Australia: Whale euthanized
SYDNEY An injured and abandoned baby humpback whale that spent nearly a week bonding with boats in waters off north Sydney was euthanized by wildlife officials Friday after veterinarians determined it was too weak to survive on its own.
The plight of the whale calf, nicknamed "Colin," dominated news coverage in Australia since Sunday when it was first sighted and began trying to suckle from boats it apparently mistook for its mother.
National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman Roger Bell said officials gave the 1- to 2-month calf an anesthetic in the water before hauling it onto the beach, and administering a lethal drug early today. The body was to be examined at Sydney's Taronga Zoo.
Austria: Nuclear deal
VIENNA The United States appeared optimistic and reaffirmed its commitment to a landmark U.S.-India nuclear cooperation deal Thursday at the end of a first day of discussions by a consortium crucial to its fate.
But other participants in a meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group suggested it was unlikely that a final decision on whether to give India access to legal imports of nuclear fuel and technology would be made by the time the meeting wraps up today.
Chances of an unconditional exemption for India wanted by Washington and New Delhi also appeared to be dwindling. In Washington, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said the United States is "very hopeful" that the Nuclear Suppliers Group would approve a waiver for India.
The meeting is slated to reconvene today in Vienna.
Pakistan: Bomb kills 67
ISLAMABAD Suicide bombers killed 67 people at Pakistan's largest arms factory Thursday in one of the country's deadliest terror attacks, adding to turmoil from political squabbling that is threatening to tear apart the ruling coalition now that Pervez Musharraf has quit as president.
The twin bombings, which also wounded more than 100 people, hit one of Pakistan's most sensitive and heavily guarded military installations, underlining the threat posed by Islamic militants to the Muslim world's only nuclear-armed nation as well as its war-ravaged neighbor, Afghanistan.
The death toll climbed steadily Thursday, and by this morning police and factory officials put the death toll at 67 with 102 people injured.
Panama: Intelligence agency
PANAMA CITY Panama, which has no army, is creating a new intelligence agency and a border police force, prompting concerns of a return to its militarized past.
President Martin Torrijos says the intelligence force is needed to combat growing drug crimes.
He signed an executive order Wednesday creating the intelligence force and border police and combining the naval and air police forces. Lawmakers are expected to approve the initiatives.
But opposition lawmakers and civil rights advocates say the laws would give the government unprecedented surveillance powers.
Warrants are still required to set up wiretaps, but critics say the rules are too loosely defined.