Ex-President Says Brazil Tried to Build A-Bomb

RIO DE JANEIRO -- A former Brazilian president disclosed that the military dictatorship that ruled the country for two decades tried to develop an atomic bomb. He said the program was scrapped when an elected government assumed power in 1985.

The 1964-85 dictatorship was long suspected of seeking nuclear weapons, but former president Jose Sarney's comments Sunday were the first confirmation of the program.

Sarney said he was informed that the military had dug a deep well for an eventual nuclear test explosion in a remote area of the northern state of Para. He did not say when or how he received the information, but it was shortly after he became president in 1985.


* BUENOS AIRES -- A former Bosnian Serb paramilitary leader, wanted by a U.N. tribunal on charges of crimes against humanity, was captured in Argentina, officials said.

Milan Lukic, who was indicted in The Hague in 2000 in connection with a string of killings dating to the Bosnian war, was awaiting initial questioning after his arrest here, authorities said. Earlier this year, a Serbian court sentenced Lukic in absentia to 20 years in prison for his role in the abduction of 16 Muslims from a bus in eastern Serbia in 1992.

The Middle East

* JERUSALEM -- Israel's defense minister said the government would insist on checking traffic in and out of Gaza after its pullout from the coastal strip, ruling out for now the possibility of foreign inspectors replacing Israeli guards.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz outlined the position during a meeting of Israel's security cabinet to consider border arrangements after Israel completes the Gaza withdrawal scheduled to begin in a week.

* ISTANBUL -- An explosion blew through an apartment building, killing two people in what police suspect was a mishap as Kurdish rebels mixed materials for a bomb.

A police official said the two men killed were believed to be members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. The blast blew out windows in the five-story building and injured six people as it sent glass and debris flying onto the street below, private CNN-Turk television said.

The Americas

* NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico -- The U.S. Consulate in this violence-racked border city reopened, a week after the American ambassador to Mexico ordered it closed after a wave of violence in the area.

Security was tightened at the consulate and two Nuevo Laredo police officers kept watch on people waiting in line. Four other municipal officers circled the building on bicycles, while federal agents and soldiers drove by repeatedly.

* TORONTO -- Investigators have ruled out engine or mechanical failure in last week's jet crash at the Toronto airport, and appeared to be focused on runway conditions, stormy weather and pilot error as possible causes.

Air France Flight 358 from Paris landed at Lester B. Pearson International Airport amid heavy thunderstorms, skidding off the runway for about 200 yards before slamming into a ravine and catching on fire.

-- From News Services