Sinn Fein Official Arrested

In 1972 Bombing by IRA

LONDONDERRY, Northern Ireland -- Police arrested a Sinn Fein politician and three other people Tuesday on suspicion of involvement in one of the Irish Republican Army's most notorious attacks -- a 1972 triple car bombing in a mostly Protestant village.

Nine people were killed when the IRA detonated the bombs without warning in Claudy on July 31, 1972. The victims were five Catholics and four Protestants, among them a 9-year-old girl and three teenagers. No one has ever been charged in the attack.

Police, who reopened the investigation in 2002, said all four people arrested Tuesday -- men ages 50, 60 and 67, and a 58-year-old woman -- were questioned as suspects in 1972 but released.

Sinn Fein, the IRA-linked party in Northern Ireland, confirmed that police had arrested one of its officials, Francie Brolly, at his home in Dungiven. Brolly, a retired teacher known locally as a traditional singer, was elected in 2003 to the province's long-mothballed legislature.

EUROPE

* LONDON -- Prime Minister Tony Blair opened a fierce debate on energy and the environment, saying the British government would consider building a new generation of nuclear power plants. In a speech briefly delayed by anti-nuclear activists, Blair said a study due to be finished next summer would look specifically at nuclear power.

THE AMERICAS

* BRASILIA -- A congressional probe into rural violence called for farm invasions by landless activists to be declared "terrorist acts," marking a defeat for Brazil's land reform movement. A left-wing member of the inquiry had harsh words for the report.

* MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay -- Forensic experts unearthed the remains of a person believed to have been abducted during Uruguay's 1973-85 military dictatorship, the first discovery in government-led excavations, authorities said.

* CARACAS, Venezuela -- Two Venezuelan opposition parties pulled out of Sunday's congressional elections, saying conditions were tilted toward President Hugo Chavez's allies, and a third party threatened to boycott the vote if it is not postponed.

ASIA

* HARBIN, China -- City officials insisted that Harbin water was safe to drink again after a toxic spill following a chemical plant explosion, but experts said dangerous substances -- including cancer-causing benzene -- will remain frozen in the Songhua River until spring, prolonging the problem.

* CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh -- Suicide bombers targeting courthouses in two cities killed at least seven people, including two police officers, in an escalating terror campaign blamed on extremists demanding an Islamic state. More than 50 people were injured, 20 of them critically.

THE MIDDLE EAST

* DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Men arrested at what a U.A.E. official said appeared to be a gay wedding are to be given hormone therapy, officials said. The news brought condemnation from the U.S. State Department, which urged the Muslim state not to perform such treatment. The Interior Ministry said the case had yet to be heard by courts.

* CAIRO -- The runner-up in Egypt's presidential elections took the stand in his trial on forgery charges, accusing the government of trumping up the case to ruin his political career. Prosecutors are seeking the maximum 15-year sentence for Ayman Nour on charges he forged signatures needed to register his party.

AFRICA

* LIBREVILLE, Gabon -- Africa's longest-serving president, Omar Bongo, won a fresh seven-year term in Sunday's election, according to official results. The interior minister announced on state television that Bongo, who has ruled the oil-producing country since 1967, had won 79 percent of the vote.

-- From News Services

After U.S. forces on a mission in eastern Ethiopia learned of a pair of cheetah cubs being forced to fight for entertainment outside a restaurant, above, the troops and government officials rescued the animals and transported them to Addis Ababa, where they were released Tuesday on the grounds of the president's residence.