MINES DELAY AID

It's one of the trickiest, most dangerous jobs in a battlezone -- clearing mines from coastal waters. And right now, it's keeping food and medicine from flowing through the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr.UPI reports that over the last 96 hours, coalition mine-hunters have been trying to map a safe channel through the waters to Umm Qasr. But they're finding a lot of "possible mine contacts" -- objects that may or may not be mines. So they're having to go through the nerve-wracking process of placing mine disposal charges next to these "contacts" and exploding them.For the moment, there's no high-tech way to do this. Divers have to place the charges by hand -- although sometimes they'll get an assist from a dolphin. The Navy is working on drones that could handle the job; but they're not going to be ready for this war.THERE'S MORE: There have been major problems distributing aid by land, as well. "Tens of thousands of prepared meals and ration kits of rice, oil, sugar and cereals destined for farms just north of the Iraqi border, had instead been hijacked soon after leaving Kuwait," the BBC reports.AND MORE: The British aid ship Sir Galahad has finally landed in Umm Qasr with its cargo of humanitarian supplies.

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