In brief: S. Korea responds to mad cow report


Seoul, South Korea – South Korea stepped up inspections of U.S. beef following the discovery of mad cow disease in a U.S. dairy cow. The discovery led two major retailers to pull the meat off the shelves, but one company later reversed that decision.

South Korea’s No. 2 and No. 3 supermarket chains, Home Plus and Lotte Mart, said Wednesday they halted sales of U.S. beef to calm worries among South Koreans.

But within hours, Home Plus had resumed sales and cited a government announcement of increased inspections.

Lotte kept its suspension in place.

The new case of mad cow disease is the first in the U.S. since 2006. It was discovered in a dairy cow in California, but health authorities said Tuesday the animal was never a threat to the nation’s food supply.

Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is fatal to cows and can cause a deadly brain disease in people who eat tainted beef.

France: U.N. should do more in Syria

Beirut – France raised the prospect of military intervention in Syria on Wednesday, saying the U.N. should consider harsher measures if an international peace plan that has been shaken by violence ultimately collapses.

The statement reflects mounting international frustration with daily attacks that have kept a cease-fire between troops loyal to President Bashar Assad and armed rebels seeking to oust him from taking hold.

Activists said government troops killed at least 29 civilians Wednesday, including 12 killed in shelling in the central city of Hama.


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