Colombia: Rebel feared for life

BOGOTA — A day after surrendering to the army, Colombia's best-known female rebel commander urged other guerrillas Monday to follow her example and abandon their decades-long struggle.

Nelly Avila Moreno, better known as "Karina," denied her bloody reputation during a news conference and said her surrender owed much to intense military operations. She said she feared for her life after the recent murder of a fellow rebel commander by one of his bodyguards.

Her surrender Sunday was a major propaganda victory for President Alvaro Uribe, who has made defeating the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the cornerstone of his administration.

Cuba: U.S. envoy criticized

HAVANA — Cuba on Monday accused America's top diplomat in the country of ferrying funds to dissidents on the island from a man it characterizes as a terrorist.

E-mails and other correspondence suggest U.S. Interests Section chief Michael Parmly was asked to carry cash from Miami to dissidents in Havana, Cuban authorities said. In one e-mail, activist Martha Beatriz Roque urged her nephew in Miami to give "letters" to Parmly. Cuban officials claim the word "letters" was code for cash, but they gave no proof money was involved.

India: Lethal brew kills 59

NEW DELHI — Locally brewed liquor apparently tainted with lethal chemicals killed at least 59 people in southern India over the weekend, police said Monday.

Bootleggers began selling the deadly brew on Saturday after police shut authorized liquor shops in parts of the Karnataka state because of voting for the state government, said Sri Kumar, the state police chief.

In India, liquor stores and bars are routinely closed during elections to prevent politicians from handing out free alcohol in a bid to win votes.

Lebanon: Talks near collapse

BEIRUT — Talks between rival Lebanese factions teetered near collapse Monday as Arab League mediators in Qatar pressed the parties to resolve the political strife that erupted into bloody violence and pushed the country to the brink of a new civil war.

The Doha-hosted talks followed Lebanon's worst internal fighting since the 1975-90 civil war, with clashes between pro-government groups and the Hezbollah-led opposition raging in the streets of Muslim west Beirut, the central mountains and the north. At least 67 people died.

Taiwan: New president

TAIPEI — Nationalist Party leader Ma Ying-jeou took office as Taiwan's president today, promising to seek greater economic cooperation with rival China and ease nearly six decades of tensions.

The inauguration of the 57-year-old Ma represents a clear break from the eight-year presidency of Chen Shui-bian, whose confrontational pro-independence policies often led to friction with Beijing — and with the United States, Taiwan's most important foreign partner.

Vice president Vincent Siew, 69, was sworn in shortly after Ma, together with Premier Liu Chao-shiuan and his Cabinet.

Venezuela: Airspace violation

CARACAS — Venezuela wants the U.S. ambassador to explain a violation of its airspace by a U.S. Navy plane, the country's foreign minister said Monday.

The S-3 U.S. Navy plane was detected in Venezuelan airspace on Saturday night near the Caribbean island of La Orchila, and questioned by the Caracas airport control tower, Defense Minister Gen. Gustavo Rangel Briceno said.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the plane "may have strayed inadvertently into Venezuelan airspace" while conducting a counter-drug mission.

Yemen: Terror suspect jailed

SAN'A — A Yemeni-American on the FBI's Most Wanted list of terror suspects was jailed in Yemen after an appeals court upheld his 10-year prison sentence, officials said Monday.

Washington had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to Jaber Elbaneh's arrest, but Yemeni law forbid his extradition even after police arrested him in 2004.

Elbaneh, who has been accused of belonging to al-Qaida, has been convicted of plots to attack oil installations in Yemen and of involvement in a 2002 attack on the French tanker Limburg off Yemen's coast that killed one person.

DESERET NEWS, TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2008

Colombia: Rebel feared for life

BOGOTA — A day after surrendering to the army, Colombia's best-known female rebel commander urged other guerrillas Monday to follow her example and abandon their decades-long struggle.

Nelly Avila Moreno, better known as "Karina," denied her bloody reputation during a news conference and said her surrender owed much to intense military operations. She said she feared for her life after the recent murder of a fellow rebel commander by one of his bodyguards.

Her surrender Sunday was a major propaganda victory for President Alvaro Uribe, who has made defeating the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the cornerstone of his administration.

Cuba: U.S. envoy criticized

HAVANA — Cuba on Monday accused America's top diplomat in the country of ferrying funds to dissidents on the island from a man it characterizes as a terrorist.

E-mails and other correspondence suggest U.S. Interests Section chief Michael Parmly was asked to carry cash from Miami to dissidents in Havana, Cuban authorities said. In one e-mail, activist Martha Beatriz Roque urged her nephew in Miami to give "letters" to Parmly. Cuban officials claim the word "letters" was code for cash, but they gave no proof money was involved.

India: Lethal brew kills 59

NEW DELHI — Locally brewed liquor apparently tainted with lethal chemicals killed at least 59 people in southern India over the weekend, police said Monday.

Bootleggers began selling the deadly brew on Saturday after police shut authorized liquor shops in parts of the Karnataka state because of voting for the state government, said Sri Kumar, the state police chief.

In India, liquor stores and bars are routinely closed during elections to prevent politicians from handing out free alcohol in a bid to win votes.

Lebanon: Talks near collapse

BEIRUT — Talks between rival Lebanese factions teetered near collapse Monday as Arab League mediators in Qatar pressed the parties to resolve the political strife that erupted into bloody violence and pushed the country to the brink of a new civil war.

The Doha-hosted talks followed Lebanon's worst internal fighting since the 1975-90 civil war, with clashes between pro-government groups and the Hezbollah-led opposition raging in the streets of Muslim west Beirut, the central mountains and the north. At least 67 people died.

Taiwan: New president

TAIPEI — Nationalist Party leader Ma Ying-jeou took office as Taiwan's president today, promising to seek greater economic cooperation with rival China and ease nearly six decades of tensions.

The inauguration of the 57-year-old Ma represents a clear break from the eight-year presidency of Chen Shui-bian, whose confrontational pro-independence policies often led to friction with Beijing — and with the United States, Taiwan's most important foreign partner.

Vice president Vincent Siew, 69, was sworn in shortly after Ma, together with Premier Liu Chao-shiuan and his Cabinet.

Venezuela: Airspace violation

CARACAS — Venezuela wants the U.S. ambassador to explain a violation of its airspace by a U.S. Navy plane, the country's foreign minister said Monday.

The S-3 U.S. Navy plane was detected in Venezuelan airspace on Saturday night near the Caribbean island of La Orchila, and questioned by the Caracas airport control tower, Defense Minister Gen. Gustavo Rangel Briceno said.

U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the plane "may have strayed inadvertently into Venezuelan airspace" while conducting a counter-drug mission.

Yemen: Terror suspect jailed

SAN'A — A Yemeni-American on the FBI's Most Wanted list of terror suspects was jailed in Yemen after an appeals court upheld his 10-year prison sentence, officials said Monday.

Washington had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to Jaber Elbaneh's arrest, but Yemeni law forbid his extradition even after police arrested him in 2004.

Elbaneh, who has been accused of belonging to al-Qaida, has been convicted of plots to attack oil installations in Yemen and of involvement in a 2002 attack on the French tanker Limburg off Yemen's coast that killed one person.