- - Sunday, December 9, 2012

OSLO — European leaders arriving in Norway to receive the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize said the EU needs more integration and authority to solve problems, including the bloc’s financial crisis.

Conceding that the European Union lacked sufficient powers to stop the Bosnia war in the 1990s, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Sunday it is “one of the most powerful arguments for a stronger European Union.”

Mr. Barroso was in Oslo with EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and the president of the EU Parliament, Martin Schulz, to receive this year’s award, granted to the European Union for fostering peace on a continent ravaged by war.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Lower house approves medical marijuana

PRAGUE — The lower house of Parliament has approved legislation that makes it legal in the Czech Republic to use marijuana for medical treatment.

The bill still needs to be approved by Parliament’s upper house.

The lawmakers agreed that marijuana would be imported and later grown locally by registered firms licensed for such activity, which currently is illegal.

Patients will need a prescription from a doctor to get the drug at pharmacies, and treatment will not be covered by health insurance. Patients would not be allowed to grow marijuana at home.

Medical marijuana use is legal in several European countries and parts of the United States. The drug is commonly used to relieve conditions such as chronic pain and cancer.

RUSSIA

Russia threatens response to U.S. trade bill

MOSCOW — Moscow has strongly criticized U.S. legislation that calls for sanctions against Russian officials accused of human rights abuses and warned that it will respond in kind.

A leading anti-corruption crusader, however, hailed the bill as “pro-Russian.”

The legislation is primarily intended to end Cold War-era trade restrictions and was hailed by U.S. businesses worried about falling behind in the race to win shares of Russia’s more open market, but its human rights part has outraged President Vladimir Putin’s government.

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