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Russia halts sale of air defense missiles to Iran

Moscow

Russia halts sale of missiles to Iran

Russia has frozen the sale of S-300 air defense missiles to Iran, Russian news agencies reported Friday, in a victory for the Obama administration in the wake of new U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran. The sanctions ban the sale of eight categories of conventional weapons, including "missiles and missile systems," but a loophole in the language of the resolution suggested that defensive ground-to-air missile systems such as the S-300 were not covered by the ban. On Friday, a Kremlin official said S-300s fall under the sanctions. And in France, where Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met Friday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Putin said Russia would "freeze the delivery of the S-300 missiles."

BEIJING

Death sentence for attack at school

Former teacher Chen Kangbing, 33, was convicted and sentenced to death Friday for an April knife attack at an elementary school in southern China. No one died, but 16 students and a teacher were wounded in the rampage that was one of a string of violent assaults on schools that shocked the country. In its verdict, the Intermediate People's Court of Zhanjiang City in the southern province of Guangdong said Kangbing "hacked at the children and teacher in a very cruel manner, causing great harm." The Xinhua News Agency said Chen suffered from mental illness and had been on sick leave since 2006.

LISBON, Portugal

Two U.S. scientists win top vision award

Two U.S. scientists have won a $1.3 million award for their work in understanding how humans see, a Portuguese scientific foundation said Friday. The Champalimaud Foundation's annual Vision Award, one of the biggest scientific prizes in the world, was given to neuroscientists J. Anthony Movshon of New York University's Center for Neural Studies and William T. Newsome of the Maryland-based Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Newsome is also a professor at Stanford University. The foundation said in a statement the award was in recognition of the scientists' research into understanding how the brain reconstructs images.

Ankara, Turkey

President tweets against Internet ban

Turkey's president has used his Twitter account to slam the country's ban on YouTube and some Google services. In separate tweets sent out late Thursday, Abdullah Gul says he does not approve of the bans and has instructed officials to look into legal ways to reopen access. Courts have blocked access to YouTube since 2008 over videos deemed to be insulting to Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Last week, Turkey extended the ban to some Google pages that use the same Internet Protocol addresses as YouTube.

GRANTS PASS, Ore.

Two arrested after body parts are found

A California woman faced charges Friday along with her Oregon son after body parts from her husband washed up on the banks of the Sacramento River over several months, starting Nov. 22 and continuing through March. Lela McDonald, 57, was arrested at her West Sacramento, Calif., home, according to the Sutter County, Calif., sheriff's office. Her son, Michael Shaine Dwayne Gold, 39, was arrested at his home in Grants Pass. DNA tests have shown the body parts belonged to McDonald's husband, Elmer McDonald, Sutter County sheriff's Lt. Butah Uppal said.

Elsewhere

Forestville, Md.: Police are searching for a man who shot and killed off-duty Maryland State Trooper Wesley W. Brown, 24, early Friday about a half hour after the trooper escorted him from a restaurant over a disputed bill, Prince George's County police said. Brown was wearing a jacket that identified him as a police officer on the back and was on the phone when he was shot.

LIMA, Peru: A Peruvian judge on Friday ordered Joran van der Sloot jailed on charges of first-degree murder and robbery in the killing of a 21-year-old Lima woman, determining he acted with "ferocity and great cruelty."

Kyrgyzstan: Ethnic violence that began as fistfights and escalated to raging gun battles broke out in the Central Asia nation, leaving at least 45 people dead and more than 500 injured, Russian media and an eyewitness reported Friday.

Algeria: A suicide bomber rammed a truck into the barracks of an elite police unit Friday in a village east of the capital, Algiers. At least nine people died, including four police officers and one Chinese worker.

South Korea: The country's military on Friday denied news reports by Yonhap News and the Hankyoreh newspaper that General Lee Sang-eui, South Korea's most senior commander, was sleeping off a drinking session in his office on the night of March 26 when the Cheonan was sunk, killing 46 soldiers.

Times wires

Russia halts sale of air defense missiles to Iran 06/12/10 [Last modified: Saturday, June 12, 2010 12:26am]
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