- - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

LONDON — Ronald Reagan’s foundation on Tuesday denounced the sale by a Channel Islands online auction house of a vial that supposedly contains blood residue from the late U.S. president.

The PFC Auctions house said the blood vial being auctioned was used by the laboratory that tested Reagan’s blood when he was hospitalized after a 1981 assassination attempt in Washington.

The plan has provoked an angry response from John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

“If indeed this story is true, it’s a craven act and we will use every legal means to stop its sale or purchase,” he said in a statement. “We’ve spoken to GW [George Washington] Hospital and are assured an investigation as to how something like this could possibly happen is under way.

“Any individual, including a president of the United States, should feel confident that once they enter into the care of a medical system their privacy and rights are held inviolable,” he said.

The auction house says the Bio Science Laboratory in Columbia, Md., is the source of the blood.

The blood is being sold by a man whose late mother took it from the laboratory with permission weeks after the tests were made, auction house spokeswoman Kylie Whitehead told the Associated Press on Tuesday.


Police defuse bomb ahead of Uribe talk

BUENOS AIRES — Argentine police found a bomb planted in the ceiling of a Buenos Aires theater where former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe was scheduled to speak Wednesday.

Judicial secretary Carlos Leiva said the bomb would have been activated with a cellphone. It was hidden in the power supply for a ceiling light in the second floor of the Gran Rex theater, just where Mr. Uribe was expected to meet with business executives and other high-paying guests after his talk.

Mr. Leiva works for Judge Norberto Oyarbide, who is leading the investigation.

Police emptied the Gran Rex theater as they worked to deactivate the bomb.


Euro 2012 fans to get free condoms

WARSAW — Polish health officials say they will distribute free condoms to hundreds of thousands of fans attending Euro 2012 as part of a safe sex campaign.

Officials say the “Fair Play” campaign advocating the use of condoms will be held in all four Euro 2012 cities in the country.

The soccer tournament kicks off June 8 in Warsaw and runs through to July 1 in Poland and in Ukraine.


Passenger train rams freight train; 25 dead

HYDERABAD — A passenger train rammed into a parked freight train and caught fire before dawn Tuesday in southern India, killing at least 25 people and injuring dozens more.

Rescuers worked for about six hours to pull some 70 survivors from the twisted and smoldering wreckage near the southwestern border of Andhra Pradesh state.

Medical workers brought drinking water to traumatized survivors at the scene, while mothers cried for help in finding their lost children. Witnesses reported seeing victims on fire.

At least 40 people were hospitalized with injuries, with about 10 in critical condition, local police chief Charu Sinha said.

The driver of the Hampi Express, upon seeing the cargo train stopped on the tracks ahead, slammed on the emergency brakes, which caused four cars of the Express to derail, officials said.


Quebec students mark 100 days of protests

MONTREAL — Thousands of students marched through the streets of Montreal on Tuesday to mark 100 days since the movement against higher tuition fees began.

The protest comes after Quebec’s provincial government passed emergency legislation to end Canada’s most sustained student demonstrations ever.

Protesters carrying red banners and signs, the color demonstrations, walked in unison chanting “Our streets!”

Since the law was passed Friday, nightly protests often have turned violent, resulting in some 300 arrests Sunday alone.

Police have yet to fully enforce the new law, which calls for protests of more than 50 people to provide a detailed agenda.

Student groups have vowed to challenge the legislation in court. Rights groups say the new law limits protesters’ ability to express themselves democratically.


Suu Kyi to address U.N. body next month

GENEVA — Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver her first speech outside the country since at least 1988 before a U.N. labor conference in Geneva on June 14, the head of the U.N. labor office said Tuesday.

Mrs. Suu Kyi’s speech to the annual conference of the Geneva-based U.N.’s International Labor Organization (ILO) will be a key element of her first trip abroad since 1988, when she returned to Myanmar to care for her ailing mother.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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