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World datelines

Australia

SYDNEY — Officials investigating a large spill of radioactive waste at a uranium mine in the Australian outback found there have been 24 other leaks at the site.

Britain

LONDON — The World Organization for Animal Health has declared Britain free of foot-and-mouth disease, paving the way for the full resumption of meat exports.

LONDON — A blunder by the British Ministry of Defense has deprived more than a thousand former soldiers or their widows of millions of pounds in pensions, some for up to 50 years, officials admitted.

China

BEIJING — China's Communist Party disciplined 175,364 officials during 2001 for a wide range of crimes including corruption and bribery, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Wednesday.

France

PARIS — Doctors across France staged a 24-hour strike aimed at wringing concessions on pay and conditions from Prime Minister Lionel Jospin's government in the run-up to elections.

India

JAMMU — An Indian border guard was injured when firing broke out between Indian and Pakistani forces in the contested Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Japan

TOKYO — Officials in southern Japan struggled Wednesday in rough waters and winds to save two whales beached along with a dozen others believed to have died overnight.

Jordan

MAAN — Hundreds of Jordanian police fanned out across the center of the southern city of Maan and re-established order after two days of riots in protest against alleged police torture of a youth.

Kenya

NAIROBI — Seven French tourists in Kenya were robbed at gunpoint and stripped of some of their clothes on Tuesday, just minutes after arriving at Nairobi airport.

Netherlands

THE HAGUE — Two Bosnian Serbs — Gen. Momir Talic and his close political ally, Radoslav Brdjanin — went on trial before an international tribunal, accused of masterminding the genocide of hundreds of Croats and Muslims during the Bosnian war.

Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY — The Papua New Guinea parliament unanimously approved autonomy for Bougainville island in the first parliamentary reading of a peace deal that ended the South Pacific's longest running conflict.

Philippines

MANILA — Philippine police launched a manhunt for eight Muslim militants with suspected links to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network who may have fled to the country from Singapore, a senior police official said.

Russia

VLADIVOSTOK — Three Russian members of Japan's Aum Shinrikyo doomsday sect were jailed for planning to plant explosives in Japan to free their imprisoned guru.

South Korea

SEOUL — South Korean President Kim Dae-jung's spokesman denied opposition allegations the president was involved in a scandal over which his nephew-in-law is under investigation.

Sri Lanka

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka's opposition party declared its support Wednesday for the government's efforts toward peace after Norwegian mediators held talks with Tamil Tiger rebels on a possible cease-fire in the country's 18-year civil war.

Sudan

KHARTOUM — Sudanese government troops and southern rebels said they were observing a cease-fire in a key rebel stronghold that entered a second day.

Switzerland

GENEVA — The international Red Cross said it had overseen the handover of 695 Iraqi military prisoners by Iran.

Thailand

BANGKOK — Thailand has tightened security around sensitive city areas and embassies after a series of arrests of suspected Islamic militants by Southeast Asian neighbors, a senior Thai police officer said.

Vietnam

HANOI — Vietnam's ruling Communist Party expelled 53 of its members last year for wrongdoing but admitted more new members than in any of the past 30 years, official media reported.

Yemen

ADEN — An explosion has rocked a northern Yemeni city where a U.S. diplomat was staying, but no one was hurt, a Yemeni police official said.