Sudan Rejects U.S. Label

Of 'Genocide' in Darfur

KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Sudan said on Saturday that the United States was wrong to try to label the conflict in Darfur as genocide and that recent hard-line U.S. statements on Sudan were aimed at Americans and the U.S. elections.

The United States criticized the United Nations last week for being soft on Sudan after a U.N. envoy said Khartoum had taken some steps under the threat of possible sanctions to comply with a demand to increase security in Darfur.

No sanctions were called for. Instead, U.N. envoy Jan Pronk proposed a wider mandate for African Union monitors to help stop abuses in Darfur.

ASIA

* TOKYO -- Crown Princess Masako emerged briefly from months of seclusion to visit the emperor, but officials said it might be difficult for her to resume her official duties this year.

Masako, who the palace said in July was suffering from stress-related depression caused by having to adjust to royal life, was accompanied by Crown Prince Naruhito for the short trip, her first venture outside palace grounds in about four months.

* TOKYO -- Japanese police searched a nuclear plant owned by Kansai Electric Power Co. for evidence of any negligence that might have led to a deadly accident there last month, a police official said. Five workers died after super-hot steam gushed from a ruptured pipe at the company's Mihama nuclear plant, 200 miles west of Tokyo, on Aug. 9. The steam was not radioactive.

* SEOUL -- A prominent South Korean scientist acknowledged that an unauthorized experiment to enrich uranium was conducted in three or four tests in early 2000, but said the amount in question was "so small it's almost invisible."

The experiments were conducted between January and February 2000 at the government-affiliated Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, its president, Chang In-soon, said.

the MIDDLE EAST

* DAMASCUS, Syria -- Syria said it would deepen ties with neighboring Lebanon, despite a U.N. Security Council resolution warning against outside interference there.

The U.N. resolution failed to head off a vote in Lebanon's parliament to extend the term of the Syrian-backed president, Emile Lahoud, for three years after his current six-year term expires.

* ANKARA, Turkey -- A proposal by Turkey's ruling party to revive a law criminalizing adultery has provoked a storm of protest from women's groups and fueled accusations that the government is seeking to steer this officially secular but predominantly Muslim country toward Islamic rule.

AFRICA

* LUANDA, Angola -- Equatorial Guinea will promise not to seek the death penalty if it decides to request the extradition of Margaret Thatcher's son, Mark Thatcher, in connection with a suspected coup plot, its state prosecutor said.

-- From News Services