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World datelines


BUENOS AIRES — Argentina's economy is expected to shrink 1.4 percent this year, its third year in recession, but government officials said Friday that South America's second-largest economy will bounce back next year. Federico Sturzenegger, a senior Economic Ministry official, told international investors that he expects the economy grow 3.5 percent in 2002.


BEIJING — Eleven mine officials and four county political leaders have been arrested in connection with the deadly flooding of a tin mine in southern China and a failed plot to conceal the disaster, government investigators said Friday.

Eighty-one workers drowned after carelessly planned blasts opened up a water-filled shaft on July 17, sending torrents into nearby tunnels at the mine complex in Nandan County, Guangxi region.

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has decided to impose new economic sanctions on a major Chinese arms producer it says sold missile parts and technology to Pakistan, U.S. officials said Friday. Such trade is a violation of a U.S.-China accord that calls on Beijing to halt all missile exports. The decision comes just seven weeks before President Bush is scheduled to make his first official visit to China.


BOGOTA — A judge delayed a former cocaine cartel leader's extradition to the United States, saying Friday she needed to evaluate whether Colombians handed over earlier were prosecuted legally. Fabio Ochoa, once a part of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar's infamous Medellin cartel, would be the highest-profile suspect sent to the United States for trial since Colombia resumed extraditions in 1997.


BANGALORE — India's first police station to exclusively handle cyber crimes such as computer hacking, data damage and Internet fraud will start work in Bangalore on Sept. 15, police said on Friday. The station, which would cover the state of Karnataka, was launched on Thursday, a senior police official told Reuters.


SKOPJE — President Boris Trajkovski pleaded Friday for lawmakers to support a NATO-backed peace deal granting greater rights for this country's ethnic Albanian minority. The country's largest party formally endorsed the plan, indicating the votes should be there to approve it. The agreement "is not perfect, but the alternative is the disintegration of Macedonia at all levels: civil, political, by ethnic group, by age," Trajkovski told parliamentarians.


LAGOS — Thousands of people were left homeless and at least 14 people were killed after torrential rains washed away homes and caused two dams to break along a river in northern Nigeria. Dozens of others were missing.


ISLAMABAD — Pakistan denied Friday that by deporting 150 Afghans it violated an agreement with the United Nations, saying that only new arrivals were sent home. Pakistan has closed its border with Afghanistan in attempt to stop the influx of new refugees, saying most of them are economic migrants — not fleeing religious or political persecution.


PANAMA CITY — A judge has convicted ex-dictator Manuel Noriega of corruption, adding eight more years to the 90 he already has been sentenced to for homicide, illegal enrichment and drug trafficking. The latest sentence was the result of an anticorruption investigation that found that Noriega had mismanaged $1.5 million from the state-run agriculture and livestock bank.


LIMA — Peru plans to reopen dozens of army and police outposts in remote jungle provinces to combat the lingering presence of leftist Shining Path guerrillas.

President Alejandro Toledo announced the decision late Thursday after meeting with his Cabinet, asserting that the remnants of the Shining Path "cannot create problems for us."

Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN — Relatives held a memorial service Friday for the pilot of the plane that crashed in the Bahamas last week, killing singer Aaliyah and eight others.

United Nations

UNITED NATIONS — Stressing the right of individuals and nations to defend themselves, the U.N. Security Council urged countries on Friday to quickly implement a plan to tackle the billion-dollar-a-year trade in illegal small arms.

Vatican City

VATICAN CITY — The African archbishop who violated his vows by getting married has written Pope John Paul II to beg forgiveness for the pain he caused the pontiff and the embarrassment to the Roman Catholic Church. The letter, which the Vatican released Friday evening, also offered details of a meeting with the pope that Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo said convinced him to return to the church.