- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2005

ECUADOR

Branch of Citibank bombed in Guayaquil

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador — A bomb exploded early yesterday outside an office building housing a Citibank branch, blowing out windows and causing some other damage, but no injuries, police said.

The so-called Group of People’s Combatants, or GCP by its initials in Spanish, claimed responsibility for the attack. An e-mail sent to the Associated Press, claiming to be from the group, said the blast was in opposition to free-trade talks among Ecuador, Peru and Colombia with the United States.

AUSTRIA

Parties punish senator for pro-Nazi remarks

VIENNA — Austrian political parties from the right and left yesterday reached a compromise to prevent a senator who sparked a national outcry with pro-Nazi comments from becoming the president of the country’s upper house of parliament.

Leaders of the conservatives of Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel’s People’s Party and the parliamentary opposition of Social Democrats and Greens reached agreement on an amendment to the constitution to prevent Siegfried Kampl from becoming the head of the Bundesrat next month.

Mr. Kampl, who represents Carinthia, said in an interview in April that he deplored the “brutal persecution” of Austrian Nazis by the Allies’ denazification campaign after World War II.

BELGIUM

NATO agrees on Darfur airlift

BRUSSELS — NATO representatives agreed yesterday on arrangements for airlifting African peacekeepers to Sudan’s battle-scarred Darfur region, clearing a bureaucratic obstacle to the mission’s expansion.

“The expansion of this mission is an urgent requirement in order to protect the people of Darfur, and we hope to support in any way we can the African Union’s effort to expand this mission,” a senior NATO diplomat said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

CANADA

Nation urged to legalize, tax pot

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver, the West Coast Canadian city whose drug-treatment programs have drawn the wrath of U.S. officials, may press the federal government to legalize and tax marijuana, according to a published report yesterday.

Regulating marijuana as a legal substance would allow drug counselors to use the same types of programs now in place to fight alcohol abuse and tobacco smoking, according to a city proposal quoted by the Vancouver Sun.

The recommendation that Canada’s third-largest city support changes to the country’s drug laws is part of a comprehensive anti-drug strategy report scheduled to be released by Vancouver.

Parliament is reviewing legislation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, while toughening penalties for growing the drug. Possession of small amounts would be punished with a fine.


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