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First U.N. food-for-oil shipments arrive in Iraq

Published Oct. 1, 2005

The first truckloads of food bought under the U.N. oil-for-food deal have arrived in Iraq, three months after the agreement went into effect, U.N. officials said Thursday.

Eight trucks carrying 17{ tons of chickpeas and 120 tons of vegetable oil crossed Wednesday into Zakhu in northern Iraq from Turkey, said U.N. spokesman Hiro Ueki. The shipments were part of contracts for 2,200 tons of chickpeas and 11,000 tons of vegetable oil.

Iraq resumed oil sales on Dec. 10 as part of the agreement to let it sell up to $2-billion in oil for an initial six-month period to buy food and medicine.

The agreement came in response to deteriorating health and economic conditions in Iraq following the U.N. sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, leading to the Persian Gulf war.

Security Council expansion?

UNITED NATIONS _ The president of the U.N. General Assembly proposed Thursday to expand the 15-member Security Council by nine members next year _ five of them permanent members and four non-permanent.

U.S. and British diplomats expressed reservations, saying the number was too large. The Security Council, the United Nations' highest decisionmaking body on international security matters, currently has five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.

The permanent members, which have veto power over council resolutions, are Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. The new permanent members would not wield veto powers.


HALIFAX, Nova Scotia _ John Savage, the province's premier since 1993, says he will step down as soon as his Liberal Party chooses a successor. Savage, who led the province through drastic health-care reforms and a civil-service wage freeze, has had to contend with dissent in his party and growing public dissatisfaction.

QUEBEC CITY, Quebec _ Spurred by a new outbreak of bombings, Canada has agreed to toughen laws to help the province stamp out a war between motorcycle gangs that has killed more than 30 people since 1994. The justice minister, Allan Rock, said the measures would include broadening laws on search warrants, electronic eavesdropping and bail conditions.

BEIJING _ China said it will send back a Taiwanese journalist who hijacked a jetliner. China's decision to repatriate Liu Shan-chung, who diverted a 757 on March 10 by threatening to set himself on fire, signaled renewed willingness by Beijing to work with Taipei.