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Israelis uncover 9 tunnels



Published: Thu, October 19, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Israelis uncover 9 tunnels

TEL AVIV, Israel -- The Israeli army announced Wednesday that it had uncovered nine tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt in a sweep designed to prevent Palestinian militants from smuggling in the types of advanced weapons used by Hezbollah in the recent Lebanon conflict. The incursion, which began Tuesday night, was Israel's first along the border strip since withdrawing from Gaza last year. The Israeli military said it found seven completed smuggling tunnels, one more than 60 feet deep, and two others in their early stages.

Rice: We'd defend Japan

TOKYO -- The United States is willing to use its full military might to defend Japan in light of North Korea's nuclear test, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday as she sought to assure Asian countries there is no need to jump into a nuclear arms race. At her side, Rice's Japanese counterpart drew a firm line against his nation developing a nuclear bomb.

Whistle-blower dies

LONDON -- Marc Hodler spent nearly half his life at the heart of the Olympic movement. No one knew more about the workings of the IOC and the high-stakes bidding for the Summer and Winter Games. The Swiss lawyer felt it his duty to expose corruption in the host city process, setting off the biggest scandal in the history of the International Olympic Committee and prompting major reforms. Hodler, who blew the whistle on vote-buying in Salt Lake City's winning campaign for the 2002 Winter Games and other Olympic bids, died Wednesday at 87.

Kidnapping denounced

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Two journalists' associations on Wednesday denounced the kidnapping of an Italian freelance photographer in Afghanistan, saying reporters are not "bargaining chips."

Reporters Without Borders, based in France, and the National Union of Journalists, based in Britain, said in a joint statement that photographer Gabriele Torsello could be killed by those holding him hostage. Torsello and his Afghan translator were abducted last week in southern Afghanistan.

Feds: No vaccine shortage

WASHINGTON -- Federal health officials sought to reassure concerned physicians and parents Wednesday, saying there would be plenty of flu vaccines available by the end of November to immunize children and adults in time for the season's peak in February. Many doctors complain that they haven't received any or most of their seasonal flu shots, although chain stores have. Pediatricians say this is especially problematic for children being vaccinated for the first time. Those children need two doses, each spread a month apart, after which they aren't truly immune for another two weeks.

Note leads to cut-up body

NEW ORLEANS -- A note found on the body of a suicide jumper led police to a French Quarter apartment where they found a woman's charred head in a pot, her arms and legs in the oven and her torso in the refrigerator, police said Wednesday. Zackery Bowen, 28, leapt from the seventh floor of a luxury hotel in the Quarter on Tuesday night, police said. His note, found in his pocket, identified the woman as his girlfriend but did not mention her name.

60B being sent south

WASHINGTON -- Latin Americans working outside their countries will send 60 billion home this year, a 12 percent increase over 2005, the Inter-American Development Bank said Wednesday. The bulk of the money, an estimated 45 billion, is being sent by the 12.6 million immigrants from Latin America who ship money home regularly from the United States, the organization said in a report based on surveys of immigrants in three U.S. cities -- New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

Bankruptcy fraud arrests

WASHINGTON -- Nine lawyers, an ex-police officer and an electrician who bribed a former governor were among 78 people charged with bankruptcy fraud in the past two months, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

Eighteen of the arrests came this week alone, said Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who outlined the nationwide crackdown on people trying to conceal more than 3 million in assets. Bankruptcy fraud often follows false claims on mortgages, banks and the mail, McNulty said. The arrests are on track to outpace last year's estimated total of 100 bankruptcy fraud cases, the FBI said.

Ruling on bottled water

WASHINGTON -- Companies can claim that drinking bottled water with fluoride prevents cavities, the government said Wednesday. The Food and Drug Administration said it would allow bottlers of fluoridated water to make the health claim, in a notice dated Oct. 14 but posted Wednesday to its Web site.

Combined dispatches




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