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Archive for Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Nation briefs

October 9, 2001

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Pakistan

British journalist released from Afghan custody

A British journalist detained by the Taliban militia after sneaking into Afghanistan was released Monday and handed over at the border with Pakistan, border authorities said.

Yvonne Ridley's release, after 10 days in detention, came as explosions shook the Afghan capital Kabul in a second night of U.S.-British attacks.

Ridley, 43, a reporter for the Daily Express of London, crossed into Pakistan on Monday night at the Torkhum border crossing, at the foot of the Khyber Pass, said Mohammed Zaibullah, a tribal official.

Ridley was apprehended near Jalalabad in northeastern Afghanistan on Sept. 28 after two days inside the country.

Ridley's employers said she had been trying to report on conditions in Afghanistan during the current crisis. The Taliban ordered all foreign reporters to leave the country days after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Syria

Nation wins seat on U.N. Security Council

Syria won a seat on the U.N. Security Council on Monday with overwhelming global support and no opposition from the United States, despite its prominent position on the U.S. list of nations sponsoring terrorism.

Israel was the only U.N. member to oppose Syria's bid for a two-year term on the powerful U.N. decision-making body. It was joined by several Jewish organizations and 38 members of the U.S. Congress who wrote to President Bush on Friday urging that he oppose Syria's election.

Syria was the unanimous choice to replace Bangladesh in an Asian seat on the council Jan. 1, and it received 160 "yes" votes out of 177 ballots cast in the General Assembly.

Russia, China, France, Britain and the United States hold permanent seats on the 15-nation Security Council, and five temporary members are elected to two-year terms every year.

Washington, D.C.

Railroads, truckers add new security measures

The nation's freight railroads restricted movement of some cargo and activated a full-time crisis center after U.S. military strikes against the Taliban, the industry's trade group said Monday.

As the attacks began Sunday, railroads began restricting operations near stadiums and other public places where crowds congregated, said Peggy Wilhide, spokeswoman for the Association of American Railroads.

The American Trucking Associations said truck security was increased after the Sept. 11 attacks especially after it was learned that suspected terrorists obtained commercial driver's licenses for transporting hazardous materials.

Washington, D.C.

More than 600 arrested; 200 still being sought

More than 600 people have been arrested in the investigations following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and more than 200 people are still being sought, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft said Monday.

He warned law enforcement authorities and other Americans anew to be on heightened alert for terrorist acts and to report anything suspicious. Local police, banks, oil and gas firms, shipping companies and nuclear facilities have all been put on the highest state of alert, he said.

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