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Monday, October 29, 2012

Iranian Warships Dock in Sudan

Iran says two of its warships have docked in Sudan, days after Sudan accused Israel of bombing an arms factory in Khartoum.

Iran's state-run news agency, IRNA, says a destroyer and a helicopter carrier arrived in Sudan Monday to ensure security for shipping lanes.  It said the vessels were also bringing a message of peace and friendship.

Iran's semi-official Fars news agency said the Iranian fleet's commanders will meet their Sudanese navy counterparts during their visit.

Last week, the Sudanese government accused Israel of using warplanes to bomb an arms factory in Khartoum.  Officials say the alleged bombing was an attempt by Israel to "frustrate" Sudan's military capabilities.

Israel's military has declined to comment on the accusations.

Israel has previously accused Sudan of supporting Palestinian militants.

Sudan has blamed Israel for previous attacks, including a deadly 2009 air strike on a weapons convoy. 
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US, Cambodia to Resume Child Adoptions

Cambodia announced Monday that it has agreed to resume child adoptions with the United States beginning next year.

Cambodia's secretary of state for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Long Visalo, announced the move, a decision that reverses a ban on foreign adoptions that has been in effect since 2009.  He said after a meeting in Phnom Penh with the U.S. special advisor for children's issues, Ambassador Susan Jacobs, that adoptions will resume on January 1.

Long Visalo says that only 200 Cambodian children at most will be allowed to be adopted each year by U.S. families.

“We have now set on a quota, like for instance, we allow the U.S. to adopt between one hundred up to two hundreds children, annually.  No more than that," said Visalo.

Visalo said Cambodia has put regulations in place to ensure safe adoptions.  He said his country passed a law in 2009 to better regulate adoptions, following criticism that some children were being sold to adoption agencies and others were ending up in human tracking rings.

“We pay great attention to the future of those kids and we also take into consideration those who wish to adopt a child.  Some don’t have a child and wish to adopt one, and they meet our legal requirement so we have to do it," Visalo said.

Ambassador Jacobs is on a trip through Asia to discuss international adoptions as well as child abductions.
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