Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Coast guard chief out after death

BUENOS AIRES — President Cristina Fernandez ousted the coast guard chief yesterday after a suspect in a human rights trial died of cyanide poisoning at a brig.

Coast guard chief Carlos Fernandez was ordered to retire after an investigation into the case of Hector Febres, who died Dec. 10 at a military detention center days before a verdict was expected in his trial, according to government news agency Telam.

A former coast guard officer, Febres was accused of kidnapping and torturing four dissidents during military rule from 1976 to 1983.


Musicians plan to seek asylum

RIO DE JANEIRO — Three Cuban musicians who abandoned their group last week told a television network that they plan to ask for political asylum in Brazil, but federal police said yesterday that they are still waiting for the musicians to appear.

The musicians from the band “Los Galanes” were reported missing on Wednesday. Miguel Angel Costa Freda, Arodis Verdecia Pompa and Juan Alcides Diaz failed to show up at the airport in the coastal city of Recife for a flight home.

On Sunday, the Globo TV program “Fantastico” said it had located the musicians hiding in Recife and broadcast an interview in which Mr. Costa said they planned to ask for asylum in Brazil “because of its music, because of its people and because we have loved Brazil since we were young.”


WTO to investigate of U.S. subsidies

GENEVA — The World Trade Organization (WTO) began an investigation yesterday into Washington’s multibillion-dollar farm subsidies, which Canada and Brazil say break international trading rules.

The Canadian complaint called for a WTO assessment of U.S. subsidies and domestic support for corn and other agricultural products, while the Brazilian request challenged both U.S. domestic support and U.S. export credit guarantees.

A single panel was set up by the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body to assess the two countries’ concerns.


Man fatally beaten delivering cards

OTTAWA — An elderly man delivering Christmas cards to his neighbors in a Toronto area town was slain over the weekend, police said yesterday.

The 72-year-old was discovered badly beaten in his neighbor’s driveway in Kitchener, Ontario, about 45 miles southwest of Toronto Saturday afternoon. He later died of his injuries in a hospital.

The deceased, who friends described as “kind, caring,” had lived in the neighborhood with his wife for more than 30 years. Police are looking for “a white male of average build who was wearing a black, trench coat-like jacket and a black toque with red lines.”


Trial pending for ex-dictator

MONTEVIDEO — Uruguay’s former military dictator Gregorio Alvarez was charged and jailed yesterday pending trial for crimes against humanity during his 1981-85 rule, court sources said.

Judge Luis Charles issued an arrest warrant and detailed charges against Mr. Alvarez, 82, who had been sought since Nov. 12 in the abductions of suspected political opponents in 1978. The abductees were sent to Buenos Aires and thought to have been executed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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