WORLD IN BRIEF

WORLD IN BRIEF

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

GAZA STRIP

Six Palestinians Killed in Israeli Incursion

Israeli armored forces backed by aircraft thrust into the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing five Palestinians a day before Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were to begin laying the groundwork for peace talks. Another Palestinian was killed in an airstrike.

Palestinian witnesses said 30 armored vehicles moved into the area. But an Israeli army spokesman said "a few" tanks took part.

TURKEY

Prosecutors Seek Prison Terms for Mayors

State prosecutors demanded jail sentences for 54 mayors in mainly Kurdish southeastern Turkey for suggesting that the jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan might have been poisoned.

Prosecutors said Tuesday that the mayors had "praised" Ocalan and his actions, a crime in Turkey, at a news conference in March.

SOMALIA

Pirates Release Tanker Crew Unharmed

Somali pirates who had seized a Japanese-owned chemical tanker in October and were demanding ransom have left the vessel without hurting any of its crew, a U.S. military spokesman said Wednesday. The Panama-registered Golden Nori was carrying benzene from Singapore to Israel when it was hijacked on Oct. 28 just off Somalia, in one of the world's most dangerous shipping lanes.

U.S. and German navy ships cornered the vessel this month and destroyed speedboats being towed by the hijacked tanker.

"All the pirates are off the vessel," said Navy Lt. John Gay, who gave no further details on how the pirates had left the ship.

BRAZIL

Americans Held on Sexual Abuse Charges

Police on Tuesday arrested two Americans from Virginia suspected of sexually abusing minors in a nudist colony in southern Brazil. They were identified by police as Frederick Calvin Louderback, 63, and his girlfriend, Barbara Anner, 54.


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