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Canadian jury finds Afghan family guilty in honor killings

CANADA

Father, mother, son guilty in 'honor killings'

A jury on Sunday found three members of an Afghan family guilty of killing three teenage sisters and another woman in 2009 in what prosecutors called "honor killings." The jury in Kingston, Ontario, took 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58; his wife, Tooba Yahya, 42; and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. Prosecutors said the defendants killed the three teenage sisters because they dishonored the family by defying its disciplinarian rules on dress, dating, socializing and using the Internet. The woman who was killed was the first wife of Mohammad Shafia.

LOS ANGELES

Police officer is killed by colleague

A Santa Maria, Calif., police officer suspected of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl was shot and killed by a fellow officer as he was about to be arrested, authorities said. The officer, who has not been identified, was near the end of his shift at a DUI checkpoint when supervisors arrived after 1 a.m. Saturday to detain him, police Chief Danny Macagni told reporters at a news conference. There was a struggle, the suspected officer drew his gun and fired it, and a fellow officer then shot him in the chest, Macagni said.

Jordan

Leader of Hamas, king hold talks

Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas, made a visit to Jordan on Sunday, days after Hamas officials signaled that he had effectively abandoned the group's base in Damascus, the Syrian capital. Meshal and a delegation arrived in Amman with the crown prince of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and met with Jordan's King Abdullah II. The militant Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.

Russia

Anti-Putin protest held in Moscow

Thousands of cars flying white ribbons or balloons circled central Moscow on Sunday in a show of protest against Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The cars jammed the inner lanes all along the nearly 10-mile Garden Ring, which has as many as 16 lanes of traffic at its widest points. White ribbons became an opposition symbol during protests after a fraud-tainted Dec. 4 parliamentary election won by Putin's party.

Venezuela

Chávez says banks must back projects

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez warned private banks on Sunday that he will consider nationalizing any that refuse to finance agricultural projects promoted by his government. Banks are required by law in Venezuela to provide at least 10 percent of their lending to finance government development projects.

Elsewhere

New Orleans: Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards has been hospitalized with pneumonia, his wife, Trina Scott Edwards, said Sunday.

Birmingham, Ala.: Police investigating a possible robbery at a Birmingham home early Sunday instead found five people dead inside, authorities said.

Cuba: President Raul Castro defended the one-party system on Sunday and issued a warning to Communist Party delegates at a national conference to fight corruption that he said was a greater threat to the revolution than anything the United States could dream up.

Times wires

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