- - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

RUSSIA

Medvedev bans sale of missiles to Iran

MOSCOW | Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a decree Wednesday banning all sales of S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran.

Russia signed a 2007 contract to sell the sophisticated systems that could boost Iran’s ability to defend against airstrikes. Israel and the United States have objected to the deal, and no such missiles have been delivered yet.

Mr. Medvedev’s decree also prohibited exports of tanks, aircraft and sea vessels to Iran.

The S-300 is capable of shooting down aircraft and missiles at ranges of more than 90 miles and at altitudes of about 90,000 feet.

The United States and Israel opposed the sale because the weapons likely would be used to protect Iranian nuclear facilities.

CANADA

Government loses bid to ease gun laws

OTTAWA | Canada’s minority Conservative government narrowly lost its bid Wednesday to relax the country’s gun-control laws, an issue that is likely to feature heavily in an election campaign expected within the next year.

The House of Commons voted 153-151 to retain a national registry of rifles and shotguns the government says is a waste of money and penalizes law-abiding hunters and farmers. The Conservatives enjoy significant support among rural voters.

“The people of the regions of this country are never going to accept being treated like criminals, and we will continue our efforts until this registry is finally abolished,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters after the vote.

Opposition parliamentarians, most of whom backed the registry, say it helps curb crime.

The program was set up in 1995 in the wake of a 1989 massacre in Montreal, when a gunman with a rifle killed 14 women at a college.

ISRAEL

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