Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 13th 2013 Contents A29
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A girl dressed as Obatala, a Saint in the Yoruba religion, holds a live pigeon during a march commemorating the 15th anniversary of
the arrest of five Cuban agents in Havana, Cuba, yesterday. The words on her face read in Spanish: "Freedom for the four," referring to
four of five Cubans still imprisoned in the US for spying. Obatala's equivalent in the Catholic religion is La Virgin de Las Mercedes, or
Our Lady of Mercy. AP PHOTO
BUENOS AIRES---Argentina's Con-
gress has overwhelmingly approved a
plan to swap new bonds for defaulted
debt rather than comply with US
court orders to pay investors cash in
full plus interest.
That sets up a direct challenge of
the US courts with only days to go
before Supreme Court justices in
Washington decide whether to hear
an appeal from President Cristina Fer-
If Argentina loses, then billions of
dollars in other debts unpaid since the
country's economy crashed in 2001
would come due. And if Fernandez
continues to refuse to pay these hold-
outs, the US courts would stop pay-
ment to the 92 per cent of other
creditors who accepted previous debt
That would push Argentina into an-
other default and cause serious harm
to an already shaky economy. (AP)
Argentina approves new sovereign debt swap
Guyana aims to reduce
scavenger birds at airport
GEORGETOWN---Authorities in Guyana are seek-
ing to relocate poultry farms due to concerns about
increased numbers of scavenger birds circling
around the South American country's international
Airport Chief Executive Ramesh Ghir says the ma-
jority of poultry farms are located near the airport,
and that moving them would help prevent future ac-
Airport Operations spokesman Andre Kellman
says the farms don't properly dispose of garbage, at-
tracting scavengers that pose a danger as they
cross flight paths.
A Caribbean Airlines flight from New York hit sev-
eral birds as it landed yesterday, while another flight
in April was forced to turn back after one of its en-
gines sucked in several birds. (AP)
Voyager probe 'leaves
The Voyager-1 spacecraft has become the first
manmade object to leave the Solar System.
Scientists say the probe's instruments indicate it
has moved beyond the bubble of hot gas from our
Sun and is now moving in the space between the
Launched in 1977, Voyager was sent initially to
study the outer planets, but then just kept on going.
Today, the veteran Nasa mission is almost 12 bil-
lion miles from home.
This distance is so vast that it takes 17 hours now
for a radio signal sent from Voyager to reach re-
ceivers here on Earth.
"Scientifically it's a major milestone, but also his-
torically---this is one of those journeys of exploration
like circumnavigating the globe for the first time or
having a footprint on the Moon for the first time.
This is the first time we've begun to explore the
space between the stars," said Prof Ed Stone, the
chief scientist on the venture.
Sensors on Voyager had been indicating for some
time that its local environment had changed.
Assad credits Russia with
chemical weapons move
MOSCOW---Syrian President Bashar Assad says
his government has agreed to surrender its chemical
weapons in response to Russia's initiative and not
because of the US threat of attack.
Assad told Russia's state Rossiya 24 news chan-
nel in an interview that is set to be broadcast fully
later Thursday that "Syria is transferring chemical
weapons under international control because of
He added that "the US threats hadn't influenced"
his government's decision.
Russia on Monday proposed that Syria place its
chemical weapons under international control and
eventually dismantle them to avert a US strike, and
Syria quickly accepted the proposal.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian
counterpart Sergey Lavrov are set to sit down to-
gether to discuss details of the plan in Geneva yes-
Russia yesterday warned of a potential
"man-made catastrophe" if North Korea
restarts an ageing plutonium reactor to
boost its stockpile of nuclear weapons,
after US experts spotted steam rising
from the Yongbyon facility.
The reactor, which was completed in
1986, is outdated and North Korea could
suffer a major disaster if it is restarted, a
Russian diplomatic source told the Interfax
The warning came after researchers at
the US-Korea Institute said Wednesday
that satellite images taken on August 31
showed plumes of white steam rising from
a building next to the reactor.
"Our main concern is linked to a very
likely man-made disaster as a consequence.
The reactor is in a nightmarish state, it is
a design dating back to the 1950s," the
Russian source said.
"For the Korean peninsula this could
entail terrible consequences, if not a man-
The US envoy on North Korea mean-
while said the reported restart of the reactor
would be "a misstep on the part of North
"If it turns out that these reports are
true that North Korea has restarted the
five-megawatt plutonium reactor, this
would be a very serious matter," Glyn
Davies told reporters after meeting Japanese
foreign ministry officials in Tokyo.
Such a move would "seriously violate
the United Nations Security Council res-
olutions" and North Korea s commitments
under a 2005 joint statement after six-
party talks, Davies said.
The Russian diplomat speaking to Inter-
fax said he did not know for sure whether
North Korea had relaunched the facility
mothballed in 2007.
"It is obvious that some works are being
conducted, and for a long time at that.
According to some signs, steps were indeed
being taken to relaunch it," the diplomat
"We do not have any information that
the reactor has been relaunched."
But the white steam "could simply be
testing of the generator", the Russian diplo-
matic source cited by Interfax cautioned.
The Vienna-based International Atomic
Energy Agency said it was unable to verify
the claim since North Korea has barred
its inspectors since 2009.
North Korea declared in April that it
would restart all facilities at Yongbyon to
"bolster the nuclear armed force both in
quality and quantity".
Pyongyang is currently believed to have
enough plutonium for about six bombs.
The Yongbyon reactor is capable of pro-
ducing 13 pounds of plutonium a year---
enough for one nuclear bomb. (AFP)
Russia warns of 'catastrophe'
if NKorea restarts reactor
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