- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Germany considers stricter gun curbs

BERLIN Germany took steps yesterday to tighten gun laws after 17 persons died in a school massacre last week, but weapons experts said they doubted legal restrictions would prevent the possibility of another blood bath.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called for a meeting of the country's 16 state premiers on Monday in Berlin to discuss a further clampdown on gun owners in response to Friday's slaying in the eastern town of Erfurt by a teen-age student.

Leaders from the main political parties said the legal age to obtain a gun license should be raised from 18 to 21.

Mugabe acknowledges looming food crisis

HARARE, Zimbabwe Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe declared a nationwide "state of disaster" yesterday as a food crisis, blamed on drought and the government's seizure of white-owned farms, threatened thousands with starvation.

It was the government's most candid assessment to date of the crisis after months of warnings from local and foreign aid agencies about the country once known as the region's bread basket.

The global response to aid appeals has been slow because of Zimbabwe's poor human rights record, the government's seizures of white-owned commercial farms and Mr. Mugabe's disputed victory in a March presidential election.

Russian editor killed in gangland slaying

MOSCOW The editor of a local newspaper that has published a string of articles denouncing corruption has been shot dead, Russian media said yesterday.

Police found Valery Ivanov, 32, editor in chief of the Tolyattinskoye Obozreniye in the Volga town of Togliatti and head of the private television channel Lada-TV, dead in his car outside his house late Monday night, the media said.

Local journalists said they believed the slaying of Mr. Ivanov was linked to a series of articles his paper had run on official corruption and criminal gang activity.

Tehran slams Rice comments

TEHRAN Iran yesterday rejected charges by the United States that it supported terrorism and accused Washington of meddling in its internal affairs.

U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in public remarks Monday said Iran's purported support for terrorism and its efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction placed it "squarely in the axis of evil."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Iran's foreign policy "revolves around a desire for world peace and stability."

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