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Archive for Friday, July 9, 2004

Briefly

July 9, 2004

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Georgia

Two soldiers wounded in clash in S. Ossetia

Georgian soldiers clashed with gunmen Thursday in the separatist region of South Ossetia, Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania said. Two Georgian soldiers were wounded.

South Ossetian government spokeswoman Irina Gagloyeva dismissed the claim as "sheer misinformation," the Interfax news agency said.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has vowed to restore Georgian control over South Ossetia, which has been de-facto independent since separatist fighting ended in 1992, and tensions have risen sharply in the region in recent weeks.

Senegal

Rebels: Deadline given to surrender suspect

Chad rebels holding the Sahara's most-wanted terror suspect said Thursday that Libya had given them a 48-hour deadline to surrender the al-Qaida-linked militant or face a bomb attack.

There was no immediate comment from Libya, which confirmed to The Associated Press earlier this week that its forces had killed two of terror suspect Amari Saifi's accomplices.

Chad rebels have claimed to hold Saifi, the only known surviving leader of Algeria's al-Qaida-allied Salafist Group for Call and Combat, since they came across him and followers wandering in the Sahara earlier this year.

Months of negotiations have failed to obtain his surrender to Algeria, to other African nations or to the West.

MEXICO CITY

Scientists report finding bird thought extinct

A bird thought by some to be extinct has been discovered on the island of Cozumel off Mexico's Caribbean coast, conservationists announced Friday.

The discovery of the Cozumel Thrasher was announced jointly by the American Bird Conservancy and Conservation International, both based in Washington, D.C.

Gavin Shire of the American Bird Conservancy called it "a remarkable rediscovery" considering the bird hadn't been seen for 10 years.

The thrasher is found only on Cozumel, where the species numbered about 10,000. Most of them apparently died after Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, the groups said.

"This discovery is provides us with cause for real optimism that where one exists, others may exist as well," said Brad Phillips of Conservation International.

Belgium

European court declines to grant rights to fetus

Europe's top human rights court rejected an appeal Thursday to grant full human rights to a fetus, saying that was a matter for national governments to decide.

Meeting in Strasbourg, France, the European Court of Human Rights said it could not rule on the case of a French woman who was forced to have an abortion after a doctor's mistake.

Thi-Nho Vo complained France had violated the right to life of her unborn child, after French courts refused to convict the doctor of involuntary homicide.

Vo's lawyers referred to Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing the right to life.

However, the 17-judge panel said there was no consensus among nations that have ratified the convention on when right to life begins.

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