- The Washington Times - Friday, April 1, 2005

LEBANON

Prime minister says he will stay

BEIRUT — Pro-Syrian Prime Minister Omar Karami will not step down and will try again to form a unity government to lead the country to elections due in May, parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said yesterday.

Earlier this week, Mr. Karami had said he would resign after failing to persuade anti-Syrian opposition figures to join a national unity Cabinet.

A bomb ripped through a shopping center in a Christian resort village east of Beirut last night, wounding at least four persons and causing extensive damage. It was the fourth bomb attack on Christian areas in or around the capital in two weeks.

BRAZIL

Rogue cops blamed in attacks; 30 dead

RIO DE JANEIRO — Gunmen believed to be rogue policemen killed at least 30 persons in a shooting spree in a Rio de Janeiro suburb that officials said could be a bloody response to a crackdown on corrupt and brutal officers.

It was the worst death squad massacre in more than a decade in the Brazilian city. Innocent men, women and children were killed at random in Thursday night’s attack in Baixada Fluminense in Rio’s rough north side.

Officials said eight officers suspected of a separate double murder were arrested earlier Thursday. In that case, police were filmed throwing the severed head of one victim over the wall of a police station.

NEPAL

Ex-prime minister, 258 others freed

KATMANDU — Nepal’s royal government freed a popular former prime minister and 258 other detainees yesterday, the biggest prisoner release since King Gyanendra seized full power two months ago.

Former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s release came amid mounting global pressure on the king, who in February sacked the government.

Another former prime minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, was freed last month. Gyanendra sacked Mr. Deuba on Feb. 1, saying his government had failed to quell a Maoist revolt.

IRAQ

U.S. soldier spared jail in killing

BERLIN — A U.S. Army tank company commander convicted of fatally shooting a wounded Iraqi walked free from court yesterday, although he was dismissed from the Army for what he called a “mercy killing.”

Capt. Rogelio Maynulet had faced up to 10 years in jail after a court-martial at a U.S. Army base in Wiesbaden, Germany, found him guilty of assault with intent to commit voluntary manslaughter.

The shooting occurred last May when U.S. troops were pursuing suspected militiamen supporting Shi’ite cleric Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr near the Iraqi city of Najaf, the court was told.

CUBA

Dissident Rivero to stay in Spain

MADRID — Cuban dissident Raul Rivero arrived yesterday in Spain, where the prize-winning journalist and poet wants to stay, a Spanish Socialist Party source said.

Mr. Rivero, released from jail in November after 20 months behind bars, left Cuba after mediation from Spain’s ruling Socialist Party.

The poet, one of the most high-profile of Cuba’s dissidents, was jailed in March 2003 with 74 others in a crackdown launched by President Fidel Castro.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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