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World in brief: Academic gets 12 years in prison

Wed., Oct. 21, 2009

Tehran, Iran – Iran ignored appeals by Hillary Rodham Clinton and even rock star Sting and sentenced an Iranian-American academic to 12 years in prison Tuesday for his alleged role in anti-government protests after the country’s disputed presidential election.

The sentence for Kian Tajbakhsh was the longest prison term yet in a mass trial of more than 100 opposition figures, activists and journalists in the postelection turmoil.

Tajbakhsh, a social scientist and urban planner, was arrested by security forces at his Tehran home July 9 – the only American detained in the crackdown that crushed giant street protests by hundreds of thousands of people after the June 12 election.

Hurricane Rick weakens

Los Cabos, Mexico – Once-powerful Hurricane Rick lost most of its punch as it headed toward Mexican resort regions as a tropical storm Tuesday, but local authorities still prepared for evacuations in case of flooding.

Rick had been the strongest hurricane in the eastern North Pacific region since 1997, with winds of 180 mph during the weekend, and it kicked up high waves hundreds of miles from its center that killed at least two people. But Rick spent its force far out at sea and was weakened by moving across cooler waters.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds were down to 65 mph Tuesday night, the Hurricane Center said.

Suicide bombers hit university

Islamabad, Pakistan – Suicide bombers attacked an Islamic university popular with foreigners in Pakistan’s capital Tuesday, killing four students in apparent retaliation for an escalating army offensive on a Taliban and al-Qaida stronghold near the Afghan border.

The suicide bombers hit a faculty building and a women’s cafeteria at the International Islamic University, where nearly half the students are women and hundreds are foreigners.


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