SPECIAL COVERAGE
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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Iran may halt spot checks of N-facilities
Tehran, September 26
Terming the International Atomic Energy Agency resolution to refer Iran's nuclear issue to the UN Security Council as "illegal", Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said Tehran may halt spot checks of its nuclear facilities, reports Mehr News Agency.

Indian shot in New York
New York, September 26
An immigrant from India has been shot dead by a masked bandit in a bakery, where he was working as a cashier, in a robbery attempt.

Indian family killed in Sharjah
Dubai, September 26
Sharjah Police and relatives of the deceased have not ruled out the possibility of mass murder in the ghastly killing involving six members of a Hyderabadi family in the city.

Dwayne The Rock Johnson shakes hands with professional stuntman Jim Trella at the fifth Annual Taurus World Stunt Awards function at Paramount in Los Angeles on Sunday

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson shakes hands with professional stuntman Jim Trella at the fifth Annual Taurus World Stunt Awards function at Paramount in Los Angeles on Sunday. The show honours the most outstanding stunt professionals from all over the world for their extraordinary performances. — Reuters

Sarabjit’s lawyer to file review petition on Sept 28
Islamabad, September 26
The counsel for Sarabjit Singh today said he would file a petition in the Pakistan Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking review of the death sentence awarded to the Indian in connection with the 1990 bomb blasts in the country.





Yuhui, a young orangutan, practices weightlifting in ChongQing Safari Park in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Monday
Yuhui, a young orangutan, practices weightlifting in ChongQing Safari Park in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Monday. The park is to organise a nationwide contest of animals in sports, which will be held from October 1 to 7. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES

 
Iraqi detainees stand in line to be processed for release from Abu Ghraib prison US frees 1,000 from Abu Ghraib
Abu Ghraib, September 26
The US military today, began the release of 1,000 Iraqi detainees from Abu Ghraib prison, on the request of the Iraqi government in honour of the holy month of Ramzan.




Iraqi detainees stand in line to be processed for release from Abu Ghraib prison on Monday.
— AP/PTI photo

Three US soldiers killed in Iraq
Baghdad, September 26
Three US soldiers were killed in Iraq today, in two separate attacks, by insurgents using roadside bombs, the military said.

Typhoon hits China island
Beijing, September 26
A typhoon roared across China’s southern Hainan on Monday, the strongest storm to hit the tropical resort island in more than 30 years, and forced more than 1,70,000 people to flee their homes.

Bangladesh, Myanmar to ease visa norms
Dhaka, September 26
Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to ease visa procedures for each other’s business people, and to increase sea shipments to boost trade between the two neighbouring countries, an official has said.

US director Martin Scorcese (left) and Polish director Roman Polanski attend the opening of the new French Cinematheque in Paris on Monday US director Martin Scorcese (left) and Polish director Roman Polanski attend the opening of the new French Cinematheque in Paris on Monday. — Reuters

Video
Music festival enthralls tourists in Colombo.
(28k, 56k)

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Iran may halt spot checks of N-facilities

Tehran, September 26
Terming the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution to refer Iran's nuclear issue to the UN Security Council as "illegal", Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki said Tehran may halt spot checks of its nuclear facilities, reports Mehr News Agency.

The IAEA board of governors in Vienna passed a resolution on Saturday, requiring Tehran to suspend its nuclear fuel cycle activities. Of the 35 members, 22 voted for the resolution, including India, with Russia and China abstaining and Venezuela casting the "no" vote.

The demand runs counter to Iran's rights as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Mehr said.

Lawmakers called on the government on Sunday to resume uranium enrichment activities.

"It was an unfair resolution. We urge the government to cancel the voluntary suspension of Iran's peaceful nuclear activities phase by phase," said a statement signed by some 180 deputies.

Iran is voluntarily implementing the additional protocol to the NPT, which allows UN inspectors to make unannounced checks of nuclear facilities on short notice. Iran's parliament has not ratified the protocol yet and has even mulled suspending voluntary implementation.

"Iran has no legal commitment to continue implementation of the additional protocol," Mottaki told reporters at Mehrabad Airport after returning from New York Saturday.

"The resolution is illegal, illogical, and politically motivated," he said.

Mottaki said Iran had no intention to pull out of the NPT if the Islamic Republic falls foul of the Security Council.

"Iran will respect the NPT and will continue to cooperate with the IAEA," Mottaki added.

The resolution called on Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment-related activities and to resume talks with France, Britain, and Germany, which collapsed after two years when Iran resumed some of its nuclear activities last month.

Mottaki said Iran would not yield to international pressure to abandon its peaceful nuclear activities, but was ready to continue talks within the framework of the NPT.

"We will never exclude talks. But Iran will include new countries in talks.

We will use all diplomatic measures to maintain our right," Mottaki added. — IANS

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Indian shot in New York

New York, September 26
An immigrant from India has been shot dead by a masked bandit in a bakery, where he was working as a cashier, in a robbery attempt.

George Kuruvilla, 52, was shot dead in the shop where he was working for the last 15 years. Nothing was stolen from the store.

The bandit burst into the bakery in Queens, a suburb of New York city, on Saturday and shot Kuruvilla in the head. — PTI

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Indian family killed in Sharjah

Dubai, September 26
Sharjah Police and relatives of the deceased have not ruled out the possibility of mass murder in the ghastly killing involving six members of a Hyderabadi family in the city.

Raziuddin Mohammed Zia, a 45-year-old engineer, is suspected to have killed his 35-year-old wife Rizwana Riyali, and their four children, 12-year-old Badrnajoum, seven-year-old Humaiduddin, six-year-old Omaima and 18-month-old Sania, before slitting his throat.

The bodies were found lying in pools of blood with deep slits on their necks. A knife was found lying next to Raziuddin’s body.

Reports had said that Zia was receiving psychiatric treatment from a local hospital till 2003.

Sharjah Police said the incident might have happened late on Friday night or early Saturday morning.

Razi's family in Hyderabad, including his father Zizuddin who is a retired veterinary doctor, said Razi was not a cruel type and suspected foulplay. — UNI

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Sarabjit’s lawyer to file review petition on Sept 28
K.J. Varma

Islamabad, September 26
The counsel for Sarabjit Singh today said he would file a petition in the Pakistan Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking review of the death sentence awarded to the Indian in connection with the 1990 bomb blasts in the country.

The review petition has been prepared and would be filed before the apex court here on September 28, Rana Abdul Hamid said.

The lawyer said he would appear in another case of bomb blast in Lahore against Sarabjit Singh which would come up for hearing tomorrow in the Supreme Court.

The apex court had upheld the death sentences awarded to Sarbjit Singh for three bomb blasts in Lahore and Faisalabad by the Anti Terrorism Court and Lahore High Court.

Hamid also sought the tapes and transcripts from Indian TV channels of an interview with one of the witnesses in the case who had alleged that that he was forced to depose against Sarabjit. He said though he had never seen the Indian, he had claimed in his deposition that he had seen him at the site of the explosion.

The Indian High Commission is trying to get the tapes and transcripts of the interview of the witness from Indian TV channels.

If the review petition also fails, then Sarabjit or his family members have to formally plead President Pervez Musharraf for mercy. — PTI

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US frees 1,000 from Abu Ghraib

Abu Ghraib, September 26
The US military today, began the release of 1,000 Iraqi detainees from Abu Ghraib prison, on the request of the Iraqi government in honour of the holy month of Ramzan.

The first 500 prisoners were loaded onto public buses. The rest will be freed later this week, the US military said.

Arab governments often pardon non violent offenders during Ramzan, which will begin on October 4 or 5.

Today's action, and the release of 1,000 other Abu Ghraib detainees last month, appeared to be part of the Iraqi government's effort to persuade Iraqis, especially the Sunni minority to vote in the October 15 national referendum on Iraq's draft constitution.

The US government said it only releases detainees who are not guilty of serious, violent crimes- such as bombing, torture, kidnapping, or murder- and who having admitted their crimes, renounced violence, "and pledged to be good citizens of a democratic Iraq."

However, September's release of 1,000 detainees came at the request of Sunni representatives taking part in the stalled talks about the new draft constitution.

The officials asked the Iraqi government to release thousands of prisoners languishing in the jail for months without being charged with a crime. — AP

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Three US soldiers killed in Iraq

Baghdad, September 26
Three US soldiers were killed in Iraq today, in two separate attacks, by insurgents using roadside bombs, the military said.

Two of the soldiers died early today in western Baghdad, the military said in a statement that provided no other details about the attack.

The third US soldier, working with the 42nd Brigade, was killed about 50 miles southeast of Baghdad. Attacks by the Sunni-led insurgents are common in that area, the region of Iraq known as the Triangle of Death.

No information was provided about the identities of the three American soldiers, pending notification of their relatives.

The deaths rose to 1,917 the number of US service members who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003. — AP

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Typhoon hits China island

Beijing, September 26
A typhoon roared across China’s southern Hainan on Monday, the strongest storm to hit the tropical resort island in more than 30 years, and forced more than 1,70,000 people to flee their homes.

The Typhoon Damrey had caused casualties, flattened houses and damaged crops on the island, often referred to as China’s Hawaii, since it made landfall yesterday, but the full extent of the destruction was unknown, a disaster relief official said.

"The primary threat now is strong winds, but judging from our experience in recent years, river floods are also possible if the heavy rains continue,’’ he said.

He gave no details of the casualties and there was no immediate damage to hotels. But he said 1,70,000 people had been evacuated to safety.

"Some tourists who have reserved rooms cannot check in because of the weather and those already in the hotel cannot leave,’’ said Mr Melody Xu, the public relations manager for the Sheraton Hotel in the beach resort of Sanya.

"The hotel is on back-up power. Some rooms have no power and the computer system is down, so I really have no idea of how full the hotel is now... We hope the storm will be over after dinner tonight and the guests can leave then, but it shows no sign of weakening so far.’’

The west-moving typhoon was expected to sweep the island throughout Monday and then head for Vietnam, south of the capital, Hanoi. Experts warned that rice, rubber and banana crops could suffer a major damage.

In far southern Guangdong province, one fisherman was missing after three boats capsized in choppy seas, the China Daily said. A ferry connecting the Guangdong and Hainan had been suspended since Friday. — Reuters

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Bangladesh, Myanmar to ease visa norms

Dhaka, September 26
Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed to ease visa procedures for each other’s business people, and to increase sea shipments to boost trade between the two neighbouring countries, an official has said.

Both sides agreed in principal to give business people longer visas and make it easier to process the travel documents, said Bangladeshi Commerce Minister, Mr Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, on Sunday.

“An accord in this regard is likely to come soon,” Mr Chowdhury told reporters in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, after a meeting with his Myanmar counterpart, Brig. Gen. Tin Naing Thein. He did not specify any dates for the agreement.

Myanmar now issues three-day visas for Bangladeshi business people. Bangladesh offers those from Myanmar 15-day visas.

The meeting also resulted in an agreement to amend an existing shipping arrangement, in a bid to make it easier and cheaper for ships to travel between the two countries, Mr Chowdhury said.

The amendment “will reduce carrying time and cost as well,” Mr Chowdhury said.

It wasn’t clear when the amendment to the shipping agreement will take effect.

Bangladesh imported goods worth US $ 32.66 million from Myanmar in 2004-05, while its exports amounted to only US $ 4.18 million.

Mr Tin Naing Thein arrived here on Saturday, on a three-day visit to Bangladesh, as part of a 31-member delegation, led by Myanmar’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Thura Shwe Mann. — AP

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