4 Americans among 14 killed in Nepal plane crash

Katmandu, Nepal

4 Americans among 14 killed in plane crash

Four Americans, a Japanese and a Briton were among 14 people killed Tuesday when a small plane crashed in Nepal in bad weather, officials reported. The 15-seat Dornier 228 twin turboprop operated by Agni Air was headed for the town of Lukla about 7:15 a.m. when it was advised by air traffic control to turn back due to thick cloud cover, according to Bishnu Dulal, the airline's reservations manager. The flight to Lukla normally takes about 25 minutes. By the time it approached Katmandu, the capital also was socked in, so the pilot headed for Simra airport. On the way, it crashed near Shikharpur village, about 50 miles south of Katmandu. All 11 passengers and three crew members aboard were killed; eight were Nepalese. Agni Air identified the Americans, all tourists, as Irina Shekhets, 30; Levzi Cordoso, 49; Heather Finch, 40; and Kendra Fallon, 18.

HAVANA

Political prisoners to be released

Cuba's Roman Catholic Church on Tuesday revealed the names of six more political prisoners to be released into exile in Spain under an agreement with President Raul Castro's government. The men are among 75 dissidents arrested in a March 2003 crackdown on organized political opposition. In a landmark deal, Cuba agreed on July 7 to release the remaining 52 prisoners still jailed from the crackdown. The new releases would bring to 32 the number freed under the agreement so far — and all have left Cuba for Spain, with one then settling in Chile. Church official Orlando Marquez said in a statement that the next six slated for release are Victor Arroyo Carmona, Alexis Rodriguez Fernandez, Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares, Alfredo Dominguez Batista, Prospero Gainza Aguero and Claro Sanchez Altarriba.

SANA, Yemen

Al-Qaida suspect to go on trial

An American al-Qaida suspect will go on trial in Yemen next month over the killing of a Yemeni soldier and the wounding of another during a failed escape attempt, a security official said Tuesday. If convicted, Sharif Mobley of Buena, N.J., could face the death penalty. Mobley, 26, of Somali descent, was arrested on suspicion of having links to al-Qaida and attempted his escape in March while receiving treatment at a Yemeni hospital. Authorities say he talked hospital guards into unshackling him by asking to join them for prayers and then killed a guard who had laid down his weapon.

Elsewhere

London: Samantha Cameron, 39, wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, gave birth to a 6-pound, 1-ounce baby girl Tuesday, Downing Street said.

Lebanon: Shiite and Sunni groups traded machine gun fire and grenades in Beirut on Tuesday, killing three people and wounding several, security officials said.

Times wires

4 Americans among 14 killed in Nepal plane crash 08/24/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 11:30pm]

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