- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 27, 2005

BRITAIN

Fox hunt begins with curbs on dogs

LONDON — Hunters in scarlet coats leapt on horses and sounded brass horns yesterday as noisy packs of hounds flew at their heels, pursuing the centuries-old holiday tradition of fox hunting.

The colorful post-Christmas hunt looked the same as before, but there was a crucial difference this year — the highly trained hounds were under orders not to chase and kill the foxes.

It was the first Boxing Day hunt since Britain in February outlawed the use of dogs to kill prey, a measure that angered enthusiasts of one of the British countryside’s most ingrained traditions.

TURKEY

Five held in plot to kill governor

DIYARBAKIR — Turkish police detained five persons yesterday on suspicion of plotting to assassinate the governor of the mainly Kurdish eastern province of Van on New Year’s Eve, local security officials said.

The operation in Van city was carried out jointly by anti-terror police and intelligence units. The detainees, including two women, were suspected of plotting to assassinate Van Gov. Niyazi Tanilir and other local officials on New Year’s Eve, the sources said.

There was no word on whether the suspects belonged to any outlawed group. The separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party, blacklisted as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States, is active in the region and has attacked government targets in the past.

CHINA

Boy Lama praises Beijing’s policies

BEIJING — A Tibetan teenager chosen by China to fill one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most sacred posts emerged in China’s state-run press yesterday to praise the country’s religious policies.

The 11th Panchen Lama has led a tightly controlled and largely reclusive life since the Chinese government confirmed him in that role in 1995.

The Panchen Lama is the second most senior post in Tibet’s main Gelugpa Buddhist sect after the Dalai Lama.

Before the young boy was chosen, the Chinese government removed a successor Panchen Lama who was chosen with the approval of the Dalai Lama. That boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, now 16, and his parents remain in Chinese custody, and international human rights groups have campaigned for his release.

SPAIN

Official quits to avoid same-sex ‘marriage’

MADRID — A Spanish justice of the peace resigned yesterday, saying he found it “morally impossible” to register same-sex “weddings,” which have been legal since July.

Antonio Alonso, a justice of the peace in Pinto outside the capital, Madrid, said the law “was made for those who accepted gay marriages, while those who don’t must resign their posts.”

Mr. Alonso refused in October to “marry” a homosexual couple, and appealed to Spain’s constitutional court, which said earlier this month that civil registrars did not have the right to lodge a case on constitutional issues.

FINLAND

2 Italian teens dead as train hits dog sleigh

HELSINKI — A train hit a dog sleigh in northern Finland yesterday, killing two Italian teenagers, a Lapland rescue official said.

The 14-year-old boy and 18-year-old girl were killed instantly when the train hit their sleigh at a level crossing about 25 miles from the Arctic Circle, the regional fire chief said.

The two were part of a group of 18 Italian tourists on a dog sleigh safari in Korpikyla, about 485 miles north of the capital, Helsinki. None of the others was hurt.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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