- - Monday, August 30, 2010

CANADA

Wrongful arrest of terror suspect claimed

OTTAWA | The defense attorney for one of four suspects in an alleged terror plot accused police on Monday of detaining his client on unrelated charges to further their terrorism investigation.

Aswo Peshdary, 20, was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Friday and questioned for up to eight hours, attorney Richard Morris told Agence France-Presse.

The call center employee was ordered released on bail the next day, but was then promptly rearrested by the Ottawa Police Service and charged with assault and uttering threats.

“It is unusual,” said Mr. Morris. “If you look at the surrounding circumstances, it’s difficult to come to a conclusion other than he’s being detained to further another investigation.”

Three others already had been arrested last week in police raids on their suburban homes in Ottawa and London, Ontario.

The trio were charged under Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act with conspiracy, possessing materials for explosives and making property or financial services available to a terrorist group.

BRAZIL

Rio offers visitors tour of its slums

RIO DE JANEIRO | Tourists usually try to run from Rio’s notorious slums. Now officials are inviting them to come visit instead.

The Santa Marta shantytown on Monday became the first community in a program meant to promote tourism in the neighborhoods that are home to some unique music and artwork.

The program, “Rio Top Tour: Rio de Janeiro in a Different Perspective,” also rewards communities like Santa Marta that have been cleared of the violent drug gangs that have long made Rio’s crowded hillsides famously dangerous.

CUBA

Fidel Castro says he was near death

HAVANA | Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro told an interviewer that there were times during his long illness when he was at death’s door but now he is mostly recovered and trying to avert nuclear war.

Mr. Castro, 84, told Mexico’s La Jornada in an interview published Monday that he was in such bad shape after falling ill four years ago that he no longer “aspired to live, much less anything else.”

He said he asked himself “if those [doctors] were going to let me live in those conditions or if they were going to let me die.”

“Then I survived but in very bad physical condition,” said Mr. Castro, who underwent emergency surgery in July 2006 for an undisclosed intestinal illness, and then underwent several more operations.

CANADA

Climber’s body found 21 years after fall

MONTREAL | The body of a U.S. mountain climber has been discovered in the Rocky Mountains in Canada’s western Alberta province, 21 years after he disappeared, Canadian media reported Sunday.

Two hikers discovered the body of William Holland, of Maine, about two weeks ago, the reports said. He disappeared in 1989 in Banff National Park.

Holland’s body and mountaineering equipment reportedly were preserved by the freezing conditions at the site, and when the ice melted there this summer, his corpse was revealed.

Holland, who was 38 when he disappeared, was climbing Snow Down mountain when he fell about 300 yards.

His climbing partners quickly alerted emergency services, but the search was called off the next day because of an avalanche.

From wire dispatches and staff reports