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EU talks of fast sanctions hitting Fla.

The European Union will move quickly to impose economic sanctions on the United States, including Florida citrus, if it receives a favorable ruling next week from the World Trade Organization in a bitter trade dispute involving steel, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said Tuesday.

The EU has threatened to impose $2.2-billion in sanctions on imports from America if the United States does not remove steep tariffs on various types of foreign steel that President Bush imposed in March 2002 in an effort to give the beleaguered domestic industry breathing room to reorganize.

The EU drew up its hit list of U.S. products with the goal of maximizing the political pain for Republicans, targeting citrus products from Florida, Harley-Davidson motorcycles produced in Wisconsin and textile products from the Southeast.

WHO called too poor to fight terror

GENEVA _ A lack of funding for surveillance and front-line defenses has left the World Health Organization unprepared to deal with a global bioterrorist attack involving an agent such as smallpox, said a senior official who monitors disease outbreaks for the agency.

Although the United States has sought to vaccinate domestic health workers against smallpox, for instance, no comparable program has been offered to WHO employees who may be the first to respond, said Patrick Drury, project manager of WHO's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defended the level of support for WHO.

N. Korea reactor project reviewed

NEW YORK _ The consortium building two nuclear reactors in North Korea discussed U.S. calls to suspend the project Tuesday, and will make an announcement by Nov. 21, officials said. The New York Times, quoting unnamed officials who attended the meeting, said it will be suspended. Members of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization met in New York on Monday and Tuesday and discussed the $4.6-billion project to build two light-water reactors. The consortium of the United States, Japan, South Korea and the European Union has been building two energy-generating reactors as part of a 1994 accord between Washington and Pyongyang.

Elsewhere . . .

SRI LANKA TURMOIL: Sri Lanka's president on Tuesday suspended Parliament, fired three Cabinet ministers and deployed troops around the capital, moves that endanger the fragile peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels.

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