In the World

Posted: January 24, 2013

Mexico releases Frenchwoman

MEXICO CITY - A Mexican Supreme Court panel voted Wednesday to release Florence Cassez, a Frenchwoman who says she was unjustly sentenced to 60 years in prison for kidnapping and whose case became a cause célèbre in France, straining relations between the two countries.

A police convoy with sirens flashing escorted a white sport-utility vehicle out of the prison where Cassez had been held later Wednesday, presumably carrying Cassez to the Mexico City airport. Relatives of kidnap victims angrily shouted "Killer!" as the vehicle pulled away.

The five-justice panel voted 3-2 to order Cassez released because of procedural and rights violations during her arrest. Cassez, 38, was arrested in 2005 and convicted of helping her Mexican then-boyfriend run a kidnap gang.

Mexican police acknowledged they later staged a televised raid on a ranch to depict the rescue of the hostages and detention of Cassez. After Cassez was detained and held incognito for a day, Mexican police hauled her back to the ranch and forced her to participate in their staging of the raid. - AP

EU accuses Iran of stalling

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Union rebuked Iran on Wednesday in unusually direct language, suggesting it was willfully delaying new nuclear talks with six world powers by changing venues and setting preconditions on how the negotiations should be conducted.

The criticism appeared provoked by an announcement by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi that his country was now proposing Cairo as the host city of the next meeting. Salehi said Egypt welcomed the proposal and was in contact with the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany - on the issue.

Diplomats from some of those world powers have expressed frustration about what they say are Iran's tactics of proposing several venues, but not committing to any single one. But the comments Wednesday by the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton were the first to voice that sentiment on record. - AP

Plane missing over Antarctica

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A small plane carrying three Canadians disappeared while flying over an Antarctic mountain range, and bad weather Thursday was hampering a search.

The flight was going from a station near the South Pole to an Italian research base in Terra Nova Bay. Its emergency locator started transmitting late Wednesday in a mountainous area about 280 miles north of the pole.

New Zealand, U.S., and Italian authorities were working together to find the de Havilland Twin Otter. New Zealand Search and Rescue mission coordinator John Ashby said that winds had reached 104 m.p.h. and that heavy snow was predicted. - AP

comments powered by Disqus