- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 9, 2006

SUDAN

U.S. journalist to be released

KHARTOUM — The president of Sudan agreed to release American journalist Paul Salopek today after meeting with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a spokesman for the governor said.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Tribune and his Chadian driver and interpreter will be picked up by Mr. Richardson in the war-torn Darfur region, where the three were arrested, said Pahl Shipley, the spokesman.

Mr. Salopek, who has a home in New Mexico, was on assignment for National Geographic magazine when he was arrested last month and charged with espionage, passing information illegally, writing “false news” and entering the African country without a visa. His trial was set to begin Sunday.

Mr. Richardson, a former congressman, U.N. ambassador and energy secretary during the Clinton administration, secured the release in 1996 of three Red Cross workers, including an Albuquerque, N.M., pilot, from rebels in Sudan.

MEXICO

Colombian drug boss arrested by agents

MEXICO CITY — Mexican authorities have arrested a major figure in a Colombian drug cartel responsible for nearly half of the cocaine smuggled into the United States, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza said yesterday.

Jaime Maya Duran, a Colombian citizen, was arrested Wednesday by agents of Mexico’s attorney general’s office. It was not revealed where he was arrested.

Mr. Maya Duran and three other key lieutenants purportedly took over the Norte Valle cartel, based in Cartago, Colombia, after the ring’s suspected leader, Luis Hernando Gomez Bustamante, was jailed in Cuba for attempting to enter that country with a false passport two years ago.

INDONESIA

U.S. urged to give access to terrorist

JAKARTA — Indonesia demanded access to purported Asian terror chief Hambali after receiving confirmation from Washington that he was alive and being transferred to the prison at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for trial, a Foreign Ministry official said yesterday.

The whereabouts of Hambali, also known as Riduan Isamuddin, had not been disclosed since he was taken into U.S. custody three years ago. He was listed among 14 prominent terrorism suspects being transferred to the U.S. Navy base in Cuba for trial after President Bush acknowledged the existence of previously secret CIA prisons.

CHILE

Pinochet stripped of immunity

SANTIAGO — Chile’s Supreme Court cleared the way yesterday for former dictator Augusto Pinochet to face charges of murder, torture and other rights abuses at Villa Grimaldi, one of the most infamous prisons run by his secret police.

The ruling meant Gen. Pinochet, now 90, can be charged with human rights abuses related to the Villa Grimaldi prison, where thousands — including current Chilean President Michelle Bachelet — were tortured between 1974 and 1977.

CANADA

Reporter suspended for Afghan war support

OTTAWA — One of Canada’s top reporters has been suspended from her job for praising the country’s increasingly troubled military mission in Afghanistan, the company said yesterday.

Christine St-Pierre, a veteran Ottawa correspondent for French-language public broadcaster Radio-Canada, wrote an open letter to Canada’s 2,300 troops telling them to ignore mounting criticism of the mission. The letter was published Thursday by Montreal’s La Presse newspaper.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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