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Archive for Monday, April 14, 2003

Briefly

April 14, 2003

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Canada: Scientists find code for SARS

Canadian scientists say they have deciphered the genetic code of the virus that causes a mysterious new respiratory infection that has sparked an international health emergency.

Researchers at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Center in British Columbia said they were immediately making the information available on the Internet to help scientists around the world use the data to fight the epidemic.

The genetic blueprint of the virus, known as a coronavirus, should be crucial for scientists for a number of reasons. Most immediately, the genome should speed the development of more accurate tests for the disease, known as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

New York City: Bouncer fatally stabbed in brawl over smoking ban

A bouncer at a Manhattan nightclub died Sunday after he was stabbed in a brawl that police said began when he tried to enforce the city's new ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.

Dana Blake, 32, died about 11 hours after the late-night fight in an East Village nightclub.

Police arrested two brothers, Johnathan and Ching Chan, shortly after the fight and charged them with assault.

Prosecutors had not decided Sunday whether to upgrade the charges because of Blake's death.

Ireland: IRA makes peace overture

The Irish Republican Army delivered a confidential statement to the British and Irish prime ministers Sunday that lays out its conditions for resuming talks on disarming.

In a message to journalists in Dublin via Sinn Fein, the outlawed group said the statement outlined its current level of activity and its future intentions.

The statement was apparently designed to persuade Prime Ministers Tony Blair of Britain and Bertie Ahern of Ireland to make public their own wider plans for peace.

The governments in London and Dublin offered no immediate indication whether the IRA statement met their key demand -- a pledge to cease all hostile activities.

Montreal: Quebec voters to decide on keeping separatist party

Voters will choose a new government today for Quebec, with the party that was created to make the French-speaking province independent from Canada in danger of losing power.

Premier Bernard Landry's governing party and his Parti Quebecois seek a third straight term, and face a strong challenge from the Quebec Liberal Party headed by Jean Charest.

A Liberal victory would signal the continued calming of separatist sentiment in a province where 80 percent of the people speak French.

After two divisive referendums on breaking away from Canada, including the 1995 vote that failed by less than a percentage point, Quebecers have indicated they are tired of endless talk about the goal for which the Parti Quebecois was created.

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