- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Government ends national gun registry

OTTAWA — Canada’s Conservative government moved yesterday to shut down a registry of shotguns and rifles that has suffered from major cost overruns since it was set up by the Liberal administration a decade ago.

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said the government would introduce legislation to scrap the registry. He also cut the registry’s budget and announced a yearlong amnesty for gun owners who had yet to register their weapons.

The Conservatives, who won power in a January election, had long promised to scrap the registry, which is particularly unpopular in rural areas where the party’s support is strong. Most handguns already are banned in Canada.


Kurds accuse Turkey of shelling

SULAIMANIYAH — The government of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region accused Turkish forces of shelling an area inside northern Iraq yesterday.

A Turkish government official dismissed the accusation as “total fabrication.”

Ankara traditionally launches a spring offensive against Kurdistan Workers Party guerrillas in southeastern Turkey, an area that borders Iraq.


Veterinarian fired in bird flu outbreak

BUCHAREST — Romania fired its chief veterinarian yesterday, accusing him of negligence for failing to prevent a series of bird flu outbreaks in the past few days.

The deadly H5N1 virus was detected over the weekend at a chicken farm 106 miles north of Bucharest and in several Transylvanian villages a month after the strain was reported to have been eradicated in the Black Sea state.

Romania, which must show the European Union by October that it can deal with food safety issues if it wants to join the bloc next year, has culled nearly 500,000 fowl and put an end to about 60 outbreaks of bird flu since the first case was detected in the Danube delta in October.


Violence death toll rises to 137

SAO PAULO — Police killed at least 22 more suspected gangsters overnight in Sao Paulo, raising to 137 the number of persons who have died in a wave of violence in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo since Friday, officials said.

At least 93 suspected criminals have been killed, he said, along with 44 policemen, prison guards, city guards or civilians. About 40 bodies of suspected gangsters were unidentified.

The organized crime gang called the First Command of the Capital, or PCC, has attacked police stations and courts and burned buses since Friday, and police have used roadblocks and special forces units to quash the uprising.


Typhoon Chanchu threatens region

HONG KONG — Typhoon Chanchu, packing 98 mph winds, veered to the east yesterday and spared Hong Kong before roaring toward mainland China’s southern coast, where local press and broadcasters reported that more than 180,000 people were evacuated.

Chanchu’s eye was picking up speed and was expected to hit Guangdong province, one of China’s biggest manufacturing centers, early today, the Hong Kong Observatory said.

Chanchu swept over the Philippines last weekend, killing 37 persons and destroying thousands of homes.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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