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Cuba to transfer political prisoners close to home

cuba

Prisoners to be moved closer to their homes

The Cuban government agreed Sunday to move many of its 200 political prisoners to jails closer to their homes, and will give medical attention to some ailing prisoners. The decision comes just days after a rare meeting between President Raul Castro and two church leaders, including Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega. "The office of religious affairs of the central committee of the Cuban Communist Party advised the Catholic Church on Friday that as of next week the political prisoners will be transferred to jails in their place of origin," Orlando Marquez, a Havana church official, said.

japan

PM gives in to U.S. on Okinawa base

Reneging on a campaign promise, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told outraged residents of Okinawa that a U.S. air base would be moved to the north side rather than off the island. The announcement confirmed what the media had been reporting for weeks: He would accept Washington's demands to honor a 2006 agreement to move Marine Air Station Futenma to the less populated north.

ohio

Disgraced former congressman dies

Former U.S. Rep. Donald "Buz" Lukens, once a rising conservative star in state politics before a string of scandals abruptly ended his career, is dead at age 79 of cancer. He was convicted in 1989 of paying a 16-year-old girl from Columbus for sex. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail fined $500. The scandal cost him the 1990 Republican primary, where he lost to then-state Rep. John Boehner, now House minority leader in Congress.

brazil

Priest arrested on sex abuse charges

Authorities in Rio de Janeiro arrested a Polish priest and charged him with sexually abusing a 16-year-old former altar boy. The judge who issued the arrest warrant said Father Marcin Michael Strachanowski, 44, had used his parish's rectory as an "erotic dungeon" to carry out sex acts with boys.

somalia

15 killed in attack on the capital

Islamist militants attacked the presidential compound and other government positions in the capital of Mogadishu, and at least 15 people were killed and 30 others wounded. President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed has been attending a U.N.-sponsored conference in Turkey aimed at helping the lawless Horn of Africa nation and was not in the palace.

iraq

Top Shiite cleric calls for unity

Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric assured leaders of the Sunni-backed coalition that narrowly won the March election that no group will be excluded from the new government. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, 83, is revered by Iraq's majority sect and carries great weight with the Shiite politicians who have dominated the government since the U.S. invasion in 2003.

Elsewhere

Australia: Israel has been asked to withdraw a diplomat after an investigation found it responsible for forging four Australian passports implicated in the slaying of a Hamas operative in Dubai on Jan. 20.

Nigeria: At least six died in renewed religious violence in central Nigeria between Christians and Muslims.

Times wires

Cuba to transfer political prisoners close to home 05/23/10 [Last modified: Sunday, May 23, 2010 10:54pm]
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