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Iran frees American businessman it detained for two years

WASHINGTON

American held for two years is freed by Iran

Iran on Saturday set free an American businessman jailed in Tehran for more than two years on suspicion on ties to an allegedly violent opposition group. Reza Taghavi, 71, hadn't been charged with a crime and denied knowingly supporting the organization, known as Tondar. "He admitted to nothing and he continues to maintain his innocence," his lawyer, Pierre Prosper, told the Associated Press in a telephone interview from Tehran after his client's release from Tehran's Evin prison. Taghavi is not expected to return to Southern California before the middle of next week.

VERACRUZ, Mexico

Six oil workers, 2 pilots die in crash

Officials said a helicopter carrying oil workers crashed in southeastern Mexico Friday evening, killing all eight people on board. Veracruz state Civil Protection chief Silvia Dominguez said the aircraft was traveling from Ciudad del Carmen in Campeche state toward Minatitlan, Veracruz. On board were six mechanics employed by Compania Mexicana de Exploracion SA, a contractor for state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex. Two pilots also died.

BERLIN

Hepburn stamps fetch $606,000

A rare sheet of 10 stamps depicting Audrey Hepburn fetched $606,000 at a charity auction on Saturday. The stamps evoke Hepburn's starring role in the 1963 thriller Charade, in which the characters chase a set of rare stamps. The German postal service printed 14 million of the Hepburn stamps in 2001 before asking Sean Ferrer, 50, Hepburn's son and the chair of the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund, for permission to use the photo. Ferrer refused, saying it had been altered to show Hepburn with a cigarette holder in her mouth. The stamps were to be destroyed, but the postal service apparently missed a few.

Elsewhere

Washington: Alan Krueger, assistant secretary for economic policy at the Department of Treasury, will leave his post next month to return to Princeton University, where he previously served as a professor of economics, a spokesman for the Treasury said.

Chaparral, N.M.: A man who was cleaning his handgun Saturday morning accidentally shot his 4-year-old son and the bullet passed through the boy and hit the man's mother and both are in critical condition, Dona Ana Sheriff's Department investigator Bo Nevarez said.

Beijing: Thousands of Chinese marched in the streets in sometimes violent protests Saturday against Japan and its claim to disputed islands, a show of anger far larger than past protests over the competing territorial claims.

London: A first-person account of the sinking of the Titanic by Laura Francatelli, who got away in a lifeboat, fetched $32,000 in a British auction Saturday. It was bought by an anonymous collector from eastern Europe.

Minsk, Belarus: In one of his typically flamboyant gestures, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in Belarus on a state visit, on Saturday promised to provide oil to the former Soviet republic for the next 200 years.

Jerusalem: Eric Bellucci, who is suspected of stabbing his parents to death in their New York home, is being extradited to the U.S. and expected to arrive there early today, Israel's Interior Ministry said Saturday.

Times wires

Iran frees American businessman it detained for two years 10/16/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 16, 2010 10:52pm]
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