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Security adviser resigns in Jordan

Wed., Nov. 16, 2005

Amman, Jordan Eleven top Jordanian officials, including the kingdom’s national security adviser, resigned Tuesday in the wake of last week’s triple hotel bombings, state-run TV announced.

Jordan also introduced strict security measures aimed at foreigners and said it was drafting the country’s first anti-terrorism legislation to prevent more such attacks.

Jordan’s stepped-up security posture follows the Nov. 9 bombings of the Radisson SAS, Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels in Amman by a team of Iraqis. The attackers included three men who blew themselves up and killed 57 others.

King Abdullah II appointed Marouf al-Bakhit, Amman’s ambassador to Israel, to replace outgoing security chief Saad Kheir, a former head of Jordan’s intelligence department.

No details were given for the resignation of Kheir and 10 others, including prominent religious advisers to Abdullah, but a limited shake-up had been expected.

Village near volcano evacuating in Colombia

Bogota, Colombia Authorities on Tuesday began evacuating 7,500 people living on the slopes of a volcano in southwest Colombia over concerns it is about to erupt.

Emergency officials began knocking on the doors of the poor farmers who live in the high-risk area of the Galeras volcano, near the Ecuador border 335 miles southwest of Bogota.

Three weeks ago Colombia’s Geology and Mines Institute raised its warning for Galeras to Level 2, signifying “a probable eruption within days or weeks.”

The recent seismic activity at Galeras has resembled that observed prior to a 1993 eruption that killed nine people, including five scientists from around the globe who had descended into the crater to sample gases at the moment the volcano blew, the institute said.

Sharon’s son facing possible prison term

Jerusalem Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s eldest son pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of illegal fund-raising for his father’s 1999 election campaign, raising the specter of a prison term and putting his political future in jeopardy.

Omri Sharon, a member of Israel’s parliament, appeared briefly in a Tel Aviv court to admit to falsifying corporate documents, perjury and violating party funding laws.

Under a plea deal, prosecutors dropped charges of fraud and breach of trust but are demanding imprisonment on the other counts.

Sentencing is scheduled for January. The charges carry a maximum of five years in prison, but the sentence is expected to be much lighter, possibly a suspended sentence or community service.

Peacekeepers, gangs trade gunfire in Haiti

Port-au-Prince, Haiti U.N. peacekeepers and gang members traded gunfire Tuesday in the volatile Cite Soleil slum of the Haitian capital, leaving at least four people dead, witnesses and a U.N. official said.

The deaths were the latest casualties from sporadic clashes between gangs and U.N. troops, who were called to the country following the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Gang members say at least a dozen people have died in the area over the past week.


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