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Archive for Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Briefly

September 28, 2004

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North Carolina

Reservist to be tried for prisoner abuse

Pfc. Lynndie England, the soldier seen in some of the most notorious photos with naked Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, will be court-martialed in January on charges of abusing detainees, the Army said Monday.

The 21-year-old reservist will be tried on 13 counts of abuse and six counts of indecent acts, said Lt. Gen. John Vines, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg.

England did not enter a plea when she was arraigned Friday. She faces a prison sentence of up to 38 years, a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances if convicted.

The abuse charges include three counts of assault in which she is said to have stepped on the hands and feet of Iraqi detainees. Another abuse charge includes conspiring to commit maltreatment of a detainee by posing in a photograph holding a leash around the naked prisoner's neck.

United Nations

North Korea says it has nuclear weapon

North Korea has turned plutonium from 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods into weapons to serve as a deterrent against a possible nuclear strike by the United States, a North Korean minister said Monday.

Warning that the danger of war on the Korean peninsula "is snowballing," Vice Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon blamed the United States for intensifying threats to attack the communist nation and destroying the basis for negotiations to resolve the dispute over Pyongyang's nuclear program.

In Washington, a State Department official noted that the administration has long believed North Korea has at least one or two nuclear weapons. The official, who asked not to be identified, also said the North Koreans have made conflicting statements about how far along their weapons development programs have come.

Greece

Bus crash kills teens headed to Paralympics

A bus taking Greek high school students to watch the Paralympics smashed into a truck loaded with glass Monday, killing seven teenage passengers and injuring 30 other people, police said.

The crash prompted Paralympic organizers to cut back today's closing ceremony of the games, cancelling festive portions. Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos expressed his "deepest regret over this appalling accident."

All Greek schools will close Wednesday as a sign of mourning.

"Seven youngsters are dead. There are a number of seriously injured," said Antonis Galanos Lamia police chief of the nearby city of Lamia. Three of the injured were in critical condition, officials said.

The truck apparently jackknifed into oncoming traffic and hit the bus, Lamia said.

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