World In Brief
BBC reporter freed in Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — British reporter Alan Johnston, looking pale and tired, was released Wednesday after nearly four months in captivity in the Gaza Strip and said it was “fantastic” to be free after an “appalling” ordeal.
The British Broadcasting Corp. correspondent described his time in captivity as “occasionally quite terrifying” in a telephone interview with the BBC. “It was an appalling experience,” he said, speaking from the home of deposed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza.
‘Living goddess’ stripped of status
KATMANDU, Nepal — A 10-year-old Nepalese girl was stripped of her title as a living goddess because she traveled overseas to promote a documentary about the centuries-old tradition, a news report said Tuesday.
Sajani Shakya had her status revoked because she broke with tradition by leaving the country, the state-run National News Agency reported, quoting Narendra Prasad Joshi, chief of the Bhaktapur Taleju Temple where Sajani is based.
China restricts foreign transplants
BEIJING — China issued guidelines Tuesday restricting organ transplants for foreigners, giving priority to Chinese patients in the government’s latest effort to regulate procedures that have been criticized as profit-driven and unethical.
Little information about China’s lucrative transplant business is publicly available. One human rights activist said there is fierce competition among hospitals to attract the foreigners, who make up an estimated 30 to 40 percent of transplant patients in China.
Doctors or hospitals caught performing illegal transplants face punishment, including loss of licenses permitting them to perform the procedures.
Estonia reburies 8 Red Army soldiers
TALLINN, Estonia — Estonia on Tuesday reburied the remains of eight Soviet soldiers whose exhumation from a war grave had sparked deadly riots and infuriated neighboring Russia.
The eight white caskets were lowered into new ground at the Defense Forces cemetery in a ceremony attended by Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo, foreign diplomats and World War II veterans.
Two military chaplains conducted a short service, in both Lutheran and Orthodox styles. An Estonian navy band played funeral music as the caskets were lowered into the ground.
Chinese officials: Snack food trouble
BEIJING — Chinese inspectors found excessive amounts of additives and preservatives
in dozens of children’s snacks and seized hundreds of bottles of fake human blood protein from hospitals, officials said Tuesday.
China’s dismal health and safety record — both within and outside its borders — has increasingly come under the spotlight as its goods make their way to global markets. Major buyers like the United States, Japan, and the European Union have pushed Beijing to improve inspections.
China accused the media of hyping the problems.
Security talks are sign of cooperation
JERUSALEM — Israel and the Palestinian government of President Mahmoud Abbas have resumed security talks after a long break, both sides said Tuesday, a new sign of cooperation between Israel and Palestinian moderates since the Hamas takeover of Gaza.
In parallel crackdowns on the militant Islamic Hamas, security forces loyal to Abbas have taken dozens into custody and Israel has also made arrests, underlining their common interest in preventing a Hamas takeover of the West Bank.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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