Brazil court won't block boy's return

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Brazil's Supreme Court yesterday threw out a bid by a political party to stop a 9-year-old boy from being taken to the United States to live with his father. But the boy's return to the United States is likely to be delayed by further legal appeals.

In a 10-0 decision, the Supreme Court refused to consider the appeal by a conservative Brazilian party that argued it would be wrong to take Sean Goldman from his stepfather's custody after five years in the South American country. The court ruled that a federal court should decide whether the boy will return to the United States.

The boy's Brazilian mother remarried and died after bearing a daughter last year. Sean's stepfather wants the boy to remain with his sister and Brazilian family.

President Obama discussed the custody case with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Washington, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton lobbied for the boy's return to live with father David Goldman, of New Jersey. Last week, Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.) introduced a bill that would temporarily remove Brazil from a duty-free trade program.
- AP

Russia to accept Serb nuclear fuel

BELGRADE, Serbia - Russia agreed yesterday to take three metric tons of spent fuel from a closed Serbian nuclear reactor to ensure the radioactive waste does not end up in terrorist hands, officials said.

Thousands of fuel rods are now stored in poorly guarded storage areas just east of Belgrade. The rods contain radioactive material that could potentially be used in a bomb. The Vinca Nuclear Institute's reactor was built with Russian technology in 1959 and shut down in 2002.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has been working to make the Vinca Nuclear Institute less attractive to thieves. Officials from the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, based in Vienna, Austria, said after their last inspection that the facility was "almost like a candy store" for would-be terrorists.
- AP

Gadhafi visits Italy for first time

ROME - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi hailed a "new era" in relations with Italy yesterday, saying a history of hatred and destruction during Italy's 30-year colonial rule had been replaced by a future of friendship and cooperation.

But in a demonstration that the wounds of Italy's occupation still run deep, Gadhafi arrived for his first visit to Italy wearing a photo pinned to his military uniform of a Libyan national hero killed by Italian colonial authorities. The photo showed Omar al-Mukhtar captured and chained by his Italian captor.

Gadhafi said the photo symbolized the tragedy of Italy's 1911-41 occupation in the same way Christians wear a cross to mark the tragedy of Christ's death. New relations were sealed by a $5 billion compensation agreement signed in August that includes construction projects, student grants, and pensions for Libyan soldiers who served with the Italians during World War II.

- AP