December 29, 2010 in Nation/World

In brief: Satellite to watch Sudan border

From Wire Reports

WASHINGTON – A group founded by actor George Clooney is teaming up with Google, a U.N. agency and anti-genocide organizations to launch satellite surveillance of the border between north and south Sudan to try to prevent a new civil war after the south votes in a secession referendum next month.

Organizers said today that Clooney’s Not On Our Watch is funding the start-up phase of the Satellite Sentinel Project that will collect real-time satellite imagery and combine it with field analysis from the Enough Project and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

It will point out movements of troops, civilians and other signs of impending conflict. The U.N. Operational Satellite Applications Programme and Google will then publish the findings online.

The groups hope that early warnings will reduce the risk of violence.

Prison term clears Cuba’s death row

HAVANA – Cuba’s Supreme Court on Tuesday commuted the death sentence of a Cuban-American who was the last person remaining on death row in the island nation, according to a veteran human rights activist.

Elizardo Sanchez, the head of the independent Havana-based Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation, said the court sentenced Humberto Eladio Real to 30 years in prison instead. Sanchez said in a telephone interview that Real’s parents informed him of the decision.

On Oct. 15, 1994, Real and six other members of a Florida-based exile group came ashore in northern Cuba, armed with assault rifles and other weapons. A man was killed, and the group was captured shortly thereafter.

Real received the death penalty, and the others got lengthy prison sentences.

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