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Police accuse U.S. pilots in crash

Published December 9, 2006


Police on Friday formally accused two U.S. pilots in connection with Brazil's deadliest air disaster, saying their "lack of caution" at the controls of an executive jet played a role in the collision over the Amazon that killed 154 people in September.

If convicted of exposing an aircraft to danger, Joseph Lepore, 42, of Bay Shore, N.Y., and Jan Paladino, 34, of Westhampton Beach, N.Y., could face up to 12 years in prison apiece, federal police said.

A judge will decide whether to indict the pilots and send them to trial, a process that could take weeks or months. The men were allowed to pick up their passports and leave the country. They took a charter jet to the United States.


Prime minister says rival threatening coup

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora on Friday accused the leader of Hezbollah of threatening a coup as the group escalated its attempts to oust him.

Saniora spoke to supporters in his fortified office in Beirut. In a nearby square, pro-Hezbollah demonstrators replayed a Thursday speech in which their leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, accused Saniora of siding with Israel during the July-August war.


London hotel a focus of poison investigation

Investigators focused on London's Millennium Hotel on Friday as possibly the place where someone poisoned former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko with the lethal radioactive substance polonium-210, police said.

He went to the hotel's Pine Bar the morning of Nov. 1 to discuss a joint business venture with Russian Andrei Lugovoi, also an ex-Soviet agent, and Russian businessman Dmitry Kovtun. By evening, Litvinenko, 43, was in a London hospital with stomach pains and nausea. He died on Nov. 23 from radiation that caused his hair to fall out and his organs to fail.


RUSSIA: A fire tore through a Moscow drug treatment hospital today while patients slept, killing 42, fire officials said. About 160 people were evacuated, said Fire Department spokesman Yevgeny Bobylyov, who criticized hospital workers for not evacuating people more quickly.

NETHERLANDS: A Serb war crimes suspect, Vojislav Seselj, ended his nearly monthlong hunger strike Friday after judges allowed him to conduct his own defense and granted several other demands, the U.N. Yugoslav tribunal announced.

IRAN: Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday his Hamas-led government would never recognize Israel, telling a crowd at an Iranian mosque he would resist U.S. pressure to moderate.


[Last modified December 9, 2006, 01:31:30]

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