- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2009

SOUTH AFRICA

Life in prison for singer’s killers

JOHANNESBURG | A judge sentenced three men convicted of murdering an internationally known South African reggae star in a botched carjacking to life in prison Thursday.

Lucky Dube’s 2007 killing drew worldwide attention to crime in South Africa, which has one of the world’s highest murder rates. The 43-year-old singer was gunned down in his car in front of his children in suburban Johannesburg.

“The accused showed no mercy for the deceased,” Judge Seun Moshidi said. “It is difficult for the court to extend any mercy today.”

NORTHERN IRELAND

Suspect arrested in soldiers’ killings

DUBLIN | Police in Northern Ireland arrested a 19-year-old man Thursday on suspicion of gunning down two British soldiers last month, the first such slayings in more than a decade of peacemaking.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the suspected IRA dissident was arrested in the overwhelmingly Catholic village of Bellaghy. He faced interrogation over the March 7 attack on off-duty, unarmed soldiers who were collecting pizzas outside an army base.

Two died and four others, including two pizza couriers, were wounded in a hail of bullets fired by two masked men.

VENEZUELA

Chavez offers home to Gitmo detainees

DOHA, Qatar | Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said his country would have “no problem” taking any of the remaining 240 Guantanamo detainees after they are released from the U.S. military prison.

But it is unlikely that the United States, which has strained relations with Mr. Chavez, would send any of the remaining Guantanamo detainees to Venezuela.

Mr. Chavez has frequently criticized the detention center in Cuba, but the socialist leader has also praised President Obama’s recent pledge to close the facility within a year.

Mr. Chavez made the offer in an interview with the Arabic-language Al Jazeera network during this week’s trip to the Persian Gulf country of Qatar.

WEST BANK

Palestinian with ax kills Israeli teenager

BAT AYIN | A Palestinian with an ax and a knife killed a 13-year-old Israeli boy and wounded a 7-year-old boy in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on Thursday, two days after a right-wing government took power in Israel.

Citing Israeli “crimes of occupation,” Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a militant group in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, claimed responsibility in a statement.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, called the incident a “senseless act of brutality against innocents.”

VATICAN CITY

Benedict marks John Paul’s death

VATICAN CITY | Pope Benedict XVI marked the fourth anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II with a memorial Mass on Thursday and new prayers for the Polish pontiff’s beatification.

Benedict presided over an evening Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in which he recalled how beloved John Paul was, particularly among young Catholics.

Later, Benedict descended to the grottos underneath St. Peter’s and knelt for a few minutes of silent prayer before his predecessor’s simple, marble tomb.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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