- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Head of state eats raw seal

RANKIN INLET | Canada’s governor general ate a slaughtered seal’s raw heart in a show of support to the country’s seal hunters, a display that a European Union spokeswoman on Tuesday called “too bizarre to acknowledge.”

Governor General Michaelle Jean, the representative of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as Canada’s head of state, gutted the seal and swallowed a slice of the mammal’s organ late Monday after an EU vote earlier this month to impose a ban on seal products on grounds that the seal hunt is cruel.

Hundreds of Inuit at a community festival gathered Monday as Ms. Jean knelt above a pair of seal carcasses and used a traditional ulu blade to slice the meat off the skin. “It’s like sushi. … And it’s very rich in protein,” she said.


Drug hit men kill crime reporter

DURANGO | Suspected drug hit men kidnapped and killed a Mexican crime reporter in the northern state of Durango, the second killing of a journalist this month in an area that has become a new battleground for drug cartels, the state attorney general’s office said Tuesday.

Armed, hooded men burst into the home of Eliseo Barron, a police reporter for national daily newspaper Milenio, and abducted him Monday night in the northwestern town of Gomez Palacio.

“His body was found naked and with bullet wounds in an irrigation ditch [on Tuesday],” the state’s deputy attorney general, Noel Diaz, told reporters in the state capital Durango.

It was not clear why Mr. Barron was targeted.


Catholic order increases victim payments

DUBLIN | Ireland’s Catholic order of Christian Brothers, reeling from a report cataloging decades of rapes and beatings of children by priests, bowed to pressure on Tuesday and said it would review compensation to victims.

Irish religious orders had previously refused to renegotiate a deal for victims despite pressure from church leaders and politicians after last week’s report into abuse at institutions the orders ran between the 1930s and the 1990s.

“The Christian Brothers accept, with shame, the findings of the commission to inquire into child abuse,” it said. “The congregation is deeply sorry for the hurt we have caused.”

Religious orders’ total contribution to a fund for thousands of victims that is expected to top $1.4 billion was capped at about $175 million under a 2002 agreement.


Fake lottery scams Americans

KINGSTON | Americans sent more than $30 million to this Caribbean island last year to claim winnings in a Jamaican lottery. The trouble is there was no such contest.

Scam artists are making Jamaica a new center for internationally known lottery schemes, aiding a network of violent gangs that authorities say are putting the money into drug and gun trafficking.

The scams were made famous by criminals in Nigeria: A caller says you have won millions in an overseas lottery, but he wants you to wire a few hundred dollars to cover the taxes. Payments only lead to other requests for money. As victims try to recover losses, scammers even pose as police and say they need cash to aid the investigation.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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