KABUL – The Afghan government was holding secret talks with the Taliban’s No. 2 when he was captured in Pakistan, and the arrest infuriated President Hamid Karzai, according to one of Karzai’s advisers.
The detention of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar – second in the Taliban only to one-eyed Mullah Mohammed Omar – has raised new questions about whether the U.S. is willing to back peace discussions with leaders who harbored the terrorists behind the Sept. 11 attacks.
Karzai “was very angry” when he heard that the Pakistanis had picked up Baradar with an assist from U.S. intelligence, the adviser said. Besides the ongoing talks, he said Baradar had “given a green light” to participating in a three-day peace meeting that Karzai is hosting next month.
Cardinal says he won’t resign
DUBLIN – Ireland’s senior Roman Catholic, Cardinal Sean Brady, said Monday he would not resign despite admitting he helped the church collect evidence against a child-molesting priest – and never told police about the crimes.
Brady, as a priest and Vatican-trained canon lawyer in 1975, said he interviewed two children about the abuse they suffered at the hands of the Rev. Brendan Smyth. He said both children were required to sign oaths promising not to tell anyone outside the church of their allegations.
Smyth went on to molest and rape scores of other children in Ireland, Britain and the United States before British authorities in neighboring Northern Ireland demanded his arrest in 1994. The Irish government of the day collapsed amid acrimony over why Smyth was not quickly extradited to Belfast.
Brady admitted his role in gathering evidence against Smyth because he has been named as a defendant in a current Dublin lawsuit filed by one of Smyth’s female victims.
“Yes, I knew that these were crimes,” Brady said. “But I did not feel that it was my responsibility to denounce the actions of Brendan Smyth to the police. Now I know with hindsight that I should have done more.”
Smyth abused at least 90 children in Ireland, Britain and in U.S. parishes in Rhode Island and North Dakota from 1948 to 1993.
Fire at illegal coal mine kills 25
An electrical fire at an illegal coal mine in central China has left 25 people dead, the latest fatal accident to rock the country’s mining industry.
Three people – the mine’s owner, manager and an investor – have been detained by police following the Monday night blaze at the mine in Henan province, said He Yu, an official in the press office of the Zhengzhou city Communist Party.
The mine is located in Xinmi city, which is overseen by Zhengzhou city.
Six of the 31 miners underground managed to escape the fire, He said.
It was not clear how the electrical fire started. An investigation was under way.
China’s coal mines are the world’s deadliest, despite a multiyear government effort to reduce fatalities.
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