U.N. official cites U.S. over investigation of alleged war crimes

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Back in public: Former President George W. Bush speaks of his presidency, the economy and world events at the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan, in Benton Harbor, on Thursday in his first public speech since leaving office.

Geneva

U.S. called lax in investigation of war crimes

A United Nations human rights investigator said Thursday that the United States is failing to properly investigate alleged war crimes committed by its soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. Although some cases are investigated and lead to prosecutions, others aren't or result in lenient sentences, said Philip Alston, the U.N. Human Rights Council's special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings. The report also cites the lack of solid statistics on civilian casualties in Afghanistan or Iraq. But Alston, a New York University law professor, stressed he saw no evidence on a trip to Afghanistan that U.S. forces were committing "widespread" abuses or war crimes.

Miami

Hurricane season's first depression

National Hurricane Center forecasters say a tropical depression has formed off the mid-Atlantic coast, but it's not expected to threaten land. The National Weather Service counts the depression as the first of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins June 1. The depression's maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph. Forecasters say it could strengthen to a tropical storm overnight, but then is expected to weaken or dissipate by Saturday. The depression is expected to stay over the Atlantic, where it's moving toward the northeast near 16 mph.

Mexico City

Six more swine flu deaths reported

Mexico reported six more deaths from swine flu Thursday, bringing the country's toll to 95. The Health Department said 4,974 people have been sickened nationwide, including the 95 deaths. A third of those who died were obese and diabetic. Mexico says its epidemic has largely subsided, but the confirmed toll has been rising as scientists test a backlog of samples from patients.

Elsewhere

Tehran, Iran: An explosion in a mosque killed 15 people in Zahedan, near Iran's volatile border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, on Thursday. A local official described it as a terrorist attack.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras: A powerful earthquake toppled dozens of homes in Honduras and Belize early Thursday, killing at least six people and injuring 40 as terrified residents spilled from their homes across much of Central America.

Sofia, Bulgaria: A bus careered down a Bulgarian mountainside and plowed through hikers heading to a hilltop religious festival Thursday, killing 16 people and injuring 15.

Times wires

U.N. official cites U.S. over investigation of alleged war crimes 05/28/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:31pm]

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