Sunday, June 10, 2007


Californian detained in security probe

TEHRAN — Iran confirmed yesterday that it had detained a fourth Iranian-American, who an Iranian news agency earlier said was being investigated for security-related issues.

Iran had said it charged two dual nationals with spying and said a third was being investigated for “anti-revolutionary” activities. But there was no word about the fourth, California businessman Ali Shakeri, until Friday’s Iranian Students News Agency report.

“Based on the news we have received, Ali Shakeri has been arrested,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said yesterday. ISNA said the probe involved “security-related charges.”


Walesa publishes secret police files

WARSAW — Former President and Nobel laureate Lech Walesa said yesterday that he has published on the Internet about 500 pages of files kept on him by the communist-era secret police in order to disprove claims that he collaborated with them in the 1980s.

Mr. Walesa, who helped topple communism in 1989, has been dogged for years by claims that he collaborated with the secret police in an attempt to sabotage the anti-communist labor union Solidarity.

Although he has been cleared in court of such charges, Mr. Walesa has continued to face charges from leading Solidarity activists.


Dissident is freed ahead of U.S. visit

HANOI — Officials have released a prominent critic convicted of spying against the communist government, two weeks before the president makes a historic visit to the United States, an official said yesterday.

Nguyen Vu Binh, a former journalist who used the Internet to spread pro-democracy views, was released from Nam Ha prison on Saturday under a presidential amnesty, said Pham Hong Canh, deputy director of the prison.

Mr. Binh was convicted of spying in late 2003 and sentenced to seven years in prison and three years of house arrest. The court said he had committed espionage by gathering anti-government information and documents for overseas “reactionary organizations.”


Episcopalians ordain female bishop

HAVANA — The Episcopal Church broke new ground in Cuba yesterday by ordaining its first female bishop in the developing world at a ceremony that mixed incense with rhythmic Caribbean music.

The Rev. Nerva Cot Aguilera said she will bring a feminine touch to leadership of her church’s small but growing congregation in communist Cuba, where religious worship was freed a decade ago.

A dozen bishops from North, Central and South America and Europe attended the consecration of Bishop Cot and Ulises Aguero as suffragan, or auxiliary, bishops at Havana’s Episcopal Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. The Cuban church is part of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.


Flemish voters end rule by center-left

BRUSSELS — Voters punished the outgoing liberal-socialist government in an election yesterday and cleared the way for Flemish Premier Yves Leterme to become prime minister.

Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt’s eight-year term seemed certain to end after his liberals slid from being the strongest party in Flanders to third place, according to early results and projections.

Mr. Leterme claimed victory before supporters of his Christian Democrats. But economic and foreign policy are unlikely to change radically in a country run by compromise.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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