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World in brief

Priest won't be charged with murder

By wire services
Published January 21, 2006

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A judge in Haiti has dropped a murder charge against a jailed Roman Catholic priest, but indicted him on two lesser charges, the cleric's lawyer said Friday.

The Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, a supporter of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has been in prison since July in connection with the murder of the prominent Haitian journalist and poet Jacques Roche.

The priest, 59, has denied the allegations.

Judge Jean Perez Paul dropped the murder charge on Jan. 12, but indicted Jean-Juste for illegal weapons possession and criminal conspiracy, said Mario Joseph, the priest's lawyer.

Jean-Juste remains in prison with no court date.

His supporters, meanwhile, have said that he has cancer and should be allowed to go to the United States for treatment.

Pakistan: No sign raid killed al-Qaida leaders

UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan's prime minister said Friday no "tangible evidence" has been found that al-Qaida operatives were among those killed in a missile strike on a border village last week.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said security agencies in the area of Damadola "have not found any tangible evidence that a particular group or any individual was there."

It has been reported that al-Qaida figures were casualties of the Jan. 13 attack, which also killed civilians.

Meanwhile, thousands of Pakistani protesters took to the streets Friday, calling for holy war as outrage persisted over the airstrike.

Royal family asks prime minister to lead Kuwait

KUWAIT CITY - Kuwait's prime minister on Friday agreed to take charge of the country due to the poor health of the newly named emir, state television reported, a move seen as a first step to his taking over the top office.

In an unprecedented move, a newspaper called Friday for the new emir, Sheik Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, to abdicate and assign his responsibilities to a member of the ruling family who "is able to carry them out."

The editorial in the independent Al-Qabas reflected the extent of the crisis that has confronted the country since Sunday when the emir, Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah, died and was succeeded by one who is extremely frail.

Television reported that ruling family members asked the prime minister, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, on Friday to lead Kuwait until it reaches the "shore of safety."

Sheik Sabah - who has a pacemaker but otherwise seems to be in good health - accepted the responsibility and asked God to help him, the television reported.

[Last modified January 21, 2006, 01:34:14]

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