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U.S. to object to China-Pakistan nuclear reactor deal

Gen. Luis Herlindo Mendieta is embraced by his family upon arriving in Bogota after being rescued from nearly 12 years of captivity with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. He was the highest-ranking officer held by the rebels.
Gen. Luis Herlindo Mendieta is embraced by his family upon arriving in Bogota after being rescued from nearly 12 years of captivity with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. He was the highest-ranking officer held by the rebels. (Juan Barreto/agence France-presse Via Getty Images)
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

NUCLEAR EXPORTS

U.S. will object to China-Pakistan deal

The Obama administration has decided to object to a lucrative deal in which state-owned Chinese companies would supply Pakistan with two nuclear reactors, U.S. officials said.

The deal is expected to be discussed next week at a meeting in New Zealand of the 46-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which monitors such transactions. Experts had said it appears to be a violation of international guidelines forbidding nuclear exports to countries that have not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or do not have international safeguards on reactors. Pakistan has not signed the treaty.

China has suggested that the sale is grandfathered from before it joined the NSG in 2004, because it was completing work on two earlier reactors for Pakistan at the time. But U.S. officials disagree.

"Additional nuclear cooperation with Pakistan beyond those specific projects that were grandfathered in 2004 would require consensus approval" by the NSG, a U.S. official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity, "which we believe is extremely unlikely."

State Department spokesman Gordon DuGuid said the U.S. government "has reiterated to the Chinese government that the United States expects Beijing to cooperate with Pakistan in ways consistent with Chinese nonproliferation obligations."

-- Glenn Kessler

MEXICO

Gates, Slim to help fund public health

Two of the richest men on the planet, along with the government of Spain, announced Monday that they are donating a total of $150 million to fund new public-private health programs for the poorest citizens in Central America and southern Mexico.

Billionaires Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, and Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecommunications mogul who in March was named the richest man in the world by Forbes magazine, have partnered their charitable foundations to bankroll an ambitious five-year project to improve health and nutrition for mothers and children in the region; to provide childhood vaccinations and to fight malaria and dengue; and to improve family planning for 10 million of the poorest of the poor.


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