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Archive for Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Briefly

April 17, 2002

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Washington, D.C.: Saudi prince invited to Texas

Pronouncing Saudi Arabia a "strong friend," the White House said Tuesday that President Bush will open his Texas ranch to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah next week amid questions about the Saudis' commitment to fighting terrorists in the Middle East.

"Relations with the Saudis are strong. Obviously events in the Middle East lead to complications and those complications are going to be discussed," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said.

The spokesman, who announced that Bush and Abdullah will meet at Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford on April 25, was responding to questions about Saudi officials who have defended the legitimacy of Palestinian suicide bombers that Bush has condemned as terrorists.

Florida : Post office evacuated

About 75 workers and customers were evacuated from a U.S. Postal Services building for three hours Tuesday after a worker became sick while handling a letter from India.

The 35-year-old male worker in Davie became nauseous, dizzy and began sweating after the letter came open by accident. He was taken to a hospital; it was not immediately known what caused his symptoms.

Field tests came back negative for any biological or chemical agents, but the letter was sealed in an airtight container and sent to a lab for further testing, Broward Fire Rescue spokesman Todd LeDuc said.

United nations: Jane Goodall takes peace role

When renowned primate expert Jane Goodall arrived Tuesday at the United Nations to officially become a U.N. Messenger of Peace, she brought along her traveling companion a stuffed gray chimpanzee called "Mr. H."

"You brought my friend along," laughed U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan when he arrived for the brief ceremony, giving the toy a pat.

Goodall said later that "Mr. H" has traveled to about 40 countries in the last five years and has been touched by more than 2 million people. She said she encourages people to pet him because he stands for "hope."

Annan welcomed Goodall as the 10th Messenger of Peace. Some of the others include boxing great Muhammad Ali, actor Michael Douglas, opera star Luciano Pavarotti and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

Pakistan: Musharraf to keep army role

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Tuesday that he will remain in his position as head of the army whether or not Pakistanis vote this month to extend his presidency for five years.

"I will continue to be the army chief," Musharraf, dressed in military fatigues, told a nationally televised news conference.

Musharraf refused to discuss what he would do if he loses an April 30 referendum in which Pakistanis will be asked whether they want him to remain in power after parliamentary elections in the fall. He said he would act in the "national interest."

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