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Ukraine prime minister resigns, harsh laws repealed

Ukraine

Prime minister resigns, harsh laws repealed

Ukraine's opposition movement gained ground Tuesday in its efforts to remake the country, with the resignation of the prime minister and his Cabinet and the repeal of harsh new laws restricting freedom of speech and assembly. Ukraine's parliament invalidated the antidemonstration laws hours after Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigned. Passage of the laws on Jan. 16 had triggered street clashes in the capital, Kiev, after months of protests against government corruption and the closer ties to Russia favored by President Viktor Yanukovych. The unraveling of the government has the potential to become a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who strove to prop up Yanukovych and keep Ukraine from drawing closer to the West.

Washington

Longtime inmate at Gitmo seeks release

A lawyer for a Yemeni man who has been held for 12 years without trial at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, asked a parole-style military board Tuesday to recommend that he be sent home. But a military profile of the detainee, Abdel Malik al-Rahabi, 34, suggested that there were risks in repatriating him. It maintained that he was "almost certainly" a member of al-Qaida who had been among a group of bodyguards for Osama bin Laden before their capture by Pakistani forces in December 2001.

Boise, Idaho

Health care call center workers sue over pay

Customer service workers at a call center for insurance exchanges established under the federal health care overhaul have sued their employer in federal court, saying they were forced to work unpaid overtime. The nine workers at a Boise facility who brought the suit against Maximus Inc. say the case could potentially apply to thousands of employees, and they're asking a judge to award damages exceeding $5 million. Maximus, which operates under a federal government contract, has not yet filed a response.

Phoenix

McCain says censure may spur sixth run

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., hasn't decided whether he'll run for a sixth term in 2016, but the former GOP presidential nominee said Tuesday that the Arizona Republican Party's censure of him over the weekend may just have provided the motivation to seek office again. The censure vote came during a meeting of state committee members who cited McCain's voting record as being insufficiently conservative. McCain, 80, blames the censure on "extremist" party elements.

Elsewhere

Ireland: The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that a 49-year-old Irish woman was entitled to compensation for the government's failure to protect her from sexual abuse as a child when she attended a publicly financed Roman Catholic primary school in the 1970s.

Togo: Police in Togo have arrested three men accused of conspiring to ship to Vietnam nearly two tons of ivory, representing scores of dead elephants, in part of a broader crackdown on the illicit trade that has plagued the West African nation for decades.

United Nations: The Security Council voted Tuesday to impose a travel ban on and freeze the assets of people suspected of war crimes in Central African Republic, as the European Union prepared to dispatch a battalion to protect civilians from an unrelenting sectarian war there.

Times wires

Ukraine prime minister resigns, harsh laws repealed 01/28/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 1:11am]

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