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Archive for Saturday, November 2, 2002

Briefly

November 2, 2002

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Jerusalem: Sharon offers Netanyahu job

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met Friday with former premier Benjamin Netanyahu and offered him the job of foreign minister in the fragile minority government.

The talks ended with neither man speaking to reporters. A senior Israeli diplomatic official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Sharon was offering Netanyahu the foreign minister's post.

The official said the two agreed to meet again Sunday.

The moderate Labor Party, the largest faction in Sharon's coalition, quit the Cabinet this week over a budget dispute, leaving the government without a majority. The walkout made vacant the foreign affairs portfolio, formerly held by Labor's Shimon Peres.

New York: WTC death toll drops by two after pair discovered alive

The World Trade Center death toll has dropped by two to 2,795 after a New York City woman and a Florida man reported missing were found alive, city officials said Friday.

Police located Tina Spicer of Manhattan and Peter Montoulieu of Miami more than a year after they were listed as terrorism victims.

Montoulieu told The Associated Press on Friday that the closest he got to the trade center last year was during a layover at New York's La Guardia Airport about a week before the terrorist attack. He said his former wife reported him missing because she thought an Indianapolis convention had taken place in Manhattan.

Officials did not say how the Spicer error was discovered.

Beijing: Ambassador says N. Korea has right to nuclear weapons

North Korea's ambassador to China on Friday defended his country's right to develop nuclear weapons, calling the United States a bully that used "gangster-like" tactics.

North Korea shocked the world with its admission last month that it has an active program to develop nuclear arms. The disclosure came in talks with Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.

But Ambassador Choe Jin Su said the U.S. envoy "asserted with no evidence" that North Korea was engaged in an enriched uranium program to make nuclear weapons.

He complained that Kelly said unless the program was halted, there would be no talks between North Korea and the United States, and North Korea's links with South Korea and Japan would be harmed.

Miami: U.S. holding wounded teen at Guantanamo camp

The U.S. military is holding a wounded Canadian-born teenager in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, despite diplomatic objections, a Canadian Foreign Ministry official said Friday.

Omar Khadr, 16, was captured in July in Khost, Afghanistan, after a four-hour firefight described by U.S. officials as an al-Qaida ambush of an American patrol. A Special Forces medic was wounded and later died.

Khadr was also wounded during the firefight. He was treated and interrogated at the U.S.-controlled Bagram air base in Afghanistan, diplomat Reynald Doiron said from Ottawa on Friday.

Khadr is the first confirmed minor being held in the prison camp.

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