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World In Brief

Taliban extend hostage deadline

KABUL, Afghanistan — A purported Taliban spokesman said Sunday that the hard-line militia had extended by 24 hours the deadline for the Afghan government to trade captured militants for 23 South Korean hostages.

Afghan elders leading the hostage negotiations met with the kidnappers and reported that the Koreans were healthy, said Khwaja Mohammad Sidiqi, the police chief of Qarabagh district in Ghazni district.

He said the delegation made progress in their talks, but the Afghan military said Afghan and U.S. troops had “surrounded” the region in case the government decides the military should move in.

Brazil air chaos affects U.S. flights

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Just days after Brazil’s deadliest plane crash a radar outage over the Amazon spread the
country’s aviation crisis overseas, spawning ripple-effect
delays at a half-dozen U.S. airports.

On Sunday North Americans were still feeling the effects of the aviation problems that have been roiling Brazil for nearly a year.

The radar failure occurred during the wee hours of Saturday morning, peak travel time between Brazil and the United States.

Japan requests plant inspection

TOKYO — U.N. nuclear experts should be invited to inspect a Japanese nuclear power station damaged in this week’s earthquake to help restore public confidence, a top local official said Sunday.

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant — the world’s largest in terms of capacity — announced a barrage of leaks and malfunctions last week after Monday’s magnitude 6.8 temblor, which killed 10 people and injured more than 1,000 in northwestern Japan.

Ruling party wins Turkey’s elections

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s Islamic-rooted ruling party won parliamentary elections by a wide margin Sunday, and the prime minister pledged to safeguard the country’s secular traditions and do whatever the government deems necessary to fight separatist Kurdish rebels.

With more than 99 percent of votes counted, television news channels were projecting that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party would win 341 of the 550 seats, down from 351 in the outgoing parliament.

U.S. official: Force in Pakistan possible

WASHINGTON — The U.S. would consider military force if necessary to stem al-Qaida’s growing ability to use its hideout in Pakistan to launch terrorist attacks, a White House aide said Sunday.

The president’s homeland security adviser, Fran Townsend, said the U.S. was committed first and foremost to working with Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, in his efforts to control militants in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.

COMPILED FROM WIRE REPORTS

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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