The threat posed by oil slicks from a wrecked Russian tanker took on a new dimension over the weekend as Japanese emergency crews worked to prevent the oil from clogging the cooling systems of a complex of seaside nuclear reactors. Japanese nuclear energy officials said that the clogging was unlikely, but admitted that they had never prepared for an occurrence of this sort. Russia, meanwhile, launched an investigation into the tanker wreck on January 10, and the next day offered to send two of its own ships to aid the cleanup efforts. (AP, Reuter, January 10-11; Kyodo, January 11)
Chechen Mufti Appeals for Release of Kidnapped Priests.