In the World

Pope Benedict in unusual move.
Pope Benedict in unusual move.
Posted: April 12, 2011

Iraq seeks to oust anti-Iran group

BAGHDAD - Iraq's government voted Monday to shut down a camp of Iranian dissidents and move them out of the country by year's end, after a deadly raid on the compound by government forces last week.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Iraq would not deport members of the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran back to Iran, but he would not say what might happen if the group refused to leave the desert compound in Iraq's eastern Diyala province where they were given sanctuary by Saddam Hussein.

"We have to find a nation where they can go, and we will look to the U.N. to help," Dabbagh said. A Paris-based spokesman for the group said members were willing to move to the United States or countries in the European Union if given asylum.

U.N. observers were prevented by the Iraqis from going inside Camp Ashraf after the predawn clashes Friday that hospital officials said left at least 12 exiles dead and 39 wounded. The raid was denounced in Washington and London. It was praised by Tehran. - AP

Dissidents held in Swaziland

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Five activists have been arrested ahead of planned protests in Swaziland, a pro-democracy group in the southern African monarchy said Monday.

Lucky Lukhele, spokesman for the Swaziland Solidarity Network, said in a statement that four were arrested Sunday as they returned from South Africa to their homeland after a weekend planning meeting, and a fifth was arrested late Monday.

Lukhele said the protests would take place despite the arrests. In recent weeks, an online campaign has tried to rally support for the protests.

An antimonarchy movement has gained momentum since the government declared a budget crisis and proposed freezing civil-service wages. But many Swazis revere the monarchy even if they differ with the current king, portrayed by activists as uncaring about high rates of poverty and AIDS. - AP

Pope will field questions on TV

MILAN, Italy - Pope Benedict XVI, in a question-and-answer session on television unprecedented for a pontiff, will respond to questions from viewers on an Italian program later this month, the magazine TV Sorrisi e Canzoni reported Monday.

The pope will appear on Italian state television Rai SpA and respond to six questions selected from about 2,000 sent by viewers of the program, In His Image, the magazine said in an excerpt of an article to be published Tuesday.

The program will be aired April 22, which is Good Friday, two days before Easter, the article said. - Bloomberg News

Elsewhere:

France's top transport official said a search vessel would head to the site in the Atlantic where wreckage of an Air France plane that crashed in 2009 has been located. The vessel will try to recover flight recorders that may hold clues to the cause of the crash, as well as bodies of those who perished, French Transport Minister Thierry Mariani said.

A suspect in the kidnapping and killing of bus passengers near the U.S. border led Mexican soldiers to another set of makeshift graves containing 16 bodies, bringing to 88 the number of corpses found in mass pits in the state of Tamaulipas, the Mexican Defense Department said.

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