- The Washington Times - Monday, January 5, 2004


Slaughter ordered of SARS-linked cats

BEIJING — China today ordered some 10,000 civet cats in wildlife markets killed in its southern province of Guangdong after genetic tests suggested a link to a suspected SARS case.

All wildlife markets in Guangdong were ordered to close, Feng Liuxiang, deputy director of the province’s health department, said on national television. Civets are served in wild game restaurants in Guangdong.

The announcement came after researchers at Hong Kong University said they found similarities between a virus found in the cats and in a suspected SARS patient in Guangdong, suggesting the disease might have jumped from animals.

“We will take resolute measures to close all the wildlife markets in Guangdong and to kill the civet cats,” Mr. Feng said on the national noon newscast of China Central Television.

CCTV said there were believed to be about 10,000 civet cats being held for sale in Guangdong wildlife markets.


Two more outposts ordered closed

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon issued an order yesterday to dismantle two West Bank settlement outposts — one of them populated — in a step toward fulfilling Israel’s commitment under the “road map” peace plan.

Under the U.S.-backed plan, Israel must dismantle scores of the unauthorized outposts, but Mr. Sharon, a longtime settler ally, has been slow to comply.

The government last week ordered the removal of four outposts. Settlers appealed the orders, and none has been removed.


Pro-Western lawyer swept into office

TBILISI — U.S.-educated lawyer Mikhail Saakashvili claimed a crushing win in Georgia’s presidential vote yesterday, vowing to return his ravaged country to peace and prosperity.

He said his first moves after setting up a Cabinet would be to push for closer integration with Europe and the United States, and to launch a drive to eradicate rampant corruption.

“This is your victory,” the 36-year-old told supporters after an independent exit poll showed that he had won 85.8 percent of the vote. Mr. Saakashvili had led peaceful protests to oust President Eduard Shevardnadze after charges of a rigged parliamentary poll in November.


Princess Anne’s dog faces pet analyst

LONDON — Princess Anne will send her dog to an animal psychologist to avoid having it euthanized after it attacked a royal maid and fatally mauled one of Queen Elizabeth II’s beloved corgis, the London Sunday Telegraph reported.

Psychologist Roger Mugford said he expected to begin work with Florence the English bull terrier next week.

“We are not talking about an inherently aggressive or dangerous dog,” Mr. Mugford was quoted as saying. “I am sure it is just a dog who is feeling a bit out of sorts about something, perhaps pain or old age, and is feeling a bit cranky on the day.”

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