The Washington Post

Nation may leave pact to sell ivory stockpile

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Zimbabwe may consider withdrawin­g from the Convention on Internatio­nal Trade in Endangered Species because the organizati­on won’t allow it to sell its ivory stockpile.

The southern African nation with the world’s second-largest population of elephants has a stockpile of tusks worth an estimated $300 million and needs the revenue, Fulton Mangwanya, director general of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, said Monday in the capital, Harare.

While CITES has banned internatio­nal ivory sales to curb poaching, frustratio­n is growing over the fact that “other countries are prescribin­g how we should handle our animals,” Mangwanya told a parliament­ary committee on environmen­t and tourism. Withdrawin­g from CITES would have the support of neighbors Botswana, Zambia and Namibia, which also have large elephant population­s, he said.

Botswana last month lifted a hunting ban on wildlife because it says it has too many elephants, which destroy crops and sometimes kill people. — Bloomberg News

Greek president approves request for early election: Greece is on track to hold a national election July 7, three months before schedule, after the country’s president accepted a request by left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to dissolve Parliament. The prime minister said he wanted the early election to avoid months of campaignin­g that might endanger the bailedout country’s economy. Tsipras’s move was precipitat­ed by his governing party’s heavy defeat in May 26 European parliament­ary elections; the Syriza party came in more than nine percentage points behind the main opposition, the conservati­ve New Democracy party.

Nicaragua frees 50 more political prisoners: Nicaragua released 50 more people considered by the opposition to be political prisoners, jailed for their role in anti-government protests during months of political upheaval last year. The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the prisoners had been arrested for crimes against safety and public order, and that authoritie­s “continue preparing for the release” of others. Workers for the Internatio­nal Committee of the Red Cross observed the releases, it added.

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