- The Washington Times - Friday, July 3, 2009

VIETNAM

Hanoi urged to free priest

A group of U.S. senators urged Vietnam’s president Wednesday to free a Catholic priest as human rights groups said his imprisonment justified putting Hanoi on a U.S. religious freedom blacklist.

Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, a Catholic priest who had spent 16 years in prison for rights advocacy activities, was jailed for eight years in March 2007 on charges that he spread propaganda against Vietnam’s communist government.

The group of 37 senators, led by Democrat Barbara Boxer and Republican Sam Brownback, urged President Nguyen Minh Triet to free the 63-year-old cleric, calling his trial “seriously flawed.”

PHILIPPINES

Ailing ex-president leaves fate to God

MANILA | Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino has left her fate to God, her family said Thursday after she reportedly refused further chemotherapy or other medical treatment in her fight against colon cancer.

Mrs. Aquino, 76, who led the Philippines from 1986 to 1992 after the fall of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, “has been battling cancer with much courage for a year and a half,” her family said.

Spokeswoman Deedee Siytangco wrote in the Manila Bulletin that family members were at Mrs. Aquino’s bedside.

PAKISTAN

Bombs target police; 2 dead, scores hurt

RAWALPINDI | Bombs targeting police and employees of a Pakistani nuclear facility killed two people and wounded scores more Thursday.

The attack on a bus carrying workers from Pakistan’s main nuclear facility took place in Rawalpindi, which lies next to the capital and is home to the headquarters of Pakistan’s military.

A suicide bomber riding a motorcycle slammed into the bus with employees of the Khan Research Laboratories, wounding 29 people, senior police official Rana Shahid said.

The second attack took place near Peshawar, the main city in the northwest, where a roadside bomb killed two policemen and wounded five more, police official Ghayoor Afridi said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for either blast, but a series of attacks in recent months have been carried out by Islamic militants with roots in the lawless border regions near Afghanistan.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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