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American hikers freed by Iran slated to return today

NEW YORK

Hikers freed by Iran to return to u.s. today

Two Americans released from an Iranian prison will return to U.S. soil today after being held for more than two years as accused spies. Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were scheduled to return from the Mideast this afternoon, according to Samantha Topping, a spokeswoman for their families. She declined to publicly release details of their arrival. The two were released on Wednesday from custody and arrived in Oman under a $1 million bail deal.

Venezuela

Chavez foe begins presidential bid

A Venezuelan opposition leader launched his presidential campaign Saturday, challenging President Hugo Chavez to accept him in the race after a human rights court overturned a ban on his candidacy. Leopoldo Lopez said in a speech to thousands of supporters that Chavez shouldn't try to prevent him from running. Venezuela's top anti-corruption official had barred Lopez from running for office, but the Costa Rica-based Inter-American Court of Human Rights earlier this month ordered election officials to allow him to run.

Italy

Life sentence is sought for Knox

Italian prosecutors asked an appeals court on Saturday to uphold the conviction of American Amanda Knox, 24, for the murder of her British roommate and increase her sentence to life in prison. Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola sought the same sentence for Knox's co-defendant, former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. Knox, of Seattle, Washington, and Sollecito, an Italian, were convicted by a lower court of sexually assaulting and murdering Meredith Kercher while they were all studying in Perugia in 2007. Knox was sentenced to 26 years, Sollecito to 25 years. A verdict on the new request is expected in early October.

Times wires

American hikers freed by Iran slated to return today 09/24/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 24, 2011 10:58pm]
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