Around the world
AIDS CHARGES: Former French Premier Laurent Fabius was charged Friday with complicity in poisoning, the highest-ranking official to be charged in a scandal involving the contamination of hemophiliacs with AIDS-tainted blood. About 1,200 hemophiliacs were contaminated with the AIDS virus in 1985, and more than 400 have died. As Fabius left court Friday, Joelle Bouchet, the mother of a young infected hemophiliac yelled at him: "You have blood on your hands." Fabius, 48, was the third former Socialist minister charged this week. A decision has not yet been made on whether to bring them to trial. The charges carry a maximum 30-year prison sentence.
BELFAST: A crowd of about 50 people in an IRA stronghold in the Belfast area hurled rocks and bottles Friday at a security force patrol that fired plastic bullets back. Police said two of the IRA supporters were hurt in the clash with the joint army and police patrol and taken to a hospital. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known. Police said four soldiers and two police officers were slightly hurt in the predawn scuffle in the north Belfast Ardoyne area.
Across the nation
NUCLEAR WASTE: Workers at the Savannah River nuclear weapons plant began unloading a five-car train of European nuclear waste Friday, and state officials promised to try to keep out future shipments. "It is important that we do all we can to prevent these materials from coming into our state," Attorney General Travis Medlock said Thursday. South Carolina had sued to keep the spent nuclear fuel rods from being taken to the sprawling weapons complex near the Georgia state line. But the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., refused Thursday to rehear a lower court decision allowing the shipment.
PILOT BLAMED: A B-52 pilot doing unsafe stunts caused the crash that killed him and three other top Fairchild Air Force Base officials, the Air Force said Friday. An Air Force investigation into the June crash lays the blame on the pilot, Lt. Col. Arthur A. "Bud" Holland, for flying unauthorized maneuvers and on commanders for failing to discipline him. Lt. Gen. Thomas R. Griffith, commander of the 12th Air Force, said supervisors may face disciplinary action. He declined to give details.
EXTRADITION: A federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, has ordered the extradition of a woman accused of snatching a baby at birth in Mexico. U.S. District Judge Filemon B. Vela said he was not determining Paulyna Botello's guilt or innocence - only that Mexican courts should decide the case. Laura Lugo says Botello and her sister, Rosa, befriended her and lured her from her Brownsville home to a Matamoros, Mexico, clinic two years ago for what she believed would be a routine prenatal exam. Lugo says she was drugged and the child was delivered Sept. 1, 1992, by Caesarean section against her will.
DENIAL: The maker of a fire-blocking material installed in more than 70 nuclear power plants denied allegations that it falsified test reports and marketing literature to help sell the product. The U.S. attorney's office announced Thursday that a special grand jury in Maryland returned a seven-count indictment against St. Louis-based Thermal Science Inc. and its president, Rubin Feldman. Thermal Science makes Thermo-Lag 330, a fire retardant that is supposed to protect critical electrical lines, including ones used to shut down a reactor in an emergency. The insulation has failed several fire tests and once disintegrated when burned.
In other news . . .
AT LEAST four people were killed and 12 injured Friday when a seven-story building collapsed after an explosion in Italy's financial capital and police said more victims might be buried beneath the debris . . . MICHAEL FAY, whose caning punishment for vandalism in Singapore caused an international controversy earlier this year, has entered a Minnesota drug rehabilitation clinic for a butane-sniffing addiction . . . A FEDERAL JUDGE in Philadelphia has ordered a dentist to pay ABC-TV more than $250,000 the network spent defending itself in his libel lawsuit over a profile on the newsmagazine "20/20."