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Jail terms shaved for Bali bombers

JAKARTA — Ten Islamist militants jailed for suicide bombings on Bali that killed more than 220 people — many of them foreign tourists — had several months shaved off their sentences yesterday to mark Indonesia’s Independence Day.

It is a local tradition to cut jail terms on holidays, but the decision was likely to anger countries that lost citizens in the 2002 and 2005 attacks on the resort island’s crowded nightclubs and restaurants.

Those who benefited from the remissions were serving between eight and 18 years. Six men involved in the Oct. 12, 2002, terror strikes that claimed 202 lives — 88 of them Australians — had their sentences cut by five months. Four others convicted in the 2005 attacks that left 20 persons dead received two-month reductions.


Oil official quits in cash scandal

CARACAS — The top official in Argentina for Venezuela’s state oil company has resigned, a new casualty in a scandal over a suitcase of cash found with a passenger on a flight of Argentine and Venezuelan oil executives.

Petroleos de Venezuela yesterday said it accepted the resignation of Diego Uzcategui Matheus, the president of PDVSA’s Argentine unit.

The executive’s son, Daniel Uzcategui Spetch, and officials from PDVSA were aboard the government-chartered flight with a Venezuelan-American businessman who brought $800,000 undeclared cash into Argentina on Aug. 4 and abandoned it when customs officials found the money.

Local reports said Mr. Uzcategui Spetch several times accompanied the businessman, Alejandro Antonini Wilson, on trips around South America.


U.S. gives $100,000 in flood aid

The United States said yesterday it will give $100,000 to buy blankets, shelter materials, water and other items for victims of floods in North Korea. The floods have killed hundreds of people and made more than 300,000 homeless.

The money will be distributed equally to U.S. aid groups Mercy Corps and Samaritan’s Purse and “is intended to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in North Korea,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

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