- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 30, 2007


U.S. passport rule ruins Disney trip

OTTAWA — New U.S. passport rules and a backlog at Canada’s passport office ruined a Canadian family’s planned trip to Disneyland, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.

“People lining up at 3:40 a.m. at the Edmonton passport office is simply not acceptable,” Liberal member of parliament Anita Neville said in the House of Commons.

One mother “was trying to take her family to Disneyland. ‘It is horrific,’ she said of the government’s efforts,” he said.

All travelers from Mexico, Bermuda and Canada were previously allowed to enter the United States with a simple identification document such as a driver’s license. But new stricter regulations requiring passports took effect last week.


Chief prosecutor to step down

THE HAGUE — The chief prosecutor of the U.N. war crimes tribunal confirmed yesterday she will retire in September, frustrated that two of the three men most responsible for the mayhem in the Balkans during Yugoslavia’s demise could end up going free.

Carla Del Ponte, the tribunal’s third and longest-serving chief prosecutor, will be remembered primarily for overseeing former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic’s genocide trial, which ended before a verdict could be reached after he died of a heart attack in his cell in March.

“After eight years, I have done my work. It’s time for me to go back to a normal life,” she told reporters.

She said that in the dozens of trials she has supervised — including 20 in which the defendants pleaded guilty — “I never saw one who had real remorse.”


Guarneri violin will make music again

SYDNEY — One of the world’s most precious violins, worth $7.7 million, will be played for the first time in 50 years when the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) begins its season in February.

The violin, one of only 100 built by Giuseppi Guarneri, one of the most famous violin makers in northern Italy during the 18th century, was bought by an anonymous Australian collector and permanently loaned to the orchestra, said the ACO.

The “Carrodus” was one of Guarneri’s last violins, built in 1743. Its value comes from its unusually good condition and tone, said the ACO.


Gangsters happier than police officers

SEOUL — South Korean gangsters are happier than police with their lot in life and crime does pay until they get caught, according to research reported yesterday.

Some 67 percent of gangsters described their job satisfaction level as “OK” and 12 percent described it as satisfactory or very satisfactory, the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper said.

It reported that only 56 percent of police officers, in a separate survey in 2004, had described their job as OK and 10 percent called it satisfactory or very satisfactory.

The newspaper and other media were reporting a study by the Korean Institute of Criminal Justice Policy, which surveyed 109 gang members now in custody.


Escape attempts result in beatings

DHARMSALA — Nearly three dozen Tibetans captured by Chinese troops as they tried to sneak out of their homeland were tortured with cattle prods and forced into hard labor, a teenager who identified himself as one of the former detainees said yesterday in the first account of the fate of the group.

Jamyang Samten, 15, said he was one of 75 Tibetans who were making their way over a 19,000-foot-high Himalayan pass on Sept. 30 when Chinese border guards opened fire, killing a 25-year-old Buddhist nun and another person.

The incident was filmed by a mountaineering expedition and broadcast by a Romanian television station, prompting an international outcry.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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