Archive for Sunday, September 2, 2001

Nation Briefs

September 2, 2001


WASHINGTON: U.S. imposes penalties on China arms maker

The Bush administration imposed sanctions Saturday on a Chinese arms producer for selling missile technology to Pakistan, a State Department official said.

China is not supposed to export missile technology to nations developing nuclear missiles, according to an agreement with the United States. State Department officials long have accused Beijing of ignoring the accord.

The Chinese company is China Metallurgical Equipment Corp., which has worked with the Chinese government, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Also punished was the National Development Complex of Pakistan.

The penalties will keep U.S. companies from issuing licenses to launch satellites on Chinese rockets and, in most cases, will make it illegal to provide technology to China's satellite industry.

BOSTON: Families' lawsuits claim vaccines caused autism

Two Massachusetts families are suing several vaccine makers, claiming the companies' use of a controversial preservative caused their children's autism.

In the lawsuit filed in Middlesex Superior Court, the families allege that the children "were poisoned with toxic mercury" in the preservative thimerosol.

"No one can tell you what caused the autism," said Michael Chmura, whose 4-year-old autistic son is a plaintiff in the case. "But you find out you're injecting poison into your kid's bloodstream, the same poison they tell you not to give them via tuna fish."

Thimerosol is used in a number of childhood vaccines for everything from hepatitis B to diptheria/tetanus. The Food and Drug Administration has long asserted that the vaccines are safe.

Colorado Springs: Restoration Weekend attracts conservatives

About 250 conservatives who paid between $1,400 and $2,500 are gathering for the annual Labor Day weekend event known as Restoration Weekend.

Although the relatively new gathering has yet to attract a powerful political leader, its participants are pleased their issues faith-based charities, energy and Rep. Gary Condit are at the forefront of national debate.

"Most conservatives are happy because they now have a president who portrays us as we are, people friendly and compassionate," said David Horowitz, president of the sponsoring Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

Restoration Weekend was founded about six years ago as a counter to Renaissance Weekend, a New Year's Eve gathering of leaders of business, politics, science and the arts that attracted former President Clinton.

Washington: U.S. Army using port as logistic base

U.S. Army equipment was unloaded Saturday at the northern Adriatic port of Koper, marking the first time the American military is using Slovenia as a temporary logistic base for troops stationed in Bosnia.

The 45 containers and 35 helicopters arrived on the Express, a freighter flying the Liberian flag. Previously, Rijeka, a port in neighboring Croatia, was used for the semiannual rotation of troops and equipment stationed in Bosnia.

About 3,800 American troops are deployed in Bosnia. U.S. troops have been there since the 1995 end of the war as a part of the NATO-led peace force.

Slovenia, a former Yugoslav republic of 2 million, is a member of NATO's auxiliary program Partnership for Peace.

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