- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2009


Incestuous father gets life sentence

ST. POELTEN | Josef Fritzl was sentenced to life in a psychiatric ward Thursday for one of Austria’s most notorious crimes: locking his daughter in a dungeon for 24 years, fathering her seven children and letting one die in captivity as a newborn.

Fritzl, 73, sat calmly and bowed his head as a jury convicted him of all the charges against him - homicide, enslavement, rape, incest, forced imprisonment and coercion. After locking eyes with his attorney, he waived his right to appeal, ending a case that has drawn revulsion worldwide.


Military captures drug cartel leader

MEXICO CITY | Mexico’s military has captured the security and operations chief of the nation’s most powerful drug cartel, officials said Thursday, delivering another punishing blow to trafficking only weeks after U.S. officials rounded up hundreds of cartel members north of the border.

Vicente Zambada purportedly became a top Sinaloa cartel leader last year, with control over logistics and authority to order assassinations of government authorities and rivals. He was arrested before dawn Wednesday at a home in an elite Mexico City neighborhood. His father, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, also is considered a top leader of the Sinaloa cartel and is among Mexico’s most-wanted suspects.


Former president charged with rape

JERUSALEM | Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav was indicted Thursday on rape and other sexual offense charges, after calling off a plea deal that would have allowed him to escape jail time.

The 63-year-old Mr. Katsav was charged with raping a woman who once worked for him, in addition to lesser sex crimes involving two other former employees. The indictment was filed in Tel Aviv district court nearly three years after the case broke. Mr. Katsav has insisted he is innocent. No trial date has been set.

The women worked for Mr. Katsav when he was tourism minister in the 1990s and president from 2000 to 2007.


Southern Africa rejects new leader

MBABANE, Swaziland | Southern African nations declared Thursday they will not recognize Madagascar’s new leader, an army-backed politician who ousted an elected president, and the United States said it would reconsider aid to the island nation.

The stance came as Madagascar’s neighbors held a minisummit Thursday on the situation in the Indian Ocean nation.

After months of street protests, Marc Ravalomanana resigned as Madagascar’s president Tuesday and placed power in the hands of the military. Within hours, the military announced it was making opposition leader Andry Rajoelina the country’s new president.


Palestinian talks end without deal

CAIRO | Egyptian-mediated talks between rival Palestinian factions broke down Thursday without a deal on a national unity government, in a major setback to Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

The failure of talks between rivals Hamas and Fatah also could deepen the divisions among Arab countries ahead of a crucial summit later this month in Qatar.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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