February 27, 2008 in Nation/World

World in brief: Raul Castro meets Vatican emissary

The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

Cuba’s President Raul Castro talks with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican’s Secretary of State, in Havana on Tuesday. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

Raul Castro met behind closed doors with the Vatican’s No. 2 official Tuesday, in his first encounter with a foreign dignitary as Cuba’s president.

The talks with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Pope Benedict XVI’s secretary of state, came two days after the 76-year-old Castro succeeded his older brother Fidel to become the first new Cuban head of state in 49 years.

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and vice presidents Esteban Lazo and Carlos Lage also attended the meeting. Details of the talks were not immediately released.

Bertone, whose visit marked the 10th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Cuba, said earlier Tuesday that the island’s leaders had assured him they would allow some Roman Catholic broadcasts on state-controlled media.

Luxembourg

Ruling limits right to ‘Parmesan’ name

The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that only the tasty, crumbly cheese that has been made for some 800 years near the Italian city of Parma can legally be called Parmesan.

In a case dating back to 2003, the court criticized Germany for allowing sales of imitation “Parmesan” in violation of European Union food origin rules that reserve the name Parmesan for Italian cheese only.

The case was brought by the European Commission. There was no punishment for Germany, but German producers will now have to change the name of their cheese.

Germany had argued that Parmesan was a generic term for a type of hard, crumbly cheese that is often grated over food and cannot claim an Italian uniqueness.

The court disagreed, saying Parmesan was “clearly a translation of ‘Parmigiano Reggiano.’ ”

Houston

Walesa tested for heart transplant

Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Polish president Lech Walesa was undergoing tests for heart failure and being evaluated as a potential heart transplant recipient, Houston’s Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center said Tuesday.

A brief announcement from the heart center did not detail the extent of the 64-year-old Walesa’s condition, saying only that he was being evaluated this week.

Ottawa

Officials confirm new mad cow case

Canadian officials confirmed a new case of mad cow disease Tuesday, the second such case in two months and the 12th since the disease was first discovered in Canada in 2003.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said no part of the carcass entered the human food or animal feed chains. The cow was detected in Alberta under a national monitoring program that targets cattle most at risk for the disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

The agency says it expects to detect a small number of cases over the next 10 years as Canada moves toward its goal of eliminating the disease from its herds.


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