- - Sunday, May 8, 2011


Al Qaeda prisoners spark jail riot; 17 killed

BAGHDAD | The accused al Qaeda mastermind of last year’s Baghdad church siege overpowered a policeman, sparking a jail mutiny on Sunday in which six Iraqi police and 11 inmates were killed.

Among the policemen killed were Brig. Gen. Moayed al-Saleh, the head of counterterrorism for Baghdad’s central Karrada district; a lieutenant colonel and two first lieutenants, a spokesman said.

One of the inmates killed was Huthaifa al-Batawi, accused of planning the Oct. 31 siege on a Baghdad church in which 46 hostages and seven security force members died, and who triggered the prison uprising.

The group killed Gen. Saleh and several other officers before a group of four attempted to flee the prison, at which point Iraqi police reinforcements arrived and killed the prisoners attempting to escape.


Dissident dies in jail after police beating

HAVANA | A Cuban dissident died Sunday after a run-in with authorities at a protest, said fellow government opponents who accused police of beating him and provoking his death.

Juan Wilfredo Soto died early in the morning in the central city of Santa Clara, fellow dissident Guillermo Farinas told the Associated Press in an interview by telephone from a funeral home where he said family members were gathered.

He said Mr. Soto was detained and beaten Thursday during an anti-government protest. Mr. Soto was hospitalized, and Mr. Farinas said doctors said he died from an inflamation of the pancreas.


Pope calls for tolerance on visit to Venice

VENICE | Pope Benedict XVI urged Italy on Sunday to welcome immigrants fleeing to its shores, invoking the historic role of Venice and the once influential church in nearby Aquileia as cultural bridges during his two-day visit to northern Italy.

“The churches created by Aquileia are called today to renew that ancient spiritual unity, in particular in light of the phenomenon of immigration and the new geopolitical circumstances,” Benedict said during his homily to more than 300,000 worshippers gathered in a vast park on the Venetian mainland.

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