Kyoto Treaty Ratified

By Russia's Parliament

MOSCOW -- The Kyoto Protocol on global warming overcame its final legislative hurdle in Russia when the upper house of parliament ratified the pact Wednesday and sent it to President Vladimir Putin for his signature, setting the stage for the agreement to come into force next year.

The Kremlin has given no indication of when Putin will sign the pact, which seeks to slow global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Russia's adoption is the final step needed among major industrial countries for the pact to take effect. It will apply only to nations that ratify it. The United States, which in 1990 accounted for 36 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, has rejected the treaty, saying it would harm the U.S. economy and favors developing nations such as China and India that are big polluters.

Putin vowed in May to speed up ratification in return for the European Union's support of Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization.


* DUBLIN -- The city of Cork and several towns were severely flooded as the strongest Atlantic storm this year arrived with heavy rain and gusts of more than 70 mph. No deaths or injuries were reported.

The River Lee burst its banks and flooded the main roads in Ireland's second-largest city with up to 91/2 feet of water. Records indicated it was the worst such flood since 1962.

The surging tide caught shop workers and commuters by surprise. Beer kegs bobbed from pub cellars as shop owners scrambled in vain to erect barriers.

* BUDAPEST -- Hungary banned the sale of paprika, its signature spice, and told people not to use whatever supplies they had at home after more than a pinch of moldy toxin was found in products sold by three companies.

The ban will last until tests determine how much paprika has been affected by aflatoxin, which is produced by mold, Health Minister Jeno Racz said.

Aflatoxin could be dangerous to people if they consume more than a pound of paprika a week, Racz said. The average Hungarian consumes about that much in a year.


* PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Police raided a building in a slum of Haiti's capital and killed at least 10 people, most of them students, a human rights lawyer said. The raid came on the second day of an ineffective strike called by loyalists who want the return of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The lawyer, Judy Delacruz, said she saw trails of blood where neighbors told her police had dragged the bodies of those killed along an alley in the Fort National neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.

The accounts, denied by police, came as 200 Spanish marines arrived in northern Haiti to reinforce a U.N. peacekeeping mission struggling to stop killings and stem widespread unrest.


* SRINAGAR, India -- Shops and businesses were shut and traffic was light in many parts of the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir as separatists called a strike to mark the 57th anniversary of the start of New Delhi's rule over the region.

The strike came two days after Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, made fresh proposals to end the decades-old dispute with nuclear-armed rival India over the Himalayan region.

India, meanwhile, tested a naval version of its short-range nuclear-capable Prithvi missile on Wednesday, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.


* DASS, Nigeria -- Attorneys for a pregnant 18-year-old woman sentenced to death by stoning on a charge of adultery asked an Islamic court in northern Nigeria to overturn the verdict, saying she was never married.

The man she says impregnated her was freed for lack of evidence.

-- From News Services