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World Briefing

November 25, 2009


Two executed in baby formula case

China executed a dairy farmer and a milk salesman for their roles in the sale of contaminated baby formula -- severe punishment that Beijing hopes will assuage public anger.

The men were the only people put to death for a scheme to boost profits by lacing milk powder with the industrial chemical melamine; 19 other people were convicted and received lesser sentences. At least six children died after drinking the adulterated formula, and more than 300,000 were sickened.

Zhang Yujun, the farmer, was executed for endangering public safety, and Geng Jinping for producing and selling toxic food, the New China News Agency said.


Election delay is likely; veto looms

A senior official said Iraq must delay a national vote scheduled for January because of a political dispute, and the vice president who triggered the crisis indicated that he would veto a key election law for a second time.

"It is impossible to hold the elections in January from the legal and logistical point of view," said Qassim Aboudi, a top official on the Independent High Electoral Commission.

Vice President Tariq Hashimi, a Sunni Arab, had vetoed the law because he wanted more seats for Iraqis abroad, most of whom are Sunnis. Iraq's parliament amended the law Monday, but lawmakers from the Sunni Arab minority skipped the vote, saying Kurds stood to gain seats at their expense.


Two Congolese accused in court

Two Congolese militia leaders sent child soldiers and other fighters to wipe out a village in a revenge attack that left more than 200 men, women and children dead, a prosecutor told judges at the International Criminal Court.

The two alleged commanders, Germain Katanga, 31, and Mathieu Ngudjolo, 39, have pleaded not guilty.

-- times wire reports

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