May 1, 2010 in Nation/World

In brief: Rancher guilty in killing of nun

From Wire Reports

Rio de Janeiro – A jury convicted a Brazilian rancher early today of orchestrating the murder of U.S. nun and Amazon defender Dorothy Stang.

Regivaldo Galvao – the last of five defendants to stand trial in the case – was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The trial was held in the jungle city of Belem.

The verdict came two weeks after another rancher, Vitalmiro Moura, was sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of collaborating with Galvao.

Prosecutors say the pair offered to pay a gunman $25,000 to kill the 73-year-old Stang because she blocked their stealing a piece of land that the government had granted to a group of poor farmers.

The trials were seen as a litmus test for Brazil’s ability to begin to end the lawlessness that reigns in the Amazon region.

Jailed American talks with mother

Seoul, South Korea – An American imprisoned in North Korea was allowed to speak to his mother by telephone, but Pyongyang’s state media provided few details and no clues whether he would be released.

North Korea’s highest court sentenced Aijalon Mahli Gomes to eight years of hard labor and fined him $700,000 on April 6 for entering the country illegally and for an unspecified “hostile act.”

Gomes had been teaching English in South Korea before being arrested on Jan. 25.

The official Korean Central News Agency reported Friday that Gomes spoke with his family the same day. The call was allowed after he asked “for a phone contact with his family for his health and other reasons,” the report said.

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