Fri, Feb 01, 2008 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Protester Michael Klisk, right, of Honolulu, demonstrates during the climate change conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Wednesday.



Harper warns of pullout

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has notified US President George W. Bush that Canada will end its military mission in Afghanistan if another NATO country does not put more soldiers in the dangerous south, officials said. Harper spokeswoman Sandra Buckler said Harper talked to Bush on Wednesday about a report by an independent panel, which recommended last week that Canada continue its mission only if another NATO country musters 1,000 troops for Kandahar. Harper's Conservative government is under pressure to withdraw its 2,500 troops from Kandahar Province, the former Taliban stronghold, after the deaths of 78 Canadian soldiers and a diplomat.


Teen forced into prostitution

A police detective and a woman forced a 13-year-old runaway to work as a prostitute at parties around the city, telling her that if she tried to escape the officer would make her sell herself on the streets, prosecutors said. Wayne Taylor, 35, and Zelika Brown, 29, were arrested on charges of kidnapping, promoting prostitution, assault and endangering the welfare of a child, the Queens district attorney's office said Wednesday. Taylor, a 14-year New York Police Department member assigned to the housing bureau, was suspended without pay, the department said. Both he and Brown pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.


Thousands of bats dying off

Bats are dying off by the thousands as they hibernate in caves and mines around New York and Vermont, sending researchers scrambling to find the cause of a mysterious condition dubbed "white nose syndrome." The ailment -- named for the white circle of fungus found around the noses of affected bats -- was first noticed last January in four caves west of Albany. It has now spread to eight hibernation sites in the state and another in Vermont. Alan Hicks, a bat specialist with New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, called the quick-spreading disorder the "gravest threat" to bats he had ever seen.


Nurse admits to trafficking

A nurse admitted he cut body parts from 244 corpses and helped forge paperwork so the parts, some of them diseased, could be used in unsuspecting patients. Authorities say nurse Lee Cruceta was the lead cutter in a group that trafficked in more than 1,000 stolen body parts for the lucrative transplant market. Among the bodies looted was that of "Masterpiece Theater" host Alistair Cooke, who died in 2004. Cooke's daughter and relatives of the other deceased people say they never authorized any donations. Cruceta pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy, taking part in a corrupt organization, abuse of a corpse and 244 counts each of theft and forgery.


Madonna still top of the pops

Pop star Madonna is still the material girl, earning US$72 million in a recent 12-month period to top a list of female singers whom the financial Web site dubbed "Cash Queens of Music." Madonna, who rose to recording superstardom in the 1980s as the "Material Girl" after her hit song of that name, beat out Barbra Streisand, who was No. 2 with annual earnings of US$60 million, and Celine Dion at US$45 million, according to


Observers issue warning

European election observers warned on Wednesday that they might once again refuse to take part in a Russian election, saying the government was still imposing unacceptable restrictions on their work. The observers, from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said the Russians would not allow them into the country until a few days before the presidential election, on March 2, making it impossible for them to assess the campaign. A spokesman for the observers said that the mission had asked officials this week to reconsider and let monitoring begin sooner, and that if the Russians did not agree, the mission would be canceled.

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