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Chavez vows to find prosecutor's killers

VENEZUELA

CARACAS -- President Hugo Chavez vowed yesterday that Venezuela's intelligence services would identify the assassins of a state attorney who intended to prosecute backers of Venezuela's 2002 coup. Danilo Anderson, known to many Venezuelans as the "super prosecutor," was killed Thursday night by two explosions that ripped through his vehicle in the capital. The assassination renewed the specter of further violence just as years of political upheaval appeared to be ending. The president's spokesman, Andres Izarra, earlier accused expatriate "terrorists" of being behind the assassination. (AP)

CHINA

Editor sentenced to life to be freed next year
BEIJING -- China plans to release next year a Xinhua news agency editor who was sentenced to life in prison for leaking a key speech ahead of its delivery to a Hong Kong reporter in 1992, a US-based rights group said today. Editor Wu Shishen, stripped of his political rights and jailed for life in 1993 for selling "state secrets," will be released from Beijing's Number Two Prison on July 10, the Dui Hua Foundation said in a statement. It also said Chen Gang, a worker sentenced to life in jail for his role in organizing a large strike in 1989, was freed in April. Chen had originally been sentenced to death for "hooliganism," the group said. His sentence was later commuted. (Reuters)

ISRAEL

Palestinian premier presses statehood
JERUSALEM -- The Palestinian prime minister urged the United States yesterday to stick to its original 2005 deadline for Palestinian statehood, arguing that President Bush's recent proposal to extend it by as much as four years will give Israel time to grab more land in the disputed West Bank. Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said the Palestinians want assurances from US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in meetings next week that the timetable in the so-called "road map" peace plan will be honored and they will have a state within 13 months. "We'll tell him that the four years time that was mentioned by President Bush to establish a Palestinian state will encourage the Israeli government to continue stealing our lands to build settlements and the wall," he told a Palestinian journalist. (AP)

SOUTH KOREA

11 N. Korean defectors detained in California
SEOUL -- Eleven North Korean refugees are being held in a detention center in San Diego after trying to smuggle themselves into the United States, Yonhap news agency said yesterday. The nine men and two women sought political asylum, the report said, citing the US-based Association of Residents from Five Northern Provinces. Officials at the South Korean Foreign Ministry were not immediately available for comment. An increasing number of North Koreans have tried to enter the United States hoping Washington would provide them with large sums of resettlement money under a North Korean Human Rights Act passed by the US Congress last month. (Reuters)

France

Arafat's widow weighs medical record release
PARIS -- Yasser Arafat's widow took possession of his widely sought medical records yesterday and was deciding whether to release the information to the public, her lawyer said. Earlier, Palestinian leaders dispatched an emissary to Paris to pick up the records and had promised to make public the cause of death. It wasn't immediately clear how the latest development would affect the mission of the emissary -- Nasser al-Kidwa, Arafat's nephew and also the Palestinian representative to the United Nations. Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei said there was no doubt that Arafat's medical records would be disclosed. French officials have refused to make public the cause of death, opening the way for widespread rumors in the Arab world that Arafat was poisoned, despite official denials. (AP)

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