WORLD IN BRIEF
South Korea to Resume Aid to North, Group Says
SEOUL -- South Korea will begin sending fertilizer to North Korea on March 27, an official with the International Committee of the Red Cross said Friday. That means that the South will resume aid before it finds out if the impoverished communist state makes good on a pledge to shut down its nuclear reactor under an international agreement.
The shipment will resume official aid to North Korea that was suspended in July after North Korea tested a series of missiles.
In Beijing, meanwhile, North Korea's chief nuclear envoy said Saturday that Pyongyang will not stop nuclear activity unless its funds held in a Macau bank are fully released. Banco Delta Asia had been blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury Department since 2005, leading to a freeze of about $25 million in North Korean accounts.
· KABUL -- Taliban insurgents killed an Afghan driver, who was kidnapped with an Italian journalist, after they convicted him of spying, a rebel spokesman said.
The fate of La Repubblica reporter Daniele Mastrogiacomo, also accused of spying, and his Afghan interpreter would be decided later, the spokesman said.
· MANILA -- Philippine police arrested a left-wing lawmaker on a charge of mass murder in the 1980s. Satur Ocampo, a two-term member of the lower house of Congress, said the charges were an attempt by the government to exclude left-wing groups from mainstream politics and prevent them from seeking reelection May 14.
· MEXICO CITY -- Mexican police found $206 million from drug smuggling in suitcases, drawers and closets at a mansion in an exclusive neighborhood of the capital, the attorney general's office said. Seven people at the house were arrested.
the middle east
· LONDON -- The exiled leader of Syria's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Ali Sadreddin Bayanouni, called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down and allow free elections, saying the opposition would resort to civil disobedience if the regime failed to introduce democratic change.
· TOULOUSE, France -- Workers at Airbus plants in France, Germany and Spain staged strikes and protests against a restructuring plan the troubled aircraft maker said would slash 10,000 jobs in Europe.
· ROME -- For the second time in just over a month, the Italian government has asked a top court to stop a pending trial of 26 Americans, most of them CIA officers, in a case that could provide the first public examination of a secret U.S. program that targeted terrorism suspects abroad.
· COTONOU, Benin -- Benin's president, Thomas Yayi Boni, was unharmed after his convoy was attacked in what his office described as an assassination attempt. Unidentified assailants with machine guns fired on the convoy, a spokesman said.
-- From News Services