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140 American cattle shipped to Cuba HAVANA - A shipment of livestock including 140 cattle - one born during the trip - arrived in Cuba, the first significant batch of American animals to be sold here in recent years.

The shipment was made under a 2000 exception to the long-standing U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. American agricultural products can be sold to the island as long as transactions are done in cash or by financing from a third country.

"This opens a new road," for American farm sales to Cuba, said Pedro Alvarez, president of Cuba's food import firm Alimport.

The containers holding the Jersey and Holstein dairy cows, three bulls, 12 bison and one shorthorn sheep were unloaded Thursday afternoon from the cargo vessel operated by the American firm Crowley Liner Service.

The livestock, largely from Homedale Farms in St. Charles, Minn., left Gulfport, Miss., Tuesday.

Russia buys missiles from Ukraine's arsenal MOSCOW - Moving to bolster its strategic might despite financial problems, Russia has acquired Soviet-built ballistic missiles from Ukraine and is preparing to begin producing a new generation of nuclear submarines, officials said Friday.

Ukraine inherited the world's third-largest nuclear arsenal with the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, but later renounced nuclear weapons and transferred all its 1,300 nuclear warheads to Russia for destruction. It has also dismantled most of its Soviet-made strategic missiles with U.S. financial assistance, but reportedly retained about 30 of the SS-19 missiles.

The Ukrainian government decided in October to sell its SS-19s to Russia, and Russia's Interfax-Military News Agency reported Friday that the transfer had been completed.

Killings go on in Congo despite French-led force NAIROBI, Kenya - Nighttime killings, rapes and abductions have gripped the capital of a volatile region in northeastern Congo despite the deployment of a French-led emergency force in the town, an international aid group said Friday.

The military force began arriving in Bunia on June 6 to stem fighting between rival tribal factions that killed hundreds of people.

But the force "so far has only offered an illusion of protection" for the residents in Bunia, said Hilary Bower, an official with Medecins sans Frontieres.

"Despite the force deployment, war is always close by. At night the fighters enter certain neighborhoods to loot, kill and terrorize civilians. And the ideologues of hate continue to spread their message calling for killings," the group, known in English as Doctors Without Borders, said in a report released Friday.

The French-led emergency force has 1,100 troops in Bunia, the capital of troubled Ituri province, and has forced tribal fighters in the town to either give up their weapons or leave.

Northern Japan hit by 2 earthquakes TOKYO - Two strong earthquakes shook northern Japan on Saturday, leaving at least 246 people with mostly minor injuries. Officials said area rail traffic was halted, power was cut to tens of thousands of homes and dozens of houses were damaged.

The costliest quake struck shortly after dawn, shaking Miyagi state, about 190 miles northeast of Tokyo, the Meteorological Agency said. The magnitude-6.2 quake was followed by smaller aftershocks.

So far, 246 people were treated at local hospitals for minor injuries, including 17 from an earlier quake, mostly cuts and bruises, Miyagi state police spokesman Kazuo Horie said. Two people were hospitalized with head injuries.

NHK showed houses with roofs partly collapsed and others with pieces of walls shorn off.

A two-story house collapsed, crushing a car parked inside its garage. About 120 houses were damaged, including 50 in the town of Nango, police said.

Roads were blocked and bridges cracked. Part of a dike along a river that runs through the town of Kashimadai collapsed, posing a danger of possible flooding in the area, Miyagi prefectural official Kazuo Horie said.

About 130 residents in the nearby town of Naruse were evacuated, local official Yukichi Onuma said. Two people were rescued from a collapsed house, police said. About 500 residents in neighboring towns voluntarily evacuated to elementary schools, community halls and other facilities, NHK said.

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