- - Sunday, January 15, 2012


3 ETA suspects arrested in France

MADRID | French police acting alongside Spanish counterparts arrested three men at a railway station in France on suspicion of belonging to Basque separatist group ETA, the Interior Ministry said Sunday.

One of those arrested in Joigny, 93 miles southeast of Paris, was identified as 33-year-old Jon Echeverria Oyarbide, for whom there is an international arrest warrant. Police said he was in possession of bomb-making materials.

The others were identified as Ruben Rivero Campo, who is wanted for “an election offense,” and Inigo Sancho Marco, who is not on a wanted list, the ministry said in a statement, adding the arrests took place Saturday afternoon.

The statement said officers had spotted Mr. Echeverria at Bercy railway station in Paris and tailed him covertly to Joigny, where an apparent rendezvous with the other men took place.

The men were armed, and police found a car with false license plates in the station parking lot in Joigny.

The arrests occurred a day after Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez had insisted that, as long as ETA exists, its members would be hunted down.


Space probe crashes into Pacific Ocean

MOSCOW | A failed Russian space probe crashed in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, showering fragments south of Chile’s coast in a fiery plunge, the Russian military said in a statement.

The fragments of the Phobos-Ground landed in water 775 miles west of Wellington Island, off the southern coast of Chile, according to a statement from the military Space Forces carried by Russian news agencies.

Space Forces spokesman Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said Russian tracking facilities were monitoring the probe’s crash.

The Phobos-Ground was designed to travel to one of Mars’ two moons, Phobos, collect soil samples and fly them back to Earth in 2014 in one of the most daunting interplanetary missions ever. It got stranded in Earth’s orbit after its Nov. 9 launch, and efforts by Russian and European Space Agency experts to bring it back to life have failed.

The $170 million probe was one of the heaviest and most toxic pieces of space junk ever to crash to Earth, but space officials and experts said the risks posed were minimal because its toxic rocket fuel and most of the craft’s structure would burn up in the atmosphere anyway.

Story Continues →