- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 3, 2007


Sarkozy widens lead in polls

PARIS — French conservative Nicolas Sarkozy extended his lead after a television debate with socialist rival Segolene Royal and stayed on course for victory in Sunday’s election, opinion polls showed yesterday.

A poll for the OpinionWay Institute showed that 53 percent of viewers found Mr. Sarkozy more convincing during the sometimes fiery debate, compared with 31 percent who judged Miss Royal better.

A separate survey by the same polling organization gave Mr. Sarkozy, who has come out on top in more than 100 opinion polls since the start of the year, an eight-point lead with 54 percent support, versus 46 percent for Miss Royal.


Homicide rates set back growth

MIAMI — Rising homicide rates have made the tourism-dependent Caribbean possibly the bloodiest region in the world and are severely affecting potential economic growth, the World Bank said yesterday.

Blaming most of the violent crime in countries such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago on the trafficking of Colombian cocaine to Europe and the United States, a report said the region’s homicide rate of 30 per 100,000 inhabitants a year was higher even than in troubled southern and western Africa.

The authors cited studies that indicated Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, could raise annual economic growth by 5.4 percent if it cuts its homicide rate to the same level as Costa Rica in Central America.


Iran won’t budge at nuclear talks

VIENNA — Iran’s refusal to budge on its objections to the agenda of a nuclear conference pushed the meeting closer to collapse yesterday, as diplomats said Tehran had set up hundreds more centrifuge machines to enrich uranium at an underground facility.

Iran has said it is determined to expand its disputed nuclear program and further defy U.N. demands that it freeze all preparations for enrichment, a potential pathway to nuclear arms.


Climate meeting agrees on report

BANGKOK — Climate change specialists have agreed on measures needed to combat global warming, with the report to be formally approved later today, a French delegate told Agence France-Presse.

“It is over. The report has been accepted. The formal adoption will take place in the morning,” Marc Gillet, the French delegation head, said after a marathon session of talks that finished about 4:30 a.m.

Scientists and specialists from 120 nations had gathered since Monday under the umbrella of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations’ leading body on global warming, to discuss how to tackle climate change.


Protestant group renounces violence

DUBLIN — An outlawed Northern Ireland group that committed Ireland’s deadliest terror strike renounced violence yesterday and pledged to disarm.

The Ulster Volunteer Force will formally cease involvement in all illegal activities at midnight, said the group’s elder statesman, Gusty Spence, 73, who was convicted of the UVF’s first killings in 1966.

The group killed more than 400 Catholic civilians from 1966 to 1994, the year it called an open-ended truce. It was responsible for detonating four car bombs on May 17, 1974, that killed 33 persons in Dublin and the Irish border town of Monaghan.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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