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Activist asks U.N. to pressure Cuba on rights

Published November 10, 2006


Cuba's best-known dissident on Thursday urged member nations of the U.N. Human Rights Council to demand the release of all Cuba's political prisoners, a day after the world body's General Assembly voted against a similar measure. "It's scandalous that this is not a scandal," Oswaldo Paya said of Cuba's imprisonment of political activists. Rights groups say more than 300 political activists are imprisoned in Cuba. Wednesday, the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to urge the United States to end its 45-year-old trade embargo against Cuba. But it voted down an Australian amendment calling on the country to free political prisoners and respect human rights.

Military sinks 22 rebel boats

The Sri Lankan military on Thursday said it sank 22 Tamil Tiger boats in a fierce battle, killing dozens of rebels as they tried to sink a passenger vessel carrying more than 300 civilians off the island's northern coast. At least 20 sailors were also reported missing, after a rebel suicide craft rammed into two navy gunboats, said Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe, a military spokesman. The battle took place barely a day after artillery fire by the Sri Lankan military killed at least 23 civilians who had been displaced by the fighting in eastern Sri Lanka.

Supreme Court overturns acquittal

Russia's highest court Thursday overturned the acquittal of three men in the killing of U.S. journalist Paul Klebnikov and ordered a new trial, a court spokesman said. The court said a new trial should be held with a new judge, said court spokesman Pavel Odintsov. Klebnikov, 41, who was editor of Forbes magazine's Russian edition, was gunned down on a Moscow street in July 2004.


AFGHANISTAN: NATO launched airstrikes as clashes in Kandahar killed 28 suspected Taliban militants, police said Thursday. Canadian troops from a NATO-led security force and Afghan police identified a Taliban position in Zhari district.

ARGENTINA: A judge handed down international arrest warrants Thursday for ex-Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani and eight other former Iranian officials in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 and hurt more than 200. An investigation blamed the bombing on Hezbollah guerrillas acting on orders from Iran.

CHINA: China's population of 1.3-billion people would be 400-million higher if not for the policy of limiting most families to one child, state media reported Thursday.

MEXICO: Tropical Storm Rosa formed Thursday off Mexico's Pacific coast, but was forecast to weaken, the National Hurricane Center said. Rosa's winds hit 40 mph, but were not expected to threaten land.


[Last modified November 10, 2006, 00:59:07]

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