Sun, Jul 11, 2004 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

PHOTO: AP

■ Britain
Blair almost resigned

Prime Minister Tony Blair came close to resigning last month and four senior Cabinet ministers inter-vened to persuade him -not to do so, the BBC said yesterday. The BBC named the four officials as Charles Clarke, John Reid, Tessa Jowell and Patricia Hewitt, respectively in charge of education, health, culture and trade and industry. It said the four had separately approached Blair because he was "seriously reviewing" his future after suffering a massive loss in popularity due to his decision to take Britain into the war in Iraq. A spokesman from Blair's office reacted to the BBC report by saying that Blair had always said he would lead the Labour Party into the next general election, expected next year.

■ United Nations

Bosnia mandate extended

The UN Security Council extended the mandate of a NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia for a final six months Friday, in anticipa-tion of the EU taking over its mission by the end of this year. The resolution adopted unanimously by the council authorizes the multinational stabilization force to con-tinue providing security through the end of Decem-ber. The international community has paid for and supervised Bosnia's recovery since the end of a 1992 to 1995 war that gave rise to the term "ethnic cleansing."

■ Spain

Two gored in bull run

Two people, both Spanish, were injured yesterday on the fourth day of the annual running of the bulls festival in Pamplona, medical officials said. The stampede, which lasted just two minutes and 55 seconds, was made even more dan-gerous by the rain which had fallen at dawn and the large number of people taking part. Both the casualties were gored. The nine-day San Fermin fiesta features bullfighting, concerts and the daily run by crowds ahead of the bulls. The ritual has killed 14 people since 1911.

■ Britain

Stiffer fines sought

People who abuse animals face being fined thousands of pounds and a year in jail under tough new laws to be outlined next week, The Times said yesterday. Inspectors working for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals would be given powers to enter premises by force to rescue animals at risk of harm if the tough new laws are passed, the newspaper said. People found guilty of animal mistreatment could be fined up to £20,000 pounds (US$ 37,000), four times the current maximum penalty, the paper said. The proposed legislation would offer protection to creatures including insects, slugs, worms, caterpillars and butterflies. Animal abusers currently face a maximum six months in prison.

■ Italy

Activists indicted

A judge indicted 13 anti-globalization activists on Friday on charges stemming from violent 2001 protests in Genoa and Naples. The 13 are accused of forming an illegal subversive network that aimed to disrupt the government and interna-tional forums. The suspects said authorities were trying to crush an innocent protest movement.

■ China
Two jailed for eating tiger

A Chinese court has sentenced two men to prison for killing a Siberian tiger, a highly endangered species living in the country's northeast, an official newspaper reported on Friday. Zhang Lichen was sentenced to nine years and Gong Weisheng to five years, the Shanghai Daily reported. It said the tiger was caught in a trap set by the two men in the mountains near their village in Heilongjiang Province early last year. The pair waited for six days until the tiger died, then butchered it and ate the meat, the report said. Only about 500 Siberian tigers are believed to remain in the wild in the forests of northeastern China and eastern Russia, according to the World Wildlife Federation.

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