- The Washington Times - Friday, June 1, 2007


U.S. pilots indicted in airline crash

RIO DE JANEIRO — A judge indicted two American pilots and four Brazilian air traffic controllers yesterday on manslaughter-related charges in Brazil’s worst air disaster, court officials said.

Judge Murilo Mendes accepted the charges filed by a prosecutor last week in a federal court in Sinop, a small city near the Amazon jungle site where a Boeing jetliner plunged into the rain forest after a collision with an executive jet last year.

The American pilots have been called on to give preliminary depositions on Aug. 27, and the flight controllers have been called to testify a day later.

Prosecutors last week asked the judge to indict pilots Joseph Lepore, 42, of Bay Shore, N.Y., and Jan Paladino, 34, of Westhampton Beach, N.Y., with exposing an aircraft to danger resulting in death.


Kazakh leader’s son-in-law arrested

VIENNA — Austrian authorities yesterday arrested the Kazakh president’s powerful son-in-law, who is wanted in his homeland for purported involvement in the suspected kidnapping of two senior managers of a bank he controls.

Rakhat Aliyev, who was Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Austria before he was dismissed May 26, was arrested in Vienna, a spokesman for the country’s federal bureau of investigation said.


Parliament passes laws for early vote

KIEV — Parliament yesterday passed a package of legislation needed to stage an early election to the chamber in September, intended to end the ex-Soviet state’s long-running political crisis.

The assembly completed its approval of the legislation a little more than an hour before the latest of three deadlines set by President Viktor Yushchenko.

Mr. Yushchenko dissolved parliament in April and ordered the new election, but the date was only set after considerable wrangling culminated in a deal this week with his arch rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.


Israeli troops kill 2 Palestinian teens

GAZA CITY — Israeli troops shot and killed two 13-year-old Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border fence yesterday, saying they were crawling toward the barrier in a “suspicious manner.” The boys had told their families they were going to the beach.

Also yesterday, an Islamic Jihad militant was killed in an Israeli missile strike while riding his motorcycle in southern Gaza, Palestinian security officials said. Earlier in the day, Islamic Jihad said it fired two rockets toward Israel.


Rebels moved in bid for hostage release

BOGOTA — The government transferred jailed leftist rebels to a holding center yesterday as part of President Alvaro Uribe’s bid to win freedom for 60 rebel-held hostages, including three U.S. defense contractors and former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.

Mr. Uribe said the rebels must “demobilize, promise not to return to crime and be under the supervision of a foreign government or the Catholic Church” to qualify for release Thursday.

About 80 rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, were moved from various prisons to a center in Boyaca province, RCN Television news reported. Another 190 were expected to arrive later in the day.


Hundreds flee Darfur after air raids

GENEVA — Hundreds of women and children fled by foot and on donkeys from Darfur to the neighboring Central African Republic after their town was attacked by planes and helicopters, the U.N. refugee agency said yesterday.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees was rushing aid to the 1,500 refugees who made the grueling 125-mile journey over 10 days, a spokeswoman said.

The refugees said their town of Dafak, in southern Darfur, was attacked repeatedly by Janjaweed militia from May 12 to May 18 and that their homes had been bombarded by air strikes.


School scraps pregnancy test

BEIJING — A vocational school in far western China has decided to scrap a new rule requiring all female students to take pregnancy tests amid concerns the tests would violate the girls’ privacy, state press reported yesterday.

The headmaster at the agriculture vocational school in Urumqi, capital of the heavily Muslim Xinjiang region, said school officials wanted to limit the number of unwanted pregnancies among students, 80 percent of whom are girls between ages 16 and 19, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

But public pressure over infringing the students’ privacy rights prompted school officials to abandon the new policy.


Swiss delay decision on ‘Baby Doc’ funds

GENEVA — Switzerland has delayed by three months a decision on returning seized funds of former Haitian ruler Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier worth $6.2 million, the government said yesterday.

The funds have been blocked in accounts for more than 20 years and Switzerland has proposed giving much of the money to Haiti for humanitarian projects, with the rest going back to the former ruler, exiled in France, and his family. They were due to be released tomorrow.

Officials said the decision was made after two Haitians won a court order this week to freeze one of the Duvalier family accounts in a Geneva bank.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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