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Archive for Saturday, November 1, 2003

Briefly

November 1, 2003

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TOKYO

World's oldest person dies in Japan at age 116

Kamato Hongo, a Japanese woman believed to have been the world's oldest person, died Friday. She was 116.

Born in 1887, Hongo was recognized as the world's oldest by the Guinness Book of Records after an American woman -- Maude Farris-Luse -- died in March at the age of 115.

Hongo was famous throughout Japan for her habit of sleeping for two days and then staying awake for two days.

She had been hospitalized in Kagoshima, on the southern island of Kyushu on Oct. 8, after complaining of loss of appetite and fever. She appeared to have been recovering when her condition worsened Friday, her doctor, Kiyoshige Niina told a news conference.

Raised on a small, rural island on Japan's southern fringe, Hongo grew up tending cows and farming potatoes. The same island also produced the Japanese record-holder for longevity, a man, Shigechiyo Izumi, who died in 1986 at the age of 120.

Afghanistan

U.S. special forces soldier dies from combat wounds

A U.S. special forces soldier died from wounds he suffered during fighting in a southern Afghan province, the U.S. military said Friday.

The fighting broke out Thursday when troops from the U.S.-led coalition patrolling with Afghan militia in Helmand province met between 10 and 15 combatants about 35 miles west of Deh Rawood in neighboring Uruzgan province, the coalition said in a statement. A-10 Thunderbolt warplanes and Apache attack helicopters were called in to reinforce the ground troops in small-arms fighting between the sides.

The U.S. soldier died Thursday from "wounds received in combat" after he was evacuated by helicopter to an airfield in the southern city of Kandahar, the coalition said. His identity wasn't released pending notification of relatives.

No other details were released on the battle.

UNITED NATIONS

General Assembly approves first anti-corruption treaty

The U.N. General Assembly adopted a landmark anti-corruption treaty Friday requiring politicians to disclose their campaign finances and countries to return tainted assets to the nation they were stolen from.

The treaty, which the 191-nation body adopted by consensus, spells out measures to prevent corruption in the public and private sectors and requires governments to cooperate in the investigations and prosecutions of offenders.

"The adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption sends a clear message that the international community is determined to prevent and control corruption," Secretary-General Kofi Annan said.

It complements another landmark treaty, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which entered into force Sept. 29 and requires ratifying countries to cooperate with each other in combatting money laundering, organized crime and human trafficking.

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