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Brazil wants 'gringos' to save Amazon forests

MANAUS, Brazil — Brazil's president said Thursday that "gringos" should pay Amazon nations to prevent deforestation, insisting rich Western nations have caused much more past environmental destruction than the loggers and farmers who cut and burn trees in the world's largest tropical rain forest.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made the comments just before an Amazon summit in which delegates signed a declaration calling for financial help from the industrial world to halt the deforestation.

"I don't want any gringo asking us to let an Amazon resident die of hunger under a tree," Silva said. "We want to preserve, but they will have to pay the price for this preservation because we never destroyed our forest like they mowed theirs down a century ago."

In Brazil, the word "gringo" generally refers to anyone from the northern hemisphere.

Iran seizes medal of Nobel Peace laureate

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian authorities have confiscated Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi's medal, the human rights lawyer said Thursday, in a sign of the increasingly drastic steps Tehran is taking against any dissent.

In Norway, where the peace prize is awarded, the government said the confiscation of the gold medal was a shocking first in the history of the 108-year-old prize.

Ebadi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts in promoting democracy. She has long faced harassment from Iranian authorities for her activities — including threats against her relatives and a raid on her office last year in which files were confiscated.

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