Attack during Cheney visit blamed on Libyan

Published May 4, 2007

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - A Libyan al-Qaida commander was probably behind the suicide bombing that killed 23 people outside the main U.S. base in Afghanistan during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, said coalition spokesman Maj. Chris Belcher. Cheney was inside Bagram base at the time of the attack Feb. 27 and was not hurt. Belcher said it was "extremely unlikely" that Abu Laith al-Libi knew he was there. Belcher also said the planning was "falsely attributed" to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden by a Taliban commander to boost al-Qaida morale. Cheney will visit the Mideast again next week, the White House said Thursday, with stops in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

Ottawa: Canadian soldiers will have access to prisoners they capture in Afghanistan even after handing them to Afghan authorities, government lawyers said Thursday, following a report last week by the Globe and Mail newspaper that detainees were tortured after past transfers.


More emigration than deaths

MEXICO CITY - Mexico has lost more people to migration to the United States than death since 2000, according to a government report released Thursday. Mexico's demographics agency found that an average of 577, 000 people migrated to the United States each year between 2000 and 2005, compared with 495, 000 deaths a year. In 2006, 559, 000 migrated and there were 501, 000 deaths. Mexico had 104.9-million residents as of last year, an increase of 6.4-million since 2000. Today, about 11-million Mexicans live in the United States, both legally and illegally, the report found.


Grave of former leader vandalized

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - The skull and several other bones of Hungary's communist-era leader Janos Kadar and the urn containing his wife's ashes were stolen from his grave, police said Thursday. Vandals on Wednesday dug up Kadar's grave and broke open his casket. On a memorial to communist leaders near the tomb, someone had written, "Murderer and traitor, you cannot rest in holy ground." Kadar was installed as Hungary's leader after the Soviet army crushed the 1956 revolution. He ruled until 1988 and died in 1989. Some Hungarians, especially the elderly, consider him a father figure.


Protestant group renounces violence

NORTHERN IRELAND - The Ulster Volunteer Force, an underground Protestant army that terrorized Roman Catholics for decades and committed the bloodiest attack of the Northern Ireland conflict, renounced violence Thursday and promised to evolve into a force for good. Leaders of the British territory's Catholic minority welcomed the surprise announcement but also expressed skepticism, given the UVF's hate-fueled past and criminal present as well as its breaches of its own 1994 cease-fire declaration. The British, Irish and U.S. governments called on UVF commanders to demonstrate their sincerity by surrendering weapons stockpiles, an act completed two years ago by the rival Irish Republican Army.


President may nationalize banks

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Thursday threatened to nationalize the country's banks and largest steel producer, accusing them of unscrupulous practices.