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General: China would use nuclear weapons

Britain

LONDON -- A senior Chinese general has warned that China is ready to use nuclear weapons against the United States if Washington attacked his country over Taiwan, the Financial Times newspaper reported today. Zhu Chenghu, a major general in the People's Liberation Army who said he did not anticipate a conflict with Washington, said China would have to go nuclear in the event of an attack. ''If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons," he told foreign journalists. The newspaper observed that it was unclear what prompted the remarks, but noted that they were the most specific by a senior Chinese official in a decade. (Reuters)

Afghanistan

Officials at odds over militants' whereabouts
KABUL -- Militants in Afghan mountains where a Navy SEAL team was ambushed and a special forces helicopter shot down have fled to Pakistan and regrouped, a provincial governor said yesterday. But US military spokesman Colonel James Yonts said that while ''some of the enemy may have been able to escape," many rebels remained in the mountains, surrounded by US and Afghan forces. US forces lost three Navy SEALs in an ambush and another 16 troops when their copter was downed June 28 in Kunar Province. Since then, about 300 US troops backed up by attack aircraft and Afghan forces have been hunting militants in the area. (AP)

Italy

Catholic bishop killed in northern Kenya
ROME -- A Roman Catholic bishop was shot to death yesterday near his church in northern Kenya, the Vatican Embassy in Nairobi said. Bishop Luigi Locati, 76, was fatally wounded as he walked to a pastoral center in Isiolo, where he was based, said the Rev. Julien Kabore, speaking by telephone from the Vatican Embassy in Nairobi. Locati was taken to a hospital in Isiolo, where he died shortly after 8 p.m., about 90 minutes after the shooting, Kabore said. Details were not available, and motives of the killing were unclear, he said. (AP)

United States

Russia, China faulted for central Asia stances
WASHINGTON -- The top US military officer accused Russia and China yesterday of ''trying to bully" smaller central Asian nations that host US troops and cooperate with Washington in fighting terrorism. General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked what he thought of a statement last week by a regional alliance led by China and Russia, calling on the United States to set a date for withdrawing forces from bases in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The statement by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was interpreted by some as an attempt to push the United States out of a region that Moscow regards as part of its sphere of influence and in which Beijing seeks a bigger role because of the extensive energy resources. ''I don't think the Shanghai memo or communique or whatever came out was particularly useful," Myers said. ''Looks to me like two very large countries were trying to bully some smaller countries." (AP)

Aruba

17-year-old to remain jailed in disappearance
ORANJESTAD -- A 17-year-old Dutch youth must remain behind bars as authorities try to find out what happened to Natalee Holloway, who was last seen six weeks ago leaving a nightclub, an appeals court said yesterday. The court also ruled that there was not enough evidence to detain two Surinamese brothers in connection with the disappearance of the 18-year-old Alabama woman. During a closed hearing Tuesday, a judge heard appeals from a defense lawyer seeking the release of Joran van der Sloot and from prosecutors asking for the re-arrest of Deepak Kalpoe, 21, and his brother, Satish, 18. The three were among the last people to see Holloway before she vanished. (AP)

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