Fri, Jan 30, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ United Kingdom

Cannabis laws downgraded

Britain relaxed its laws against cannabis yesterday, but warned the country's estimated 3.5 million users that it remained illegal and possession of even a small amount could still lead to arrest. The downgrade puts cannabis in the same "lower risk" C category as tranquillizers and anabolic steroids. The new law means an adult aged over 17 caught smoking or in possession of a small amount of cannabis will be stopped and searched, but not necessarily arrested or fined. The maximum penalty for possession was lowered to two years from five. Penalties for growing and dealing in marijuana have been toughened to a maximum 14 years in prison.

■ United States

Woman dies twice in Volvo

Nearly an hour and a half after rescuers declared an 88-year-old woman dead inside a burning car, investigators realized she was still breathing. Officials are reviewing the Wednesday morning incident to figure out what went wrong in determining the condition of Barbara Clark, who died later that day. Clark and her 87-year-old husband, John Clark, were found beside the road in their burning 1994 Volvo 850 about 4:20am. Firefighters found no vital signs and declared the couple dead about 4:40am, but crime-scene investigators noticed Barbara Clark was still breathing about 6am. Rescuers began first aid, but she died 12 minutes later.

■ United States

Inmate stuck in jail window

An inmate who was stuck for four hours with his head and one shoulder through a cell window has been charged with felony escape. Robert Anthony Hill, 25, used a metal shelf to smash through the window, which was 15cm wide and 1m long, at South Central Regional Jail in Charleston, West Virginia, on Monday, authorities said. Rescuers spent four hours cutting out the window frame and several blocks to free the prisoner. He has been in jail since August on a parole violation after being charged with robbery and testing positive for drug use.

■ United States

Singer can't visit Jackson

A judge in Chicago has given R&B star R. Kelly permission to go to this year's Grammy awards ceremony in Los Angeles, but on the condition that he not associate with pop star Michael Jackson. Kelly, who is awaiting trial on charges of child pornography, has been nominated as best R&B male vocal for his Step in the Name of Love track off his Chocolate Factory album.

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