Archive for Thursday, August 31, 2000

World Briefs

August 31, 2000



Global warming threat reported

Global warming could fundamentally transform a third of the world's plant and animal habitats by the end of this century, threatening many species with rapid extinction, an international conservation organization warned Wednesday.

In a new report, researchers for the World Wide Fund for Nature known as the World Wildlife Fund in the United States and Canada singled out the Arctic and northern latitudes as the most vulnerable to the changing climate. They estimated 20 percent of the species there could die out due to shrinking habitat.

Many scientists believe that high concentrations of CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gases trap the sun's heat in the atmosphere, driving up temperatures and changing weather patterns.


Neo-Nazis sentenced for immigrant's murder

Three neo-Nazis were convicted of murder Wednesday for beating a Mozambican man to death in the eastern German city of Dessau.

The judge said he concluded that the three attacked Alberto Adriano, a 39-year-old meatpacker who had lived in Germany for 12 years, solely because he was black. "It was the latest in the long chain of attacks to which we must put an end," Judge Albrecht Hennig said in Halle.

The attack June 11 attracted international attention to a series of xenophobic incidents in Germany this summer and prompted the government to commit a top federal prosecutor to the case.

Hennig sentenced Enrico Hilprecht, 24, to life in prison, the maximum penalty. Christian Richter and Frank Miethbauer, both 16, received nine-year sentences a year less than the toughest terms for juveniles under German law.


Peasant farmers riot over high taxes, fees

Local officials confirmed Wednesday that tens of thousands of farmers in the southern Chinese province of Jiangxi rioted earlier this month in a protest against government fees and taxes, attacking government buildings and looting the homes of government officials.

The small rebellion pitted farmers armed with sticks and tools against security forces from the People's Armed Police. Uprisings and riots have become common in China's cities and countryside as workers and farmers come face to face with a slowing economy and a government that is trying to cut more taxes and fees from a shrinking economic pie. Corruption, rampant in many parts of China, also plays a role as many local officials use the tax money like a private bank account.

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