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WORLD IN BRIEF

Monday, February 28, 2005; Page A12

Chinese Want to Curb Sex-Specific Abortions

BEIJING -- China's top lawmakers want to make it a crime for doctors to detect an unborn baby's sex for nonmedical reasons, in a bid to combat the abortion of female fetuses, government-run newspapers reported Sunday.

It is already illegal in China to use an ultrasound or other means determine if a fetus is a boy or a girl, but doctors who do so only face administrative penalties and not criminal charges, the China Youth Daily reported.



_____News from Nepal_____
Nepal Violence Blamed on Rebels Kills 14 (Associated Press, Feb 27, 2005)
At Least 14 Killed in New Nepal Violence (Associated Press, Feb 27, 2005)
At Least 14 Killed in New Nepal Violence (Associated Press, Feb 27, 2005)
Fresh Violence in Embattled Nepal; 15 Killed (Reuters, Feb 27, 2005)
Fresh Violence in Embattled Nepal; 15 Killed (Reuters, Feb 27, 2005)

Sunday's reports did not specify what penalties doctors might face, or whether parents might also be held accountable.

ASIA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former president Bill Clinton, visiting Taiwan despite China's warning that his trip could violate Washington's "one China" policy, urged the rivals to set aside their differences and work closer together economically.

KATMANDU, Nepal -- Suspected communist rebels in southern Nepal ambushed an army truck, shot a police chief and attacked villagers, killing at least 14 people one day after lifting a highway blockade that crippled the flow of essential supplies in protest of the king's recent power grab.

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyzstan chose a new parliament, with some opposition figures and prominent politicians disqualified from the ballot in a country once seen as an island of democracy in former Soviet Central Asia.

Preliminary results were to be announced Monday.

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The number of troops in Afghanistan's new army topped 20,000, as the United States steps up training of a force that is supposed to relieve Americans on the front lines against Taliban-led militants.

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- Voters in Tajikistan chose a new parliament in elections marred by opposition allegations of widespread irregularities in favor of the former Soviet republic's powerful ruling party.

PORT KLANG, Malaysia -- Thousands of illegal Indonesian workers rushed Monday to leave Malaysia on the final day of an amnesty to avoid caning and imprisonment in an impending police crackdown that the government vowed will be merciless.

THE MIDDLE EAST

BEIRUT -- Several thousand anti-Syrian protesters took to Beirut's streets in defiance of a government ban, while a visiting U.S. official, David Satterfield, a deputy assistant secretary of state, kept up Washington's pressure on Syria by calling on it to withdraw its 15,000 troops from Lebanon following the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri earlier this month.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- The Arab satellite television network al-Arabiya said its staff had received death threats from Syrian security bodies over an interview with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in which he urged Syria to withdraw from Lebanon by April.

Syrian officials were not immediately available to comment.

AFRICA

LOME, Togo -- Police in Togo's capital fired tear gas to try to disperse groups of youths defending barricades across the main roads of an opposition stronghold, witnesses said.

ALGIERS -- Algerian women's groups accused President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of caving in to Islamic parties by watering down a long-awaited reform to improve women's rights.

BUNIA, Congo -- Congo's government, trying to assert its authority in the volatile east, hurriedly sent its defense minister on his first visit to the remote region of Ituri after militiamen killed nine U.N. peacekeepers from Bangladesh.

-- From News Services


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