Archive for Tuesday, November 26, 2002


November 26, 2002


Iraq: U.N. inspector gives warning

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said Monday he warned Iraq that it must provide convincing evidence if it maintains - as it did last week - that it has no illegal weapons programs.

Iraqi officials said they intended to cooperate fully with U.N. inspectors who will resume work Wednesday after nearly four years, Blix told the U.N. Security Council.

But on the critical issue of access, Iraqi officials remarked during talks last week in Baghdad "that the entry into a presidential site or a ministry was not exactly the same thing as entry into a factory," Blix said, according to his briefing notes.

The resolution allows inspectors to go anywhere at anytime, including presidential sites, and Blix said he stressed this point to the Iraqis and told them his teams would exercise this right.

Washington, D.C.: U.S. approaches Iran about toppling Iraq

The Bush administration has had indirect contacts with the government of Iran in hopes of persuading it to assist, or at least stay neutral, in a U.S. invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in neighboring Iraq, according to American officials.

The exchange of messages, which officials said had taken place through third countries, is part of delicate diplomatic maneuvering.

President Bush has labeled Iran part of an "axis of evil" and has thrown Washington's rhetorical support behind many Iranians' desire for more freedom and democracy.

A State Department official cautioned that talks were informal, passed via European governments and mostly designed to gauge Iran's reaction to the prospect of tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Boston: Archdiocese told to release 11,000 church documents

Sharply criticizing the Boston Archdiocese, a judge Monday ordered the public release of about 11,000 internal church documents related to 65 priests accused of molesting children over the past three decades.

The two rulings by Superior Court Judge Constance Sweeney came as lawyers for alleged victims and the Roman Catholic Church met to try to settle more than 400 lawsuits.

On Friday, the church complied with a court order to hand over the documents to lawyers for alleged victims. But the church asked that the documents be sealed from public view until at least January.

Sweeney rejected the request.

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