Poll backs assisted suicide
Voters in Zurich overwhelmingly rejected on Sunday proposed bans on assisted suicide and “suicide tourism” — foreigners traveling to the country to receive help ending their lives. Only 15.5 percent of voters in the local referendum backed a ban on assisted suicide, while nearly 22 percent supported a ban on suicide tourism, final results showed. About 200 people commit assisted suicide each year in Zurich. Assisted suicide has been allowed in Switzerland since 1941 if performed by a non-physician who has no vested interest in the death. Many terminally ill foreigners — particularly from Germany, France and Britain — travel to the country to commit suicide.
Merkel backs Europe head
Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that Europe should remain in charge of the IMF if Dominique Strauss-Kahn were to resign. Merkel stressed, however, that Strauss-Kahn should be considered innocent until US judicial authorities had ruled on charges that he had tried to rape a hotel maid in New York. “We know that in the medium term emerging countries will have a good claim to the chairmanship of the IMF and World Bank,” she told a press conference. “But in the current situation, there are good reasons to say that Europe has good candidates” to replace Strauss-Kahn at the head of the IMF, if he were to step down, she added.
Shield assurances sought
The government yesterday said it knew the proposed US missile defense shield was not aimed at its territory, but still needed legal assurances that this would remain the case in the future. Moscow formally demanded defense safeguards from Washington on May 3 after the US reached an agreement to station anti-missile interceptors in Romania. The US says that the shield is aimed at protecting Europe from missile attacks from countries such as Iran and would have no effect against the country’s vast nuclear arsenal. However, Moscow fears the shield could one day be deployed into a space-based weapon that could strike the west and south of the country. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said yesterday that the US had informed it that it had no plans to provide the security safeguards Moscow sought. “We are disappointed with Washington’s reaction,” news agencies quoted the Russian diplomat as saying.
Giuliani stumps for Fujimori
Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani is accompanying presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori on a campaign swing. The candidate told reporters in the northern city of Trujillo that she invited Giuliani to advise her on citizen security. Giuliani’s role was not clear and his office did not immediately return a call seeking comment. The former New York mayor gained a reputation as a crime-fighter as a US prosecutor in the 1980s.
Election rioting killed 800
Three days of rioting linked to last month’s presidential elections left at least 800 people dead, Human Rights Watch said yesterday. “Deadly election-related and communal violence in northern Nigeria following the April 2011 presidential voting left more than 800 people dead ... The victims were killed in three days of rioting in 12 northern states,” the New York-based rights watchdog said in a statement.