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Archive for Wednesday, April 17, 2002

World Briefs

April 17, 2002

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London: Defense officials recall atomic bomb diagrams

Britain's Ministry of Defense has recalled information on how to build an atomic bomb from a public records office, officials said Tuesday.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper had reported that previously classified files released to the Public Records Office provide details on the construction of Britain's first atomic bomb, codenamed Blue Danube and built in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

According to the newspaper, the files contain complete cross-sections, precise measurements and full details of the materials used to make the bomb.

The Public Records Office, where the public can view state documents, said Tuesday that the ministry had removed the files Monday to review their contents after the Telegraph story was published.

Canada: New book refutes WWI hero's claims

One of Canada's greatest war heroes lied about his record and made up the story of an air raid that won him the Victoria Cross, according to a new book.

Billy Bishop, a World War I pilot, is credited with 72 air victories, a record among the Commonwealth nations of former British territories. A mountain peak in the Canadian Rockies is named for him, as well as air force headquarters in Winnipeg, schools, legion halls and other buildings.

In his book out in June "The Making of Billy Bishop" Canadian historian Brereton Greenhous called Bishop "very brave." But Greenhous said the need for a Commonwealth hero to match the exploits of Germany's "Red Baron" Manfred von Richthofen caused Bishop's superiors to exaggerate his air victories.

"He was encouraged, initially to exaggerate," Greenhous said. "Actually ... they exaggerate for him initially."

Bishop then realized he could get away with lying and continued to do so, Greenhous said.

India: Explosion, gunfire kill 3 in Kashmir

Suspected Muslim rebels set off a bomb Tuesday as an army convoy passed. Three civilians died and 20 people mostly children headed for school were wounded in the blast and ensuing gunbattle.

The explosion killed two civilians and a third died in the cross fire in Awantipora, a town 12 miles south of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu-Kashmir state, said Superintendent of Police Vijay Kumar.

Witnesses said the soldiers began firing randomly after the explosion. Among the injured were seven soldiers and children on their way to school, police and witnesses said.

East Timor: First president elected

Xanana Gusmao has won East Timor's first presidential elections, completing his transformation from a poet to a gun-toting guerrilla commander to a respected statesman.

The wildly popular 55-year-old Gusmao has been the symbol of East Timor's struggle for independence since it was invaded by Indonesia in 1975.

With 89 percent of the 378,538 votes counted Tuesday, Gusmao had 79.4 percent, according to calculations based on data released by the electoral commission. His sole challenger, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, had 17 percent. Remaining ballots from Sunday's election were ruled invalid.

The elections are the final step in East Timor's long and bloody struggle to break free of foreign rule. On May 20, East Timor will become the world's newest independent country when its transitional U.N. administration formally hands over the running of the country.

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