November 27, 2007 in Nation/World

Musharraf to leave army post soon

The Spokesman-Review
 

Pervez Musharraf will retire as chief of Pakistan’s army at midweek, his aides announced Monday as the embattled leader grappled with a political scene roiled by the return of an exiled former prime minister in time for crucial January elections.

Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted by the 1999 coup that put Musharraf in power, quickly registered Monday to run in the election, although he didn’t drop his call for a boycott that could undermine the ballot’s legitimacy.

Musharraf has eased his crackdown on dissent that saw police detain thousands of opponents and take independent TV news off the air, and his aides announced Monday that he was now ready to take the long-promised step of quitting his powerful army post and ending direct military rule.

Spokesman Rashid Qureshi said Musharraf would make “farewell visits” to his troops before ending a military career that began in 1964. Musharraf planned to promote his anointed successor, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, to the military chief’s post Wednesday, the aide said. The following day, “he will take oath of office as president of Pakistan as a civilian,” Qureshi said.

GALVESTON, Texas

Woman admits to killing toddler

A woman believed to be the mother of a 2-year-old whose body was found in Galveston Bay told police she and the girl’s stepfather beat and tortured the child to death, court documents show.

The details in an arrest affidavit paint a chilling picture of the final days of the girl investigators called “Baby Grace” as they worked for weeks to learn her identity.

Investigators are awaiting DNA test results but said Monday they are “fairly confident” that the body a fisherman found in a plastic box Oct. 29 is that of Riley Ann Sawyers. Her mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, and stepfather, Royce Clyde Zeigler II, were arrested Saturday and are in custody on charges of hurting the girl.

Zeigler attempted suicide last week and wrote a note saying, “My wife is innocent of the sins that I committed,” according to the court documents.

An autopsy revealed that Riley suffered three skull fractures, but the cause of death has not been determined.

In a statement to police included in the affidavit, Trenor, 19, said she and Zeigler, 24, killed Riley on July 24.

NEW YORK

Brooke Astor’s son faces charges

The son of philanthropist Brooke Astor and his former lawyer have been indicted on charges apparently stemming from their handling of the late socialite’s $198 million estate, an attorney for the lawyer said Monday.

Michael S. Ross, attorney for Francis X. Morrissey Jr., said he received a telephone call from the Manhattan prosecutor’s office informing him of the indictments against Morrissey and Anthony D. Marshall.

Ross said that the charges are sealed and that he doesn’t know what they were. He said that he thought Marshall, 83, would be arraigned today and that Morrissey was out of town and would return later in the week.

From wire reports


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