Pakistani province holds general strike

KARACHI, Pakistan - Storefronts were shuttered and the streets of Pakistan's commercial hub emptied of cars yesterday as residents angry over a weekend of deadly political violence honored a general strike called amid growing discontent over President Pervez Musharraf's suspension of the chief justice.

Across one province that accounts for a quarter of Pakistan's 160 million population, towns and cities shut down. Many citizens appeared to support the strike call; others observed it because they feared reprisal.

In Karachi, where a weekend of violence linked to the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry left 41 people dead and more than 150 injured, security forces now have authority to shoot rioters on sight. - AP

Kangaroo cull plan stirs outrage

CANBERRA, Australia - Authorities said yesterday they want to shoot more than 3,000 kangaroos on the fringes of Australia's capital, noting the animals were growing in population and eating through the grassy habitats of endangered species.

The Defense Department wants to hire professional shooters to cull the kangaroos at two of its properties on the outskirts of Canberra, where some areas have as many as 1,100 kangaroos per square mile - the densest kangaroo population ever measured in the region.

Queensland state Kangaroo Protection Coalition activist Pat O'Brien rejected the government's argument that the kangaroos risked starvation if they were not killed. "This is just an excuse to kill them," he said.

- AP

Chertoff seeks EU action on air travel

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff urged EU lawmakers yesterday to drop their objections to a new deal with Washington on the transfer of passenger information from transatlantic flights, insisting an agreement was indispensable to fighting terrorism.

Chertoff is pushing for a deal with the European Union that would give American law enforcement agencies continued access to data gathered about European passengers on U.S.-bound flights.

The current interim deal expires in July, and the European Parliament is demanding guarantees that a new agreement would better respect the EU's stringent data-protection standards as well as the privacy of its citizens. - AP

Elsewhere:

The Philippine national police chief declared yesterday's midterm vote "relatively peaceful" despite eight more killings that brought the campaign season death toll to 121 in violence that has become a hallmark of elections in the Philippines.

Kenya's president joined thousands yesterday at an interfaith memorial service in Nairobi for 114 victims of a plane crash in Cameroon.

The commission controlling millions of wartime Nazi records began workyesterday on a timetable for making the historical trove available to researchers, but Holocaust survivors complained their own access to the documents might still be restricted.