Nation-World Briefly: Republican lawmakers defy White House, visit Honduran coup leader

  • Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 11:00pm
  • News

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Honduras’ coup-installed president told a U.S. congressional delegation Friday that full civil liberties would be restored within days, a spokesman for one of the lawmakers said following a meeting that challenged Washington’s attempts to isolate the interim government.

Interim President Roberto Micheletti said an emergency decree limiting civil liberties, including freedom of the press and assembly, would be lifted no later than Monday, said Wesley Denton, a spokesman for South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint.

The brief, amicable visit with the leaders of the coup highlighted a divide in Washington, where the Obama administration considers the interim government illegitimate and is working to reinstate President Manuel Zelaya. DeMint said before the trip that even calling Zelaya’s overthrow a coup is “ill-informed and baseless.”

Poland: Uprising leader dies

Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the ill-fated 1943 Warsaw ghetto revolt against the Nazis, died Friday at the age of 90. Edelman died of old age at the family home of a friend where he had lived for the past two years. Most of Edelman’s adult life was dedicated to the defense of human life, dignity and freedom. The uprising at the Warsaw ghetto was the first act of large-scale armed civilian resistance against the Germans in occupied Poland during World War II.

Pakistan: Troops kill 27 militants in tribal region

Pakistan’s paramilitary forces say they have killed 27 militants, including two important commanders, in an ongoing operation in the northwestern Khyber tribal region. The Frontier Corps said the troops also destroyed two militant hideouts in Friday’s operations. An explosives-laden vehicle and 18 other vehicles also were destroyed. It was not possible to independently confirm the statements. Access to Khyber is restricted. Under pressure from the U.S., Pakistan launched the operation weeks ago after insurgents stepped up attacks on trucks carrying supplies to American and NATO forces fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Northern Marianas: Typhoon approaches islands

Residents of the Northern Mariana Islands braced themselves today as Typhoon Melor churned across the Western Pacific. Three islands in the U.S. commonwealth — Saipan, Tinian and Agrihan — were under a typhoon warning, while a typhoon watch for Rota was downgraded to a tropical storm warning, the National Weather Service said. A tropical storm warning for the neighboring U.S. territory of Guam was canceled.

California: Temblors shake Owens Valley

Earthquakes up to magnitude 5.2 struck Friday evening in a remote area of eastern California that was been shaken by a sequence of temblors a day earlier. An Inyo County sheriff’s official said no damage or injuries were reported, but the department received several calls about the quakes. The quakes’ epicenters were about 180 miles north of Los Angeles.

Alleged fake doctor arrested

A Phoenix man who posed as a fertility doctor at a West Los Angeles clinic and solicited patients over the Internet may be responsible for two dozen assaults in California and Arizona, police said. Jeffrey Lynn Graybill, 40, was arrested Thursday in connection with two sexual assaults. But detectives said they believe there are many more victims.

D.C.: Mayors want gun reform

A new report from a national coalition of mayors urges President Obama to adopt dozens of reforms to help curb gun violence, including steps to crack down on problems at gun shows and the creation of a federal interstate firearms trafficking unit. The strategies outlined by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan group of about 450 mayors nationwide, focus on the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The agency declined comment.

Texas: Conviction in two of six killings

A handyman accused of killing six people in a cross-country spree was convicted Friday in two of the deaths, and could face the death penalty. Paul Devoe, 46, was accused of killing five people in Texas and one in Pennsylvania in August 2007. The jury deliberated for less than 30 minutes before finding him guilty of capital murder in the deaths of two teenage girls.

Prison and dishonorable discharge for soldier’s kidnapping hoax

A Fort Hood soldier who tried to fake his kidnapping by a Mexican drug cartel after he went AWOL was sentenced Friday to three years in prison and dishonorably discharged. As part of a deal, Pfc. James Andrew Gonzalez pleaded guilty to desertion, violating a general order and obstruction of justice charges.

Massachusetts: Couple would rather fight than be quiet

Authorities say a couple, upset over the slowness of their Kentucky Fried Chicken order, assaulted a man who asked them to stop yelling profanities for the sake of children in line. The couple was arrested Thursday after witnesses told police the couple beat the man as he was leaving the restaurant. Police say Jared Garfagna, 31, of Marshfield punched the man in the head, and then Garfagna’s girlfriend, Sara Mohn, 24, kicked the man. The victim had cuts on his eyelid and wrists.

Tennessee: Kidnapped newborn found safe in Alabama

Police say a kidnapped infant has been found safe in Alabama, and a woman suspected of abducting the baby has been arrested. Police said the child was found Friday night in good health at a home in Ardmore. They said the break in the case came as a task force of local, state and federal investigators developed strong information on a car seen at the kidnap scene and at a store. Yair Anthony Carillo was taken from his home Tuesday, just four days after he was born to 30-year-old Maria Gurrolla. She told police a heavyset white woman with blond hair arrived at her home posing as an immigration agent, attacked her with a knife, then took the boy.

From Herald news services