- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 23, 2009

AFGHANISTAN

Karzai orders probe of cousin’s slaying

KABUL | Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday that he has asked the Interior Ministry to investigate the slaying of a young relative in a possible revenge killing connected to a family feud.

The October killing of 18-year-old Waheed Karzai in southern Afghanistan had apparently attracted little attention in Afghanistan before it was reported this week by the New York Times, but Mr. Karzai was asked about it during a news conference with the visiting NATO chief. The report raised questions about whether Mr. Karzai’s administration was trying to downplay the killing and whether powerful families could escape investigation, a sensitive issue amid rising concerns about corruption and impunity in Mr. Karzai’s government.

Waheed Karzai was fatally shot in October in Karz, the president’s hometown in Kandahar province. He was the son of the president’s cousin, Yar Mohammad Karzai. The Times quoted relatives as saying they believed another cousin, Hashmat Karzai, shot the teenager as vengeance for a so-called honor killing purportedly carried out three decades ago.

POLAND

Foreigner blamed for Auschwitz theft

WARSAW | A foreigner outside of Poland commissioned the brazen theft of the infamous Auschwitz sign “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work Sets You Free”) and detectives must expand their investigation beyond the country’s borders, officials said.

In a bid to learn more about the escapade, the investigators held an re-enactment of the theft by the three men who confessed to taking the sign from the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

Polish media have reported, without citing sources, that someone in Sweden could be under suspicion. In Stockholm, a Swedish police official said they’ve not been contacted about any links.

MEXICO

Gunmen kill family of drug war hero

MEXICO CITY | Gunmen mowed down the family of a Mexican marine just hours after the military honored him as a national hero for losing his life during a raid that took down powerful drug kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva.

The brazen attack happened shortly before midnight Monday at the home of Melquisedet Angulo in the town of Paraiso in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco, police said.

Hit men linked to Beltran Leyva’s cartel have a strong presence in the state and are thought to be behind the slayings of Mr. Angulo’s mother, his two siblings and his aunt, federal officials said Tuesday. A unidentified woman was being treated at a hospital for unspecified wounds.

Mr. Angulo and Beltran Leyva were killed during a shootout last week between marines and the cartel at an apartment complex in the colonial city of Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City.

BRITAIN

Priest: Shoplifting sometimes OK

LONDON | For a priest in northern England, the commandment that dictates “thou shalt not steal” isn’t exactly written in stone.

The Rev. Tim Jones caused an uproar by telling his congregation that it is sometimes acceptable for desperate people to shoplift - as long as they do it at large national chain stores, rather than small, family businesses.

Mr. Jones’ Robin Hood-like sermon drew rebukes Tuesday from fellow clergy, shop owners and police.

From his pulpit at the Church of St. Lawrence in York, about 220 miles north of London, Mr. Jones said in his sermon Sunday that shoplifting can be justified if a person in real need is not greedy and does not take more than he or she really needs to get by.

The remarks drew a summons from Archdeacon Richard Seed, who said on his Web site that the church rejects the view that shoplifting can be acceptable.

“The Church of England does not advise anyone to shoplift, or break the law in any way,” he said.

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