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TO FIGHT MAD COW DISEASE, SMALLER HERDS ARE URGED

The EU Commission proposed new measures Tuesday to counter the mad cow crisis, urging a move away from so-called industrial farms, where animals are packed into crowded warehouses and fed mass-produced feed.

EU Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler called for increased support for organic agriculture and said certain subsidies should be available only to herds that contain 90 head of cattle or fewer.

The mad cow crisis "demonstrates the need for a return to farming methods that are more in tune with the environment," Fischler said.

Feed containing bone meal and other animal byproducts has been blamed for spreading bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease.

Farmers, meanwhile, took to the streets to call for more financial aid to counter the crisis.

Hard-liners renew calls for killing author Rushdie

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Hard-line groups have renewed calls for the killing of British author Salman Rushdie, saying the United States, where the Indian-born novelist now lives, is a better place to do it.

Iran's late revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa -- or Islamic edict -- against Rushdie on Feb. 14, 1989. He ordered Muslims to kill the Indian-born author because he had allegedly insulted Islam in his best-selling novel "The Satanic Verses."

The fatwa sent Rushdie into hiding, under police protection.

In 1998, the Iranian government ended its endorsement of the Khomeini edict. But it could not rescind it, because according to Islamic law only the person who issued the decree can revoke it. Khomeini died of cancer in June 1989.

All Iranian newspapers ignored the anniversary of the edict in their Tuesday editions except the hard-line daily Jomhuri Islami.

The daily said in an editorial that Rushdie's move to the United States would make his killing easier, saying his new location offered "more possibilities of executing this traitor in America."

Anonymous accusations get attention of KGB successor

MOSCOW (AP) -- The successor to the KGB has restored the Soviet-era practice of acting on anonymous criminal accusations, and Russian human rights advocates warned Tuesday that thousands could be put behind bars on the strength of a quiet tip by their foes.

Under new instructions by the chief of Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB, Nikolai Patrushev, any letter or telephone call accusing a person of a crime can result in investigation, even if the accusers do not disclose their identity.

The policy revives grim memories of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's era, when anonymous complaints were a favored way of getting rid of an adversary. Millions were imprisoned for crimes they never committed, after their neighbors, co-workers or even relatives contacted the KGB.

Under reformist Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, police and security agencies were banned from reviewing anonymous accusations. The 1988 decree, approved by the then-Soviet parliament, is still in place, and human rights groups say Patrushev's instructions are illegal.

China tries Web site chief for some published articles

BEIJING (AP) -- Seeking to stamp its authority on cyberspace, China put the organizer of a Web site on trial Tuesday for publishing articles about democracy, the banned Falun Gong spiritual sect and other materials deemed subversive by prosecutors.

Huang Qi is the first Chinese Webmaster known to have been prosecuted for publishing political materials. His case underscores the government's determination to stop cyberspace from becoming a forum for opposition to the Communist Party.

Huang's half-day trial in southwest Chengdu city was closed to the public and his family, according to a court official who said no verdict or sentence would be announced until the court's findings were reported to "higher-ups."

According to a copy of the indictment posted on www.6-4tianwang.com, the Web site Huang started in 1999, prosecutors accused him of inciting the overthrow of state power and the destruction of national unity. The charges can bring a five-year jail term, or longer if judges decide the crimes were particularly serious.

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