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DUTCH POLICE ARREST MAN IN BLAST THAT KILLED 20

Police have arrested a man suspected of arson in an explosion at a fireworks warehouse that killed nearly 20 people, authorities said Friday.

The 33-year-old man from this eastern Dutch city was detained Jan. 26. Law enforcement authorities announced the arrest Friday, saying in a statement that the allegations were serious enough to prolong his detention for 30 days.

Two men and a woman, all in their 30s, were also arrested, but have been released.

The names of the suspects were not released under police policy.

When firefighters arrived at the downtown S.E. Fireworks site last May 13, small fires had started near a series of storage bunkers. Several powerful explosions then flattened the entire neighborhood and injured nearly 1,000 people.

Russian officials stunned by label as security threat

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian officials expressed astonishment Friday over CIA director George Tenet's description of Russia as a security threat and his concern that President Vladimir Putin is trying to return the country to its Soviet past.

The Foreign Ministry issued a strongly worded statement defending Russia's policy toward the United States, saying Russia considers Washington its chief partner in maintaining international strategic stability and calling for dialogue on divisive issues.

Russia is still feeling its way along with the new administration of President Bush, although the Kremlin has made no secret of its opposition to the White House's support for a national missile defense and further eastward expansion of NATO.

Tenet this week painted a gloomy picture of Putin's Russia, saying there was little doubt that the Kremlin wanted "to restore some aspects of the Soviet past."

Assessing global security threats, Tenet also said Russia was using weapons sales to improve ties with countries such as China, India and Iran -- countries he said pose a security threat.

Arrest, torture of activists spur protests in Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- Widespread protests in Vietnam's central highlands this month were triggered by the arrest and torture of two Christian activists working for the rights of local ethnic minorities, a U.S.-based group said Friday.

The Feb. 2-5 unrest led the U.S. Embassy to issue a warning Friday, urging Americans to "postpone travel" to Daklak and Gia Lai provinces.

The U.S. Embassy advisory said protests had stopped traffic on roads leading to Pleiku and Buon Ma Thuot, capitals of the coffee-growing provinces.

The unrest appeared to die down after soldiers and riot police were dispatched to the area. Information is hard to obtain because the government has tried to seal off the area.

The Montagnard Foundation -- a Spartanburg, S.C.-based advocacy group for Vietnam's highland ethnic minorities -- said the protests began when two of its workers were arrested, severely beaten and imprisoned Jan. 30.

Body parts may be those of missing British bar maid

TOKYO (AP) -- Police searching for a missing British bar hostess said Friday they found parts of a woman's body buried in a cave on a beach near Tokyo and were trying to determine if the remains were hers.

Investigators have been looking for Lucie Blackman, 22, since July, when she disappeared after telling a friend she was going on a drive to the ocean with a client. The case has been closely followed by the Japanese and British media and has underscored concerns over the safety of women in Japan's night clubs and sex industry.

The remains were found near the seaside apartment of a Japanese businessman, Joji Obara, 48, who was arrested in October and accused of drugging and raping several women, including a Canadian hostess and another Briton, police said.

One body part believed to be the victim's head was encased in concrete, said a Tokyo metropolitan police spokeswoman on condition of anonymity. The skin had decomposed, making identification difficult, she said.

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