tampabay.com

57 Nations sign treaty to bar secret lockups

By Times Wires
Published February 7, 2007


Representatives from 57 countries signed a treaty in Paris Tuesday prohibiting governments from holding people in secret detention. The United States declined to endorse the document, saying its text did not meet U.S. expectations. Louise Arbour, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, said the treaty was "a message to all modern-day authorities committed to the fight against terrorism" that some practices are not acceptable. Some U.S. allies in Europe also declined to join the treaty, among them Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Witness: Farmer talked of killing

A pig farmer accused in the deaths of women from a gritty Vancouver neighborhood told an undercover police officer he wanted to kill 75 but planned to take a break after one more slaying made it "an even 50," according to a jail cell video shown at his trial Tuesday. The officer - who cannot be identified under a court order - told the jury that he posed as a man who was facing attempted murder charges and gained the trust of Robert Pickton during their incarceration in February 2002. Pickton, 56, is charged with 26 counts of murder. He denies guilt.

Gunmen attack police stations

Gunmen disguised as army soldiers attacked two police stations and killed seven people in the resort city of Acapulco on Tuesday, according to police and media reports. Police officials said the two stations had been at the center of a dispute between reform-minded state officials and city police suspected of ties to drug-trafficking. All those killed were employees of the state police.

Suicide bomber targets airport

A suicide bomber armed with pistols and grenades killed himself and at least one other person after a shoot-out with security guards at Islamabad's international airport on Tuesday night, in what the police described as a thwarted terrorist attack. It was the second suicide bombing in Islamabad in less than a week and appeared intended to inflict major casualties at the airport, which was teeming with passengers and was sealed off by the police for hours. At least five people were wounded.

2nd letter bomb explodes in office

A suspected letter bomb exploded at an outsourcing company in Wokingham, England, on Tuesday at the start of the workday, officials said, injuring two employees in the second attack of its kind this week. Officials said two people in the office of Vantis PLC, a tax and accounting company, were injured. On Monday, a padded envelope exploded at an office belonging to Capita Group PLC, which administers a $16 daily charge aimed at cutting traffic congestion in central London.

Elsewhere

United States: The Pentagon will establish a new military command to oversee its operations in Africa, President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Tuesday.

Lebanon: The Hezbollah guerrilla group denied Tuesday that four bombs uncovered by the Israeli army on the border with Lebanon were new, saying they were planted before this summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah.