Archive for Friday, July 27, 2001

World briefs

July 27, 2001

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Peru

Barrier bulldozed at Japan's embassy

Peruvian authorities used a bulldozer Thursday to knock down concrete security barriers around the Japanese embassy, while protesters chanted demands for Japan to return ex-President Alberto Fujimori to face charges in Peru.

An official denied the demolition was an expression of anti-Japanese sentiment.

Francisca Izquierdo, mayor of Jesus Maria, the municipal district in Lima where Japan's embassy is located, said the embassy never obtained permission to erect the slabs in 1993 and that for years residents had complained the barriers obstructed the sidewalk.

Fujimori fled in November to his parents' native Japan, where he was granted citizenship as corruption scandals ended his 10-year rule.

Japan, which has no extradition treaty with Peru, has said it has no intention of returning Fujimori to face charges of dereliction of duty and abandonment of office.

Tokyo

Japan claims whales eat too much fish

This is Japan's latest argument for resuming its whale hunt: Whales eat too much.

As part of its effort to resume commercial whaling and justify its annual catch of about 500 whales for "research," Japan now argues that whales consume more than their share of fish fish that should be eaten by humans.

"Whales are increasing as fish stocks decline!" trumpets the headline of a half-page advertisement taken out in domestic and international newspapers by a government pro-whaling institute. "Whales are threatening our fisheries."

Japan has been trying to lift the international ban on whaling imposed in 1986 and rescue what used to be a thriving industry. This week, its delegates went to the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission to press its case again.

Spain

Archaeologists find Neanderthal cooking pit

Archaeologists working at one of Europe's most fruitful dig sites said they'd found evidence of a 200,000-year-old barbecue pit where ancestors of Neanderthal Man used fire to roast deer.

Traces of carbon and carbonized bones of deer and other animals were found this month at the Atapuerca site in northern Spain, an archaeological treasure trove under study since the 1970s.

The cooking pit provides the oldest known evidence of fire being used on the Iberian peninsula and should help scientists understand how use of fire spread through prehistoric societies, scientists said.

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