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World Briefs: Clinton urges closer Australia-India ties

- - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

PERTH — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday encouraged Australia to increase its military ties with India, but added that America also supports the peaceful rise of Asian economic powerhouse China.

Mrs. Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta arrived Tuesday in the west coast city of Perth on the eve of a bilateral security summit with their Australian counterparts.

The annual summit is the first since President Obama visited Australia a year ago and riled China, Australia's biggest trade partner, by announcing that up to 2,500 U.S. Marines would rotate through a joint military training hub in the northern city of Darwin.

Mrs. Clinton told a university forum that the meeting will review the implementation of that plan and aims to improve interoperability between the U.S. and Australian navies.

She said the U.S. had made a strategic priority of supporting India in playing a larger role in Asian affairs.

"It's also important to see the burgeoning relationship between Australia and India," she said. "We would welcome joint Australia-Indian naval vessel exercises in the future."

BELIZE

Police seek software mogul in killing of neighbor

BELIZE CITY — Police are urging software company founder John McAfee to come in for questioning and help solve the killing of his neighbor on the Caribbean island where they lived, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Mr. McAfee, 67, has been identified as a "person of interest" in the killing of 52-year-old Gregory Viant Faull, whose body was found on Sunday.

Mr. McAfee reportedly told Wired magazine on Monday that he had nothing to do with the death, but feared police would kill him if they find him. He said he hid in the sand when he saw police coming to his house Sunday and put a cardboard box over his head to breathe.

"We want to encourage him to come in," Raphael Martinez, spokesman for Belize's Ministry of National Security, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Mr. Faull was found with a gunshot wound to his head inside his two-story home north of San Pedro, a town on the island of Ambergris Caye, Mr. Martinez said. No charges had been filed in the case.

Mr. McAfee told Wired that whoever shot Mr. Faull may have been gunning for him instead and mistakenly killed his neighbor.

SUDAN

Iranian foreign minister makes Khartoum stop

KHARTOUM — Iran's foreign minister made a brief stopover in Khartoum, his Sudanese counterpart said Tuesday, with ties between the two states under scrutiny after Khartoum accused Israel of bombing a military factory.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi passed through Khartoum and met an official from Sudan's Foreign Ministry, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti told reporters, in what he called a "normal protocol" meeting without formal talks.

The date of the visit was not disclosed.

Sudan's links to Iran have come under scrutiny after Khartoum accused Israel of sending four radar-evading aircraft to strike the Yarmouk military factory in the heart of Khartoum at midnight on Oct. 23.

The factory compound exploded and burst into flames, and speculation followed that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there.

Sudan denied Iran had any involvement in the Yarmouk factory, while Israel refused all comment on Khartoum's accusation about the military factory.

GREAT BRITAIN

Radical cleric released from jail

LONDON — British authorities said radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada has been freed from prison after a court ruled he cannot be deported from Britain to Jordan to face terrorism charges.

Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-born Jordanian cleric, was convicted in Jordan over terrorist plots in 1999 and 2000, and he will face a retrial if deported there from Britain.

Authorities confirmed Tuesday that he had been released from Long Lartin prison, in central England.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission, which handles major terrorism and deportation cases, had said Monday that it was not convinced Jordan could guarantee Abu Qatada a fair trial. It said it thought evidence gleaned through torture could be used against the cleric.

CHILE

Allende's granddaughter loses after recount

SANTIAGO — The granddaughter of the late socialist President Salvador Allende has lost her first political race after a recount.

Maya Fernandez Allende lost in Santiago's Nunoa district by 30 votes to incumbent Mayor Pedro Sabat.

Initial results last month had shown Mrs. Fernandez Allende ahead, and Mr. Sabat recognized her victory.

But his party demanded a recount.

Chile's electoral committee said Tuesday that Mr. Sabat got 34,247 votes to Mrs. Fernandez Allende's 34,217 votes.

Mr. Sabat has won the district three other times in 16 years.

Salvador Allende was a democratically elected socialist president who was ousted in a 1973 military coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

From wire dispatches and staff reports