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U.N. supported Congo officer named in massacre complaint


U.N. backed officer named in abuses

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in eastern Congo provided food, fuel and logistical support to a Congolese colonel overseeing soldiers accused of gang rapes, massacres and other abuses, months after U.N. human rights investigators included him on a list of the army's most abusive commanders and in further internal warnings. The U.N. decision to support Col. Innocent Zimurinda and other commanders on the list has been part of the mission's backing of Congolese military operations targeting a notorious rebel group. The 10-year-old U.N. peacekeeping mission is the most expensive in the world and receives a quarter of its budget from the United States.

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Massa cites ethics, sex, now health care

Democratic Rep. Eric Massa's resignation from the House took effect Monday after an ethics investigation into his conduct and allegations of sexual harassment of staffers. In a radio interview Sunday, however, he cited a conspiracy by House Democratic leaders to force him out before a crucial vote on health care. Katie Grant, a spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, said the accusation is "completely false." Massa, one of 39 Democrats who voted against the House version of the bill in November, didn't respond to calls for comment Monday.


Interpol adds 16 to Dubai murder list

Interpol expanded its wanted list over the killing of a Hamas commander to a total of 27. The Lyon-based organization issued red notices, its highest-level alert, for a 16-strong team accused of shadowing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh before his killing. It had issued notices for 11 other suspects last month. The alerts came at the request of authorities in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where Mabhouh was found dead in a luxury hotel room in January. His methodical stalking and killing has been widely blamed on Israel's Mossad spy agency.


Bangladesh faulted on refugees

Tens of thousands of Burmese refugees are being forced into makeshift camps in Bangladesh and face widespread starvation unless they receive more humanitarian aid. A report today by the Physicians for Human Rights, based in Massachusetts, faulted Bangladesh authorities for "arbitrary arrests, illegal expulsion, and forced internment" of Burmese refugees as neighboring Myanmar prepares for elections this year. Since the 1990s, thousands have made their way to Bangladesh from Myanmar, which had experienced unrest resulting from its military junta.


Anti-gay rights senator says he's gay

Republican state Sen. Roy Ashburn, a 55-year-old father of four who has consistently voted against gay rights measures during his 14 years in the Legislature, said he is gay, ending days of speculation that began after his arrest last week for investigation of DUI.


Inmate ODs hours before execution

Gov. Ted Strickland postponed today's execution of convicted killer Lawrence Reynolds Jr., 43, who took an overdose of pills in his death row cell and was found unconscious just hours before he was to be driven to his execution.


Polls says blacks are politically engaged

About two-thirds of African-American adults in four states say they are closely following news about the midterm elections, and 74-80 percent say they are very likely to vote, according to a poll conducted by the nonpartisan Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. It surveyed 500 African-Americans in each state — Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas and South Carolina — all of which have Senate races in November.

Times wires

U.N. supported Congo officer named in massacre complaint 03/08/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 8, 2010 11:19pm]
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