Cancel the alert, say old warriors

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - The Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, an unlikely international alliance of ex-Cold War hawks and peace-loving doves, came together yesterday with a step-by-step plan to rid the globe of nuclear weapons.

Scientists who once built weapons of mass destruction, ex-generals who once deployed them, and retired statesmen who once contemplated their use, called on the five declared nuclear weapons states "to commit themselves unequivocally" by 1997 to the longterm goal of nuclear disarmament.

They urged the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain to take all their nuclear forces off alert immediately as a first step towards avoiding global catastrophe.