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Britain to ID donors of egg, sperm for kids

The British government announced plans Wednesday to allow children born from donated sperm or eggs to trace their biological parents.

Fertility specialists welcomed the change, though some also expressed concern that it might deter potential donors.

If approved by Parliament, the new regulations would be effective on April 1, 2005. They would apply to donations after that date, and inquiries could be made only after a child reaches the age of 18.

Donor-born children are allowed to trace their genetic parentage in a number of other countries, including Sweden, Austria, Australia and the Netherlands. In the United States, donors mostly remain anonymous.

Elsewhere . . .

PAKISTAN NUCLEAR INQUIRY: Pakistan's decision to detain and question some of its leading nuclear scientists came after it dispatched top-secret investigative teams to Iran and Libya to check allegations that greed led the men to cash in on nuclear know-how, the Associated Press reported, quoting an unnamed senior Pakistani official.

PALESTINIAN REPORTED KILLED: Israeli forces operating in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, shot and killed a Palestinian woman on Wednesday and wounded two of her family members, including a 13-year-old boy who was hit in the head and critically wounded, Palestinian residents and officials said.

PATRIARCH IN HAVANA: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, leader of the world's 300-million Orthodox Christians, was greeted by President Fidel Castro as he arrived Wednesday night in Cuba.

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