hArmed men kidnap daughter of millionaire

hArmed men kidnapdaughter of millionaire
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Armed men broke into an upscale Amsterdam home and kidnapped Claudia Melchers, the daughter of a millionaire whose fortune came from selling chemicals, including to Iraq in the 1980s, police said Tuesday. Her children were left unharmed. Police said the gunmen stormed into the home of Melchers, 37, late Monday and took her away. They said they were treating it as a kidnapping. Melchers, who runs a catering company, is the daughter of Hans Melchers, who owns Melchemie Holland BV, which supplied chemicals to Iraq in the 1980s. The woman's two young children were left in the house in a southern Amsterdam neighborhood, police said.
North Korea refusesto drop nuclear programs
BEIJING -- North Korea insisted Tuesday it will not give up its right to civilian nuclear programs, raising questions about the possibility of a breakthrough as six-nation talks aimed at persuading Pyongyang to abandon its atomic weapons resumed after a five-week recess. Envoys from China, Japan, Russia, the United States and the two Koreas clasped hands together at a state guesthouse in Beijing before continuing the fourth round of talks since 2003 that have so far failed to resolve the standoff. In New York on Tuesday, Chinese President Hu Jintao told President Bush that China was ready to "step up" pressure on Pyongyang for progress in the negotiations.
World leaders to getwatered-down proposal
UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday adopted a watered-down document on poverty, human rights and U.N. reform for world leaders to approve at a summit this week, after shedding many of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's most ambitious goals during weeks of bitter debate. The compromise 35-page document is supposed to launch a major reform of the United Nations itself and galvanize efforts to ease global poverty. But to reach a consensus, most of the text's details were gutted in favor of abstract language. Annan had gambled that by calling the summit -- the largest gathering of world leaders in history -- he could push through a list of sweeping U.N. reforms and refocus attention on the Millennium Development Goals, a set of targets for reducing poverty and disease by 2015.
Oldest pupil promoteseducation for the poor
NEW YORK -- Kimani Ng'ang'a waited more than eight decades for his first day of school. The Kenyan villager wants to make sure nobody else has to wait that long. The 85-year-old man, billed as the world's oldest elementary school pupil, toured Manhattan to promote a global campaign urging assistance for an estimated 100 million children denied an education because of poverty. Kimani started his formal education in January 2004.
Briefcase prankforces evacuation
ROSEMEAD, Calif. -- A briefcase left on top of a natural gas pipeline turned out to be empty but the prank forced as many as 60 people from their homes for hours and prompted the lockdown of a nearby elementary school. No arrests were made. A resident called the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shortly after 8:30 a.m. to report the briefcase sitting on top of the giant pipe, sheriff's Lt. Robby Ibelle said. Both ends of the pipe had barriers to prevent people from climbing onto it so the placement of the case appeared to be a deliberate act, authorities said. Rosemead is 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
Truck hauling quarterscatches fire, dumps load
HAMMONDVILLE, Ala. -- A truck carrying tons of quarters caught fire Tuesday and spilled most of them on a highway, where workers used heavy equipment, shovels and buckets to scoop up the singed coins. The driver said the truck carried 39,000 pounds of new Kansas quarters, part of the U.S. Mint's state coin series, that were worth some $800,000, said Police Chief Michael Putnam.
Associated Press

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