Argentina praises vote on spy files
Argentina praised the U.S. House on Friday for passing a measure to force American intelligence agencies to share their files on dictatorship-era human rights violations. If approved by the U.S. Senate and President Barack Obama, it could provide evidence for human rights trials under way in Argentina and help about 400 families find children who were stolen at birth from women who were kidnapped and killed by the dictatorship, according to Argentina's ambassador to the U.S., Hector Timerman. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, whose efforts on U.S. files on Chile revealed information that showed the involvement of the Central Intelligence Agency destabilizing the government of socialist President Salvador Allende before the 1973 coup.
Push begins to end sanctions against Iraq
Iraq is gaining momentum in its bid to get out from under the U.N. trade sanctions that were first imposed on the country in 1991 after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The U.N. Security Council adopted a U.S.-drafted statement, pledging Friday "to review, with a view toward lifting" the sanctions, once Iraq's safeguards against acquiring weapons of mass destruction are shown to be sufficient.
Gaza investigations get 5 extra months
The U.N. General Assembly voted Friday to give Israel and the Palestinians an additional five months to conduct independent investigations of alleged war crimes during last year's conflict in Gaza and warned of possible "further action" by U.N. bodies, including the Security Council, if they don't. The Palestinian-drafted resolution was adopted by a vote of 98-7 with 31 abstentions. Heavy snow in New York may have affected the voting.
Newspaper apologizes over prophet drawing
Danish daily Politiken on Friday apologized for offending Muslims by reprinting a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed with a bomb-shaped turban. Politiken said its apology was part of a settlement with a Saudi lawyer representing eight Muslim groups in the Middle East and Australia. Danish media, which previously had stood united in rejecting calls to apologize for the cartoons, criticized the apology.
Graves dug up to identify disappeared
Guatemalan authorities have begun digging up mass graves at a cemetery where hundreds of people who disappeared during the Central American country's civil war are believed buried. Jose Suasnavar of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation said DNA tests could help identify 889 people who could be buried at the Verbena Cemetery.