Thursday, September 20, 2007


Senior Khmer Rouge Figure Held

The most senior surviving Khmer Rouge leader was arrested and charged with crimes against humanity Wednesday, three decades after the murderous government left as many as 1.7 million people dead through starvation, overwork and execution.

Khmer Rouge ideologue Nuon Chea, 82, the top aide of the late leader Pol Pot, was arrested at his home in northwestern Pailin and flown to Phnom Penh, where he was put in the custody of a U.N.-backed tribunal. The tribunal is investigating abuses committed during the Khmer Rouge's 1975-79 rule.


Buddhist Monks Occupy Temple

Buddhist monks staging anti-government protests in Burma pushed past closed gates to occupy a temple in downtown Rangoon, defying authorities despite being barred from an earlier gathering point, witnesses said.

About 500 monks temporarily took over Sule pagoda after finding the gates locked at the Shwedagon pagoda, Burma's most revered temple. The monks, taking to the streets for the second day in a row, extended a series of demonstrations against the country's military government into a second month.


Chiquita Fine Demanded for Victims

Colombia pressed the United States to hand over a $25 million fine against Chiquita Brands to victims of the paramilitary death squads the U.S. firm illegally paid for years. Angry Colombian officials said it was outrageous that the money would go into U.S. coffers after an American court imposed the fine on Chiquita on Monday for paying protection money to paramilitaries that are accused of massacres in a war with leftist guerrillas.

Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos said the National Commission for Reconciliation and Reparation contacted the U.S. attorney general's office to push for the fine to be paid into a victims fund.

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Syrian Site Reportedly Used for Chemical Arms

A Syrian military installation rocked by an explosion July 26 was being used to develop chemical weapons, and Iranian engineers were among those killed, Jane's Defence Weekly reported.

Secular Leader Named Prime Minister of Morocco

Abbas El Fassi, a longtime government minister and leader of a secular political party in Morocco, has been named prime minister, officials said. El Fassi's party, conservative-leaning Istiqlal, won the most seats in parliamentary elections this month.

U.N. Panel Rejects Taiwan's Membership Bid

A key General Assembly committee rejected Taiwan's bid to join the United Nations, the 15th consecutive year the island has been thwarted in its attempt to become a member of the world body.

Cuban Hijackers Given Life Sentences

Four Cuban soldiers and a civilian were spared the death penalty for killing a soldier and an officer in a crime spree that ended with a botched airplane hijacking, a leading rights activist said.

From News Services

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