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Powell raises possibility of ending Iraq's isolation

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Secretary of State Colin Powell held out the possibility of ending Iraq's diplomatic isolation if the country agrees in upcoming talks that it will resume U.N. weapons inspections.

Powell spent more than an hour Wednesday with Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is scheduled to hold talks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf Feb. 26-27.

"I hope that the Iraqi representative comes with new information that will show their willingness and desire to comply with the U.N. resolutions and become a progressive member of the world community again," Powell said after the meeting.

Iraq has demanded an end to U.N. sanctions imposed after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait and has strong backing from Arab nations, France, Russia and China.

But Iraq has refused to allow the return of U.N. inspectors who must verify its claims that its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons have been destroyed before sanctions can be lifted. The inspectors pulled out in advance of of U.S. and British airstrikes in December 1998.

German terrorist sentenced for murder in '75 attack

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- A former terrorist was convicted today and sentenced to nine years in prison for a 1975 attack on an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Vienna that killed three people.

Hans-Joachim Klein, 53, was convicted of hostage-taking, murder and attempted murder in the attack allegedly masterminded by Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal.

The four-month trial revived memories of social unrest that rocked Germany 30 years ago and the role that some present-day politicians played during it.

Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, a former Klein friend, testified as a character witness, recalling their shared past in 1970s street clashes with police and urging Klein against violence.

The prosecution had demanded 14 years in jail for Klein, arguing the three victims were killed only to promote the terrorists, who claimed they had wanted OPEC to show more support for the plight of the Palestinians.

Klein was arrested in September 1998 in France. He was extradited to Germany for trial because he is a German citizen.

Mad cow rules threaten Spain's bullfighting tradition

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Tough European measures against mad cow disease are threatening to bring an end to one of Spain's oldest traditions: small-town festivals featuring bullfights.

"The regulations could be catastrophic," said Jaime Sebastian de Erice, spokesman for the Union of Fighting Bull Breeders. "Up to 80 percent of the bullfighting festivals in Spain will not be able take on the costs of the new measures."

New European Union rules state that cattle over 30 months old must be tested for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, popularly known as mad cow disease, before they are slaughtered for human consumption. Otherwise they must be destroyed, usually by incineration.

But these measures collide head-on with the centuries-old tradition in Spain of selling carcasses of fighting bulls killed in the ring directly to butchers. Steaks, stew, tails, ears and testicles from the slain animals are popular fare in restaurants and meat markets after each fight.

Sebastian de Erice said 14,000 of the 17,000 annual bullfight festivals are run on shoestring budgets.

Serbian lawmakers replace pro-Milosevic court officials

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- Closing in on Slobodan Milosevic, lawmakers in Serbia fired judges and prosecutors loyal to the former Yugoslav president Wednesday and replaced them with others ready to try him on charges ranging from corruption to war crimes.

The Serbian Parliament, now dominated by a pro-democracy coalition that ousted Milosevic last October, voted to replace dozens of supreme and municipal court judges, public prosecutors and other judicial officials.

The legislature also reinstated 16 judges removed last July for expressing support for the pro-democracy movement that later triumphed over Milosevic.

Although Milosevic was swept from power by a popular revolt in October that forced him to concede electoral defeat, his allies have kept their hold on the judiciary, presenting an obstacle to his prosecution.

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