Briefly . . . NATION/WORLD

Posted: December 03, 2001

Japanese welcome

newborn princess

Congratulations kept pouring in today for Japan's newest royal infant, but an eager public has yet to get a glimpse of the nation's littlest princess.

Crown Princess Masako, a Harvard-educated former diplomat who turns 38 this week, gave birth to the baby girl on Saturday after more than eight years of marriage to Crown Prince Naruhito, heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

The palace grounds were open to well-wishers for the second straight day today, with nearly 27,000 lining up to sign their names before noon, Kyodo news agency reported.

Around 62,000 Japanese around the nation left congratulatory messages yesterday, some 46,000 in Tokyo alone.

High-winds deter

missile defense test

Stymied by high winds for a second consecutive night yesterday, the Pentagon rescheduled for today a fifth test of its missile defense system before adding new technical challenges to the testing program.

The plan called for a missile carrying a mock warhead to be launched from California and head over the central Pacific Ocean. Twenty minutes later an interceptor rocket was supposed to roar into the night sky from Kwajalein Atoll, hone in on the mock warhead with the help of a radar in Hawaii, and ram into the warhead 144 miles into space.

Iraq will sign on

to oil restrictions

Iraq today will sign a memorandum of understanding with U.N. officials to extend the oil-for-food program for another six months, Iraqi U.N. Ambassador Mohammed Aldouri said last night.

"I have been given instructions by my government to sign the memorandum of understanding," Aldouri said.

The oil-for-food program allows Iraq to sell oil despite sanctions, with proceeds placed in an account administered by the United Nations. Iraq averages crude oil exports of about 2 million barrels a day, or four percent of the world's daily demand.

Islamic militants

blamed for 13 killings

Suspected Islamic militants yesterday gunned down seven Hindus who were on their way to attend a wedding in a remote village in troubled Kashmir, police said.

This was the second attack since Friday in Gehlot, 80 miles north of Jammu, the winter capital of Indian-held Jammu-Kashmir state.

On Friday, the suspected rebels killed four Hindus and two Muslim members of the community defense team guarding the village.

The victims were slain by armed militants dressed as policemen, police said.

India accuses Pakistan of training and arming the militants fighting for Kashmir's independence from India since 1989.

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