The Baltimore Sun

Serial killer in Russia gets life term for 48 killings

MOSCOW -- The Moscow City Court gave a life sentence yesterday to a serial killer who had said he wanted to be the most prolific murderer in post-Soviet Russian history. Alexander Y. Pichushkin, 33, was convicted last week of murdering 48 people and trying to kill three others. The total was considerably smaller than the number of killings he claimed. In a television interview, Pichushkin said he had killed at least 60 people, part of a bid to kill a person for each of the 64 squares on a chessboard. He tried to confess to 63 murders, but prosecutors said they lacked evidence for further charges and suggested that he might have been boasting.

China arrests 774 over shoddy goods

BEIJING --China said yesterday that it had arrested 774 people in a crackdown on substandard goods, part of continuing efforts to calm international worries over the quality of the country's products. The General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said the arrests were the result of 626 criminal investigations nationwide into the manufacture and sale of fake or substandard food, medicine or agricultural products between August and mid-October. The actions were part of a four-month quality-control campaign begun in August by a Cabinet-level panel in an attempt by Beijing's leadership to show the world that it is serious about tackling its food and drug safety woes.

Egypt plans several nuclear power plants

CAIRO, Egypt --Egypt's president announced plans yesterday to build several nuclear power plants, the latest in a string of ambitious such proposals from moderate Arab countries. The United States immediately welcomed the plan. President Hosni Mubarak said the aim is to diversify Egypt's energy resources and preserve its oil and gas reserves for future generations. In a televised speech, he pledged that Egypt would work with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency at all times and would not seek a nuclear bomb.

Somalia's premier resigns after feud

SIRTE, Libya --Ali Mohamed Gedi, the prime minister of Somalia, resigned yesterday after a long feud with the country's president that was imperiling Somalia's beleaguered transitional government. Gedi, a veterinarian, announced his resignation in Baidoa, saying that he was stepping down for the good of the country. His colleagues, some of them pursuing a no-confidence motion against him, greeted his resignation with cheers.

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