Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON

Helms Pledges To Block Chemical Weapons Treaty

Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., vowed Saturday to block Senate ratification of a global treaty banning chemical weapons unless he gets the changes he is demanding. Helms is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which must sign off on the treaty. The Bush administration signed the treaty in 1993, and it comes into force April 29 even without U.S. ratification. President Clinton wants the Senate to ratify before then to ensure a leading U.S. role in establishing guidelines to implement the treaty. While it has not ratified the treaty, the United States has renounced chemical weapons and is destroying its stock of poison gas. Helms said the treaty will give Americans a false sense of security and could even increase the risk that use of nerve gas by terrorists and rogue nations such as North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Libya, which have not signed the treaty. More than 160 nations have signed the treaty. "This treaty will do absolutely nothing to reduce the dangers of poison gas," Helms said. "The Russians are actively working to create a new generation of chemical agents that are not even covered by the treaty." AP KANSAS Committee Wants To Ease Water Quality Standards The environment committee of the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka has called for a weakening of the water quality standards on the state's rivers, some of which are among the nation's most polluted. The relaxed standards would cover ammonia, chlorides, the weed killer atrazine, and other fertilizers and pesticides. A coalition of cities and farm groups is pushing for the legislation after it became clear that limits on pollutants in state rivers would require costly improvements to sewage treatment plants and a switch to more expensive farm chemicals. Officials of the federal Environmental Protection Agency said that if the legislation is adopted, it will take control of Kansas' water pollution control program. Kansas City Star WORLD BEIJING South Korean Defector To Be Allowed To Leave Hwang Jang Yop, the high-ranking North Korean defector who entered the South Korean consulate in Beijing since Feb. …

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