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Britons invoke Diana to push land-mine ban

Britain announced a new program to clear land mines Thursday and said that if Princess Diana were alive, she would press the United States to sign a universal ban on them.

"If you think of all the tributes all over the world paid to her, if people really mean it, we should keep up the pressure and get the worldwide ban," International Development Secretary Clare Short said at the governing Labor Party's annual conference.She said Britain would double to $16 million a grant for land mine clearance, which would be used to train people in Angola and other mine-strewn countries to clear the devices.

At a September conference in Norway, the United States refused to join 89 nations, including Britain, in signing a treaty to ban land mines. The United States had wanted to delay the start of the treaty and to insert a clause allowing countries to withdraw if attacked.

Diana, who was killed in a Paris car crash Aug. 31, had campaigned against land mines.