CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico

Customs inspectors seize 268,000 assault rifle rounds

Mexican customs inspectors seized 268,000 rounds of assault rifle ammunition found in a U.S. truck at a border crossing in Ciudad Juarez, authorities reported Wednesday.

Angel Torres, a spokesman for federal prosecutors in northern Chihuahua state, said a 37-year-old man from Dallas, Texas, was detained for trying to drive the truck across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Torres said the driver, who is being held pending investigation on illegal weapons charges, claimed he had no goods to declare when he arrived at the border Tuesday.

Torres said a gamma-ray inspection of the truck’s cargo compartment revealed the presence of metal canisters holding the ammunition. He says the bullets were hidden under pallets in the truck’s floor.

ROME

Museum director burns painting in funding protest

For a second day in a row, the director of a contemporary art museum in a small Italian town near Naples has burned a painting to protest a shortage of funds.

Antonio Manfredi set aflame a painting by Neapolitan artist Rosaria Matarese on Wednesday night outside the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, which is housed in the basement of a public school in the hinterland of the southern city.

A day earlier he burned a painting by a French artist. Both artists had given their consent.

Manfredi had threatened to burn paintings if financial help wasn’t promised for the private museum.

Italy’s museums have been strapped for funds for decades, but art world officials say the economic crisis has aggravated the plight. Officials of the center-left Democratic Party appealed to the government Wednesday for funds for the museum. “We survived for seven years without public funds, with few private sponsors,” Manfredi told AP. “But we would like to be considered a public service.”

Matarese said the work was worth about $8,000.

LONDON

Web inventor urges plan for surveillance be halted

The scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web says he’s warned Britain’s government to ditch plans to extend surveillance of Internet activity.

Tim Berners Lee, who developed the Web in 1990, says the proposals to allow intelligence agencies to monitor Internet use and digital communications of British citizens would be a “destruction of human rights.”

Berners Lee told The Guardian newspaper in an interview published Wednesday that the proposals would place intimate information at risk of theft.

He says the government has not explained how it could safely store the data, meaning the plan should be scrapped.

Britain’s Home Office has insisted that any new surveillance program would be limited and aimed at serious crime and terrorism.

— From news service reports