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Mr. Mubarak stepped down Feb. 11 and the military took control of the country, but Mr. Shafiq remained in office at the head of a caretaker government.

A brief statement posted on the military’s official website said it had chosen former Transport Minister Essam Sharaf as the new prime minister and asked him to form a new caretaker Cabinet.

PAKISTAN

Court orders American to stand trial

LAHORE | A Pakistani court said Thursday it would proceed with the trial of an American CIA contractor arrested in connection with the fatal shootings of two Pakistanis, attorneys for both sides said.

The court also said there is no evidence that Raymond Allen Davis has diplomatic immunity as his attorneys and Washington insist, they said.

The decision was a blow to Washington, which says Mr. Davis has diplomatic immunity from criminal prosecution. The immunity issue, however, is still being considered by the Lahore High Court, which could override Thursday’s finding by the trial court.

VENEZUELA

Union leader released from jail

CARACAS | A union organizer was freed from jail Thursday, just three days after he was sentenced to more than seven years in prison in a case that sparked protests by human rights and labor groups.

Ruben Gonzalez told state television he had been granted parole and would be required to appear before authorities every 15 days. He said he was pleased with his conditional release, but insisted he had committed no crime.

The activist was sentenced Monday for leading a strike that temporarily paralyzed the state-run iron-mining company.

From wire dispatches and staff reports