Archive for Monday, April 23, 2001

World Briefs

April 23, 2001


Illegal immigrants found on stranded ship

A rusty ship crammed with 562 illegal immigrants, including 63 children, was towed under police escort to Italy's southern coast on Sunday after being left by its crew to drift in the Adriatic Sea, authorities said. Most of the passengers appeared to be Kurds, but their nationalities were not immediately known, news reports said, adding that Sri Lankans were also aboard.

The ship was believed to be from Turkey, which has been under pressure from European countries to stem the flow of illegal migrants. Police said the ship's crew had set the ship adrift, possibly fearing capture, shortly before passengers sent out a radio call for help during the night.

South Pole rescue flight postponed

Blowing snow and low visibility forced a rescue team Sunday to postpone for a day a risky flight from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole to evacuate a sick American doctor. The bad weather at the pole where the plane will have to land on a sheet of ice without a control tower in dim light forced the delay in the flight, which had been set to take off Sunday from a research base on the Antarctic peninsula.

Ronald Shemenski, 59, is the only physician among 50 researchers working at the Amundsen Scott-South Pole station in Antarctica and recently suffered a gall bladder attack. He has been diagnosed with the potentially life-threatening condition known as pancreatitis.

General arrested for security breach

Israel announced Sunday the arrest of a retired Israeli brigadier general for transferring confidential military material. A British newspaper said he was believed to have been involved in the country's nuclear program.

Yitzhak Yaakov, 75, a former military scientist, was arrested March 28 and charged with passing confidential military information to unauthorized parties with the intention of harming state security, court documents said.

An Israeli gag order on the case was partially lifted after the Sunday Times newspaper of London reported details of the arrest, including that he was arrested in Israel after his relationship with a Russian woman raised suspicions.

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