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News Briefs


Editor’s Note: With this issue, we have begun to switch from the Los Angeles Times/Washington Post News Service to the New York Times News Service, including The Boston Globe. Please excuse any kinks as we experiment with new formats and the intoxicating breadth and depth of this new wire service. We would very much like to hear your comments on these pages; please send them to news@the-tech.mit.edu.

U.S. Sanctions Pakistan Laboratory

THE NEW YORK TIMES

The Bush administration has imposed sanctions against a major Pakistani nuclear laboratory -- the first such action since Pakistan became an ally in the battle against terrorism -- for its role in helping North Korea obtain crucial equipment and designs to produce nuclear weapons, administration officials said Monday.

With its actions, the administration has publicly acknowledged for the first time that Pakistan was the key supplier of the technology that has enabled North Korea to develop a clandestine project to build weapons from highly enriched uranium. In return, Pakistan received North Korean missiles that can carry nuclear weapons, and picked them up last summer in an American-made C-130 cargo plane that belongs to the Pakistani Air Force.

When the transactions were first revealed last fall, senior administration officials declined to comment on the report, and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell told reporters in October that when he called Pakistan’s president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, to discuss the subject, “He said, ‘Four hundred percent assurance that there is no such interchange taking place now.’” Powell added: “We didn’t talk about the past.”

Powell to Visit Ankara, Brussels

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, seeking to ease tensions with Turkey and the European alliance, scheduled a visit this week to Ankara and Brussels to confer on the war and possible cooperative steps on Iraq’s postwar reconstruction.

Powell said he would fly to Turkey on Tuesday to confer with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and other leaders to ensure a “common understanding” on the future of northern Iraq, where fighting is under way on Turkey’s doorstep.

Turkey has said that if the fighting spreads and leads to an uprising of ethnic Kurds, some of whom favor establishing a state that would include Kurds living in Turkey, the Ankara government reserved the right to intervene. The Bush administration opposes any such efforts by Turkey.

All Teachers Fired in Calif. District

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- ALAMEDA, CALIF.

The entire teaching staff and some administrators have received pink slips for the next academic year from the Alameda school district, which serves this island city of 75,000 across the bay from San Francisco.

No one expects the schools to close in the fall, but the layoff notices, in keeping with a state legal requirement, are an indication of the serious financial troubles haunting California schools. Not since the economic downturn of the early 1990s have schools here experienced such problems.

Lawmakers Hold Big Dig Hearings

THE BOSTON GLOBE

Massachusetts lawmakers grilled Turnpike Authority managers Monday about their failure to recover Big Dig funds lost to mistakes, saying any new recovery effort should be conducted independent of the agency.

In the first of what some called historic hearings, Turnpike Authority chairman Matthew Amorello, testifying under oath, acknowledged that cost-recovery efforts to date “have not inspired confidence.” Only $35,000 has been recovered so far in the $14.6 billion project.