- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Conductor boycott sought by Israel
JERUSALEM — An Israeli parliamentary committee yesterday urged the country's cultural bodies to boycott world-renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim for performing music by Richard Wagner.
Mr. Barenboim, a Jew who was born in Argentina but grew up in Israel, conducted a piece by Wagner with the prestigious Berlin Staatskapelle at the Israel Festival on July 7.
Wagner's music is unofficially banned in Israel because the 19th-century German composer was Hitler's favorite.

'Stupid' tourists befriend killer sharks
ADELAIDE, Australia — Australia may change laws "to protect people too stupid to protect themselves" after sightseers clambered on a floating dead whale and patted great white sharks eating the carcass, a senior official said yesterday.
South Australian state Environment Minister Iain Evans said he will ask his department to consider regulations preventing people from coming within 109 yards of a dead whale. At present, the law keeps people that distance only from a live whale.
Mr. Evans said he was shocked at the disregard the tourists showed for their own safety when they were caught on film this week patting the sharks near Cape Jervis, 60 miles south of Adelaide.

Whaling nations block sanctuary effort
LONDON — Efforts to create whale sanctuaries in southern parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans failed yesterday, as Japan and its pro-whaling allies defeated nations worried about protecting whale populations.
Japan and the others have been pushing for an end to the 15-year ban on commercial whaling, and advocates of the sanctuaries argued at the International Whaling Commission conference that they would have provided needed protection should the ban ever be lifted.
Pro-whaling countries — Japan, Norway, Iceland and their allies in the Caribbean and other poor areas — said sanctuaries are unnecessary.

Chile quake kills one, injures three
SANTIAGO, Chile — A strong earthquake rocked northern Chile early yesterday, killing one person and leaving three injured in remote Andean villages, authorities said.
The tremor just after midnight had a preliminary magnitude of 6.5, the government's Emergency Office said.
Hours later, another tremor shook central Chile, including the capital city of 5.3 million people, causing no injuries or damage.

Mandela begins cancer treatment
JOHANNESBURG — Former South African President Nelson Mandela has prostate cancer and was to begin seven weeks of radiotherapy yesterday, his doctor said.
His spokeswoman, Zelda la Grange, announced earlier that Mr. Mandela, 83, had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, adding in a statement: "The cancer is not of a high grade and should not decrease Mr Mandela's life span."
Mr. Mandela's urologist, Dr. Louis Gecelter, said Mr. Mandela would visit a clinic once a day for seven weeks of 10- to 15-minute treatment sessions on newly imported and state-of-the-art equipment.

Mugabe defends land seizures
HARARE, Zimbabwe — President Robert Mugabe said yesterday that his campaign to seize private, mostly white-owned land was a crusade to empower blacks across Africa.
In an address to Parliament, Mr. Mugabe described the government's land seizures as "our last struggle for the decolonization of our country and our continent."
The seizure plan has been declared illegal by the nation's courts and has led many Western countries and groups to freeze aid and loans to Zimbabwe.
Since March 2000, ruling party militants have illegally occupied 1,700 white-owned farms, demanding they be confiscated and given to landless blacks. At the same time, the government has targeted more than 4,500 properties for confiscation without compensation.

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