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100 nuclear weapons in Cuba in '62, Soviet papers say

The Soviet Union sneaked about 100 small nuclear weapons into Cuba at the time of the 1962 missile crisis, a fact unknown to U.S. intelligence for 30 years, the Miami Herald reported Sunday.

The newspaper also said that Cuban President Fidel Castro had wanted to keep the tactical weapons even after the crisis, and that Moscow initially agreed to train Cubans in their use.

But it said Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev ordered the weapons to be removed, reacting cautiously after Castro urged him to launch strategic nuclear missiles against the United States at the height of the U.S.-Soviet standoff.

Citing documents found by Western and Russian researchers in once-secret Soviet archives, the newspaper said the last of the tactical warheads were reportedly returned to the Soviet Union in December 1962.

"In retrospect, it shows the crisis was more dangerous than thought," said Jim Hershberg, an expert on the crisis at George Washington University.

French far-right party

loses seat in parliament

TOULON, France _ France's far-right National Front failed by 33 votes Sunday to keep its only seat in parliament.

Cendrine Le Chevallier, a stand-in for her husband, Toulon's National Front mayor, was defeated by Socialist Odette Casanova by 50.07 percent to 49.93 percent.

"Toulon has regained its pride," Casanova told supporters in the Mediterranean port. "At last France will be able to look at us and come to us."

Le Chevallier's husband, Jean-Marie, was the Front's only National Assembly winner in last June's general election but was stripped of his seat for exceeding the campaign spending limit and banned from running again for a year.

His wife had been the favorite after she finished first in April 26's first round. The runoff result indicated that a majority of mainstream conservatives voted for the left in order to stop the National Front.

DNA match establishes

remains as Hitler's aide

BONN _ A body unearthed on a Berlin building site more than 20 years ago has been identified by DNA tests as belonging to Adolf Hitler's infamous right-hand man Martin Bormann, German media reported Sunday.

Bormann's family now intends to cremate his body to end persistent rumors that he fled to South America after the Third Reich collapsed, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported.

Quoting justice officials, it said German authorities are now certain that Bormann committed suicide by poisoning himself. Dental records and injuries found on human remains unearthed in Berlin in 1972 had already been matched with Bormann's records.

But German authorities ordered the more accurate genetic tests after a British book asserted that Bormann had been spirited away by British commandos after the war to help them track down looted Nazi gold.

Elsewhere . . .

+ MOSCOW _ The U.S. Embassy warned Americans of African and Asian origin to beware of violent neo-Nazi thugs after a black Marine was beaten by a group of skinheads this weekend at a popular outdoor market here.

+ NICOSIA, Cyprus _ U.S. presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke failed in his mission to jump-start peace talks between Greek and Turkish rivals on the divided island of Cyprus, officials said Sunday.

+ LOD, Israel _ An Israeli military court sentenced a Palestinian terrorist Sunday to four life terms. Riyad Abu Hamdiya, 22, was convicted of shooting a kidnapped Israeli soldier, planning the March 1997 bombing of a Tel Aviv cafe that killed three women and taking part in two drive-by shootings that left three Israelis dead.

+ TOKYO _ A strong earthquake rocked Okinawa and several smaller islands in southwestern Japan this morning, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. Tidal wave warnings were issued.

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