Archive for Sunday, June 8, 2003

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June 8, 2003

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Iran: U.N. nuclear experts arrive on inspection visit

Iran has not breached an international nuclear nonproliferation agreement and is not bothered by accusations to the contrary, an Atomic Energy Organization of Iran spokesman said Saturday.

Khalil Mousavi made the comments as a team of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors arrived in Iran to assess the nation's controversial atomic activities. The Vienna, Austria-based agency has published a report claiming Iran has not kept promises to safeguard nuclear material.

Washington accuses Tehran of wanting to build a nuclear bomb and wants the IAEA to declare Iran in violation of the international treaty.

Iran has said it has no plans to develop nuclear weapons.

Wisconsin: Prairie dog illness might be monkeypox

A virus related to smallpox that has never been detected in the Western Hemisphere may be the cause of a mysterious disease spreading from pet prairie dogs to people across the upper Midwest, health officials said Saturday.

Dr. James Hughes, director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said a group of prairie dogs sold from a suburban Chicago pet distributor appears to be infected with the monkeypox virus, a member of the same viral family that causes smallpox but is not nearly as deadly.

Monkeypox has typically been found in West African rain forests, Hughes said. The death rate among infected humans has ranged from 1 percent to 10 percent.

Hughes said although monkeypox was spread primarily through rodents in Africa, scientists haven't ruled out person-to-person transmission.

Beijing: Ferry sinks, crews searching for children

Rescue boats early today were searching for 13 school children who were reported missing after their ferry sank in rapids in southern China.

The ferry was traveling on the Qingshui River in Guizhou province Saturday when the vessel stalled in rapids, before hitting some rocks and sinking, Xinhua News Agency said.

The vessel was carrying 57 middle school students.

Two members of the crew and all but 13 students were saved, a Jianhe county official said by telephone. He would only give his family name, Nong.

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