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Nuclear talks fail; envoys take recess

Beijing Envoys to deadlocked North Korean nuclear talks will take a recess, the Chinese government announced today after a record 13 days of meetings failed to bring agreement on a joint statement meant to guide future negotiations. The talks were scheduled to resume Aug. 29.

A senior Chinese diplomat, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, warned that even after talks resume, “I can’t say for sure that we will reach agreement.”

The decision was announced after chiefs of delegations from the six governments met today in a final attempt to agree on a joint statement of principles to guide future talks aimed at persuading North Korea to disarm.

Governments taking part in the talks include the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia.

“During the recess, the six parties will report to their respective governments and study ways to solve the differences. And they are supposed to maintain contact and consultations during that recess,” Wu said.

Doors, slides didn’t work in jet crash

Toronto Investigators trying to determine why an Air France jet skidded off a runway said Saturday that only four of the aircraft’s eight doors and emergency exits were used to escape the burning jetliner, and that two emergency slides malfunctioned.

Real Levasseur, of Canada’s Transportation Safety Board, said one of the four exit doors used by the 309 passengers and crew in their rush to disembark was difficult to open, and that the fire after the crash last Tuesday may have prevented access to the other doors. Levasseur also said two of the slides used failed to work, even though they are supposed to automatically unfold when the emergency doors are opened.

The discovery confirms comments by many passengers and witnesses who said some of the slides and emergency exists were not functioning, forcing people to jump from as high as 4 or 5 yards. Some aviation experts have surmised that the impact of the Airbus A340, which slammed into a ravine, might have damaged the exit doors and chutes.

Air France Flight 358 landed at Lester B. Pearson International Airport amid heavy thunderstorms, skidding off the east-west runway some 218 yards and then slamming into a ravine.

Remarkably, none of the 309 passengers and crew members died, though at least 43 people were injured and several remained hospitalized Saturday.

Man held in Pearl death admits al-Qaida contact

Lahore, Pakistan An Islamic militant accused of arranging an initial meeting between a slain Wall Street Journal reporter and his kidnappers has confessed to working with high-level al-Qaida operatives, police said Saturday.

Pakistani police arrested Hashim Qadeer on July 28 in the eastern city of Gujranwala in connection with Daniel Pearl’s murder. Pearl was kidnapped on Jan. 23, 2002, in the southern city of Karachi and later beheaded.

“He (Qadeer) … confessed to receiving guidance and instructions from al-Qaida’s men like Ahmed Omar Sheikh and Amjad Hussain Farooqi,” Zafar Abbas, Gujranwala’s police chief, said.


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