about half those thought to be in the grave, officials said Saturday.

NORTH KOREA: North Korea said Saturday that Japan must apologize and compensate for its colonial rule of Korea before re-establishing ties with the isolated communist state, reported Rodong Sinmun, the official daily of the North's ruling Workers Party of Korea.

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