Missing ship is reported off African coast
A Russian-manned cargo ship that vanished last month in the Atlantic was found Friday near Cape Verde off the coast of West Africa, according to French and Russian officials. There was no immediate information about the condition of the crew or whether there was anyone else on board. The Arctic Sea — carrying a load of timber and 15 Russian sailors — disappeared after passing through the English Channel on July 28. The Maltese-flagged freighter sent radio messages as it sailed along the coasts of France and Portugal, but then all contact was lost. "Cape Verde coast guards said they have located the boat" about 520 miles off Cape Verde, said a French Defense Ministry spokesman, Capt. Jerome Baroe. Russian Ambassador to Cape Verde Alexander Karpushin said Russian naval ships were ordered to pursue the ship.
Lockerbie bomber drops appeal
The only man found guilty in the 1988 airplane bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, is dropping his appeal, his lawyer said Friday. Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi's lawyer, Tony Kelly, said his client, who is terminally ill with prostate cancer, filed papers to drop his appeal because his health had deteriorated. British broadcasters reported this week that Megrahi had been given just months to live. The former Libyan secret service agent was convicted in the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103, which killed 270 people, most of them Americans.
Quadriplegic man wins right to die
Christian Rossiter has gained his legal right to die. An Australian state Supreme Court ruled Friday that a nursing home in the west coast city of Perth must respect the 49-year-old patient's decision to starve to death. Rossiter claimed an Australian legal precedent, saying now "similar quadriplegics can choose whether they want to live." The case in Western Australia state sheds light on a gray area in Australian law: Patients have a right to refuse lifesaving treatment but helping another to commit suicide is a crime punishable by life in prison.
13 killed in Hamas fight with radicals
Islamic radicals from an al-Qaida-inspired group battled Hamas security Friday in shootouts that killed at least 13 people. The fighting began when Hamas forces surrounded a mosque where about 100 members of Jund Ansar Allah, or the Soldiers of the Companions of God, were holed up, including some armed with suicide belts and rifles, according to residents of the area. The group is reportedly upset that the Hamas regime has honored a cease-fire with Israel for the past seven months.
Taiwan: President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday that the death toll from Typhoon Morakot would probably reach 500, far higher than the 117 confirmed deaths announced the day before.
Canada: The Federal Court of Appeal on Friday upheld a lower court ruling ordering the government to seek the return of Omar Khadr, the last Western detainee at Guantanamo Bay.
Iran: The clerical leadership on Friday condemned opposition claims that protesters were raped in prison.