7 nations face sanctions

Seven nations may lose their ability to legally trade tens of thousands of wildlife species after U.N. conservation delegates agreed Thursday to penalize them for lacking tough regulations or failing to report on their wildlife trade. The suspensions against the seven nations — Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Paraguay, Nepal, Rwanda, Solomon Islands and Syria — were approved by consensus among the delegates and would take effect Oct. 1. They would prevent the countries from legally trading in any of the 35,000 species regulated by the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, said Juan Carlos Vasquez, a spokesman for the U.N. office that administers the treaty.


Ex-Milosevic aide ascends

As Serbia’s parliament prepared to elect Ivica Dacic as prime minister on Thursday, the former wartime spokesman for Slobodan Milosevic tried to dispel concern that his government could push this country back into the nationalism of the late strongman’s era. Dacic — who had earned the nickname “Little Sloba” in the past for his admiration of the former Yugoslav president — pledged once again in his speech to the lawmakers that he would press on with Serbia’s bid to join the European Union and promote peace and stability in the Balkans. “There has been enough blood in the Balkans,” Dacic said. “Serbia is offering its hand. Let us turn to the future and not deal with the past.”


EU brings blunt message

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told Greece’s new coalition government Thursday to “deliver, deliver, deliver” on promises for cost-cutting reforms, as the country’s finances came under renewed scrutiny from international debt inspectors. Greece must carry out the reforms for continued financial support from other eurozone members. Barroso said after meeting conservative Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras: “The prime minister has assured me that the coalition government will respect commitments ... and will speed up the key structural reforms that are needed, including privatization and of course reforms in the public administration.”

Compiled from wire reports.