World & Nation

Published: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 2:12 a.m.

Investigators begin probe of factory blast

  • KINSTON, N.C. - Investigators looking for the cause of the deadly blast at a medical-supply factory interviewed bandaged and shaken workers Thursday but said it was too dangerous to set foot in the still-smoldering ruins.
    The thunderous explosion, which left three employees dead and injured 37, occurred in a part of the factory where rubber was mixed and formed into sheets. Ten people remained in critical condition. One person who had been unaccounted for was located Thursday.

    S. Korea sent millions to North before summit

  • SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea's main opposition party asked President Kim Dae-jung on Thursday to clear up suspicions that his government spent nearly $200 million to "buy" its crowning achievement: a historic summit with North Korea.
    The summit helped Kim win the Nobel Peace Prize.
    Allegations of payoffs to the North first arose last year but grew more substantial with media reports that a subsidiary of the Hyundai business group sent funds to North Korea about a week before the summit.
    On Thursday, government auditors confirmed that Hyundai - closely tied to Kim's policy of rapprochement with North Korea - borrowed $186 million from a government-run bank shortly before the summit and used it for unclear purposes in the communist state.

    Md. students admit cheating with phones

  • ROCKVILLE, Md. - Six University of Maryland students have admitted cheating on an accounting exam by using their cell phones to receive text messages with the answers, the school said Thursday. Another six students were implicated in the case.
    The scheme worked this way: Test-takers brought their cell phones into the exam with them. They used the phones to contact friends outside the classroom. The friends looked up the exam answer key that had been posted on the Internet by the professor once the test had started. Then the friends messaged the answers back to the test-takers.

    Marines arrested in parachute sabotage

  • CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Two Marines have been arrested in the suspected sabotage of more than a dozen parachutes last fall, officials said. Three jumpers were slightly injured when they were forced to use their reserve chutes.
    No charges were filed immediately against Lance Cpl. Antoine D. Boykins, 21, and Lance Cpl. Julian Ramirez, 25, who were placed in the brig Tuesday night, Staff Sgt. Jay Connolly said.

    Undercover Israelis kill two Palestinians

  • JERUSALEM - Israeli undercover troops killed two Palestinians, including a militia leader, after a car chase Thursday through the West Bank town of Tulkarem, and army bulldozers flattened more than 100 stalls in a Palestinian market in the city of Hebron.
    The highly visible military operations in the West Bank followed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's sweeping victory in Tuesday elections, interpreted as voter endorsement of his policy of cracking down on the Palestinians after more than two years of violence.
    - Compiled from The Associated Press
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