World News Briefs


Iraqi soldier kills 2 U.S. troops, wounds 6

BAGHDAD — An Iraqi soldier sprayed automatic weapons fire at U.S. soldiers Wednesday at an Iraqi military base in Mosul, killing two and wounding six before he died in a hail of bullets, an American general said. Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling, commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq, said the "premeditated" attack occurred in a courtyard as the soldiers waited for their two lieutenants to finish a meeting with an Iraqi army company commander. Hertling disputed Iraqi accounts that the shooting followed a heated argument between the Iraqi soldier and the Americans. Hertling said the attacker strolled in carrying a Kalashnikov rifle and a drum of ammunition, walked to a corner, turned and opened fire. In Baghdad, bombers killed at least 11 and wounded scores in a string of attacks

N. Korea refuses to allow sampling at nuclear complex

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Wednesday that it won't allow outside inspectors to take samples from its main nuclear complex to verify the communist regime's accounting of past nuclear activities. Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said it never agreed to such sampling, contradicting statements by U.S. officials last month after a breakthrough deal about verifying North Korea's list of nuclear programs. North Korea also announced Wednesday it will shut the country's border with the South on Dec. 1 — a marked escalation of threats against Seoul's new conservative government.


Supreme Court sides with Navy over marine mammals

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Navy could use sonar in submarine-hunting training exercises off Southern California without heeding restrictions imposed by a lower court to protect whales and dolphins. The high court didn't question the scientific basis of concerns about harm to marine mammals, but ruled that the Navy's need for the exercises was more important. The Natural Resources Defense Council, the lead plaintiff, said that mid-frequency active sonar could fill vast areas of the ocean with dangerous levels of underwater noise.

Anchorage mayor squeaks ahead of Sen. Ted Stevens

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Republican Sen. Ted Stevens fell behind by three votes Wednesday as the vote count resumed in his re-election bid. Democrat Mark Begich, the two-term mayor of Anchorage, began Wednesday down more than 3,200 votes but closed the gap as officials resumed counting early and absentee ballots. More than 50,000 ballots remain to be counted.

Herald-Leader wire services