World datelines

Deseret News wire services

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 27 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

Pakistan: 11 arrested

QUETTA — Pakistan arrested 11 Iranians Monday near the countries' border amid tensions over a deadly suicide attack in Iran that Tehran alleges has links to Pakistani intelligence officials.

Authorities first said the 11 were members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, but then reversed course and identified them only as security officers. They were arrested after shooting out the tires of a car carrying smugglers, Pakistan authorities said.

The arrests could add to the strain between the two volatile nations triggered by the Oct. 18 attack on the Iranian side of the border. They came a day after the Pakistani president met Iran's interior minister and vowed to track down the perpetrators of the blast.

South Korea: Fraud

SEOUL — Hwang Woo-suk, a disgraced cloning expert from South Korea who had claimed major breakthroughs in stem-cell research, was convicted Monday of falsifying his papers and embezzling government research funds. A judge sentenced him to a suspended two-year prison term, saying Hwang had shown remorse and had not taken research money for personal use.

Hwang was once hailed as a national hero in the South. His school, Seoul National University, disowned him in 2005, saying that he had fabricated the papers he had published to global acclaim.

Hwang, a veterinarian by training, became known as an international pioneer in stem-cell research in 2004 when he and his colleagues published a paper in the journal Science claiming that they had created the world's first cloned human embryos and had extracted stem cells from them.

Tunisia: Elections

TUNIS — President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia was re-elected for a fifth term with 89 percent of the vote — his weakest performance yet, but more than enough to show his solid grip on the nation.

The results announced by the Interior Ministry on Monday from Sunday's voting reflect timid gestures toward Ben Ali's rivals in this year's race to lead this Mediterranean vacation haven.

The Obama administration expressed concern about how recent elections have been held in Tunisia.

"The government of Tunisia did not allow international election monitoring," said U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly. But he also said the U.S. is committed to working with the president of Tunisia and his government.

Venezuela: Espionage?

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez's government accused Colombia on Monday of using its state security agency to spy on Venezuela while purportedly helping investigate the killings of eight Colombians.

Venezuela sent a diplomatic protest note saying officials of Colombia's DAS state security agency were "detected carrying out espionage work and attempting to bribe." Venezuela did not give details in its statement but said authorities seized documents referring to a conspiracy to destabilize its government. It also demanded the DAS halt the espionage.

Colombia has offered help in investigating the slayings of 10 men — eight Colombians, a Venezuelan and a Peruvian — whose bodies were found in the Venezuelan border state of Tachira on Saturday. Venezuelan authorities have said relatives told them the men were kidnapped from a soccer field where their team was playing near the border Oct. 11.

U.S.: Castro's sister

MIAMI — One of Fidel Castro's sisters says in a memoir released Monday that she collaborated with the CIA against her brother, starting shortly after the United States' failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961.

Juanita Castro, 76, initially supported her brother's 1959 overthrow of the Batista dictatorship but quickly grew disillusioned. In a Spanish-language memoir published by Santillana USA and co-written by journalist Maria Antonieta Collins, she says the wife of the Brazilian ambassador to Cuba persuaded her to meet a CIA officer during a trip to Mexico in 1961.

A spokesman for the CIA in Langley, Va., declined to comment on Castro's account.

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