In brief: Iraq releases Iranian detainees
Tehran, Iran – Two Iranians arrested by U.S. forces in Iraq were released Friday, a day after neighboring Iran allowed three young Americans detained in the Islamic Republic since last July to meet with their visiting mothers.
Iraqi officials handed the detainees to the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, said a report on the website of Iran’s state-owned English-language Press TV.
The moves are the latest hints of behind-the-scenes deal-making between Iran and the West over the fate of detainees.
Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, told Iranian state radio that the U.S. military arrested and jailed Ahmad Barazandeh and Ali Abdollahi “on the basis of groundless accusations,” and for traveling without passports.
Clinton seeks support on Korea
Seoul, South Korea – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton opened a U.S. campaign Friday for international measures to punish North Korea for the sinking of a South Korean warship.
Clinton began an Asian tour making clear that the Obama administration wants the United Nations to take action against North Korea for sinking the patrol boat Cheonan in March, killing 46 South Korean crew members.
South Korea said this week that a multinational investigation had concluded that North Korea fired a torpedo that sank the vessel.
“Let me be clear. This will not be, and cannot be, business as usual,” Clinton said in Tokyo at an appearance with her Japanese counterpart, Katsuya Okada. “There must be an international – not just a regional, but an international – response.”
Clinton did not suggest specific actions. North Korea already is under a series of U.N. sanctions, but analysts said additional steps still could make it more difficult for North Korean organizations to do business abroad and to further isolate the country’s rulers.
Anti-government figure in shootout
Little Rock, Ark. – An anti-government Ohio man who had several run-ins with police around the U.S. was identified Friday as one of two people who allegedly gunned down two officers during a traffic stop in Arkansas.
Arkansas State Police on Friday identified the pair – killed during an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers – as Jerry R. Kane Jr., 45, of Forest, Ohio, and his son, Joesph T. Kane, believed to be 16.
About 90 minutes before the shootout Thursday with police, Sgt. Brandon Paudert, 39, and Officer Bill Evans, 38, were killed with AK-47 assault rifles after stopping a minivan on Interstate 40 in West Memphis, Ark., authorities said.
Jerry Kane, who used the Internet to question federal and local governments’ authority over him, made money holding debt-elimination seminars around the country.
He had a long history with police and recently complained about being busted at a “Nazi checkpoint” near Carrizozo, N.M., where court records show he spent three days in jail before posting a $1,500 bond on charges of driving without a license and concealing his identity.