- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2008


President wounded in rebel attack

DILI — Rebel soldiers attacked the home of President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta early today, wounding him in the stomach. Gunmen also opened fire on a motorcade carrying the prime minister, but no one was injured.

Mr. Ramos-Horta was in “stable condition” after the shooting and would be flown to neighboring Australia for further treatment if necessary, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said.

Two cars carrying rebel soldiers passed Mr. Ramos-Horta’s house on the outskirts of Dili at about 7 a.m. local time and began shooting, said army spokesman Maj. Domingos da Camara. The guards returned fire, he said.

Notorious rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed in the attack, as was one of Mr. Ramos-Horta’s guards, he said.


U.S. sniper gets 10 years in murder

BAGHDAD — A military jury yesterday convicted an Army sniper of murder and sentenced him to 10 years in prison for killing an Iraqi civilian who wandered into the hiding place where six soldiers were sleeping.

Sgt. Evan Vela, 24, was found guilty of murder without premeditation, of aiding and abetting in planting an AK-47 on the dead man’s body, and of lying to military investigators about the shooting. He had faced a possible life sentence.

Vela showed no emotion when the verdict was read, but he asked the jury for mercy before it broke to decide his sentence. He apologized to the court, the Army and one of the sons of Genei Nasir al-Janabi, the man he shot with a pistol in May.

He also was sentenced to forfeit all pay and allowances and will receive a dishonorable discharge.


Exxon court action sparks oil threat

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez threatened yesterday to cut off oil sales to the United States if Exxon Mobil Corp. wins court judgments to seize billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets.

“If you end up freezing [Venezuelan assets] and it harms us, we’re going to harm you,” Mr. Chavez said. “Do you know how? We aren’t going to send oil to the United States. Take note, Mr. Bush, Mr. Danger.”

Exxon Mobil has gone after the assets of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA in U.S., British and Dutch courts as it challenges the nationalization of a multibillion-dollar oil project.

A British court has issued an injunction “freezing” as much as $12 billion in assets.


Support for Fukuda falls, poll finds

TOKYO — Support for Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, which jumped last month, has fallen back to levels low enough to make him cautious about calling a general election anytime soon, an opinion poll released yesterday found.

According to a Feb. 9-10 poll by Kyodo news agency, support for Mr. Fukuda’s Cabinet has fallen to 35.6 percent, down 5.8 percentage points from a January poll and just a fraction above December’s all-time low of 35.3 percent.

Mr. Fukuda’s disapproval rating inched up to 44.5 percent, 1.7 percentage points higher than January.


Junta’s critics cool to election plans

RANGOON — Burma’s Saturday announcement that it will hold a vote on a new constitution in May and a general election in 2010 drew little enthusiasm yesterday among regime critics and the public at large.

The official announcements were the first junta moves to set dates for stages of its so-called road map to democracy.

Critics say the road map is designed to perpetuate military rule, not promote democracy, though. At tea shops in Rangoon, many seemed unimpressed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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