clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

World datelines

Cuba: Bush draws fire

HAVANA — Cuba on Wednesday accused President Bush of threatening to take over the communist island by force in response to the U.S. leader's call for change in the country.

In his first address focused only on Cuba in four years, Bush spoke of a post-Fidel Castro Cuba where people would choose a representative government and enjoy basic freedoms, with support from a broad international coalition.

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque called Bush's plans the "equivalent to the re-conquest of Cuba by force" and said they "give an idea of the level of frustration, of desperation and of personal hatred toward Cuba."

Iran: Negotiators hopeful

Iranian negotiators in Rome said Wednesday that progress could be made on resolving the standoff over Tehran's nuclear program, even as their president vowed to keep enriching uranium and dismissed U.N. Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions as "worthless papers."

Iran's delegation held two days of talks with Western officials in Rome that marked the international debut of its newly appointed top negotiator, Saeed Jalili, a 42-year-old diplomat seen as a loyalist of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Jalili was accompanied by his predecessor, Ali Larijani, who is considered more moderate within Ahmadinejad's hard-line camp.

Kuwait: Laura Bush visits

KUWAIT CITY — First lady Laura Bush got a warm reception Wednesday in Kuwait, a nation that still holds her father-in-law, former President George H.W. Bush, in high regard for his role in liberating this Persian Gulf emirate from Iraqi occupation in 1991.

Bush drew thunderous cheers and applause when she told a crowd of teachers and students that she first visited Kuwait with the former president in 1993, describing that trip as "wonderful and moving."

After arriving from Saudi Arabia, the first lady met with female political activists as well as young students who praised a State Department English language initiative, the English Access Microscholarship Program.

Mexico: 10 oil workers die

MEXICO CITY — At least 10 oil workers were killed when a drilling rig hit an oil platform, spilling gas and oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the state-owned oil company said Wednesday. Some other workers were still missing.

Rescuers have pulled 58 oil workers from storm-tossed waters but have yet to control the oil leak, Mexico's oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said in a news release.

Ten workers were killed and at least 18 other employees of the state oil company were still either floating at sea in life rafts or were unaccounted for, it said.

Pakistan: Bombing probe

KARACHI — The detective leading Pakistan's inquiry into the suicide attack on Benazir Bhutto withdrew from the case Wednesday after the former prime minister accused him of involvement in the torture of her husband in 1999, a senior official said.

Ghulam Muhammad Mohtarem, home secretary of Sindh province, said the government would form a new team to investigate the deadly attack on Bhutto's homecoming parade in Karachi last week. The bombing killed 136 people and raised fears about the country's stability.

Bhutto has blamed Islamic militants for the attack, but has also accused elements in the government and the security services of complicity. She wants international experts to help with the investigation.

Russia: Serial killer convicted

MOSCOW — A man who once boasted he wanted to kill one victim for each of the 64 squares on a chessboard was found guilty of 48 murders Wednesday, a bloody spree that terrorized the Russian capital.

Alexander Pichushkin leaned against the wall of his reinforced glass cage in the courtroom and stared at the floor as the jury foreman took about an hour to read the verdict.

Although he claimed to have killed 63 people — most of them in southern Moscow's Bittsa Park — prosecutors could only find evidence to accuse him of murdering 48 — most of which occurred over five years.

Tunisia: Terror conviction

TUNIS — A Tunisian once held in the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay was convicted of terrorism charges Wednesday, judicial officials said.

Lotfi Lagha was sentenced by the Tunis criminal court to three years in prison — half the maximum penalty — on charges of associating with a criminal group with the aim of harming or causing damage in Tunisia. Officials did not name the group or specify what violence it planned.