Facebook Twitter

World datelines

A sea lion wearing antlers performs at the Sunshine International Aquarium in Tokyo on Tuesday. The aquarium will display seasonal decorations in the large fish tank to attract visitors until Christmas Day.

A sea lion wearing antlers performs at the Sunshine International Aquarium in Tokyo on Tuesday. The aquarium will display seasonal decorations in the large fish tank to attract visitors until Christmas Day.

Yoshikazu Tsuno, Getty Images

Argentina: Property seized

BUENOS AIRES — An Argentine court has ordered the seizure of property owned by a former cultural attache at Iran's embassy in Buenos Aires who is sought for his alleged role in a 1994 terrorist attack.

A judge has approved prosecutor Alberto Nisman's motion to seize a building owned by Moshen Rabbani due to his alleged role in a bomb explosion that flattened the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and killed 85 people.

The Buenos Aires-based Jewish News Agency says the court's action on Tuesday is part of a survivor's suit for $1 million in damages.

If Rabbani is convicted, his property would be auctioned and the money would go to the victims of the attack. His whereabouts are unknown.

Bolivia: Media feud grows

LA PAZ — President Evo Morales says he will no longer hold press conferences for Bolivian reporters — only the "more responsible" international press.

Morales' announcement Monday continues an ongoing feud between the leftist president and Bolivia's often conservative-leaning national media.

Morales was once fond of teasing the "paparazzi" who dog his every step.

But he changed his tone this month when he publicly harangued a Bolivian newspaper reporter for publishing a story accusing the president of ties to a recent contraband scandal.

Morales later estimated that only 10 percent of journalists are "honorable."

He did not say who among Bolivia's international press corps might fall in that category.

Canada: Ski tower collapses

WHISTLER, British Columbia — More than 50 people were evacuated from about 30 gondolas after a tower supporting the cables partially collapsed Tuesday at Canada's Whistler ski resort.

Police said there were no serious injuries at the resort, which is to host the alpine events of the 2010 winter Olympic games. But health officials said earlier that five people had been taken to the hospital after the mid-afternoon accident.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Steve Wright said the gondolas that police were most concerned about had already been safely evacuated and a crane was brought in to support the tower.

Mexico: More anti-drug aid

MEXICO CITY — A top official in Mexico's Foreign Relations Department says the second installment of U.S. anti-drug aid should be released by January.

Undersecretary for North American affairs Carlos Rico says Mexico expects the U.S. to release $116 million in drug-fighting aircraft and equipment before President George W. Bush leaves office Jan. 20.

The U.S. on Dec. 3 released $197 million under the so-called Merida Initiative. The $1.3 billion package over three years includes helicopters and surveillance aircraft, airport inspection equipment and case-tracking software to help police share real-time intelligence.

More than 5,300 people have died in drug-related killings in Mexico in 2008 — more than double the number last year, the government says.

Niger: U.N. envoy kidnapped

NIAMEY — A Tuareg rebel group claimed responsibility for the abduction of a U.N. envoy on the outskirts of Niger's capital, saying Tuesday that the veteran Canadian diplomat was in good health.

But hours later, the group reversed course, posting a second statement signed by a different rebel leader that condemned the kidnapping of Robert Fowler and denied responsibility.

It was unclear if the contradictory statements indicated a rift in the Front for the Forces of Redress, or FFR, a rebel group comprised of ethnic Tuaregs, a nomadic people who inhabit the vast deserts that cross northern Africa.

Venezuela: Official charged

CARACAS — A former governor who recently broke with President Hugo Chavez was charged with corruption on Tuesday.

Eduardo Manuitt was also barred from running for office for 15 years by Venezuela's anti-corruption agency, the state-run Bolivarian News Agency reported.

Manuitt was charged with irregularities in the purchase of air conditioners for hospitals in 1999, prosecutors said in a statement. The crime is punishable by three to 10 years in prison.

Manuitt denied the charges.