In brief: Dora grows, expected to remain offshore
Acapulco, Mexico – Hurricane Dora rapidly grew into a Category 4 storm off Mexico’s Pacific coast Wednesday while keeping out to sea and threatening coastal areas only with rain and tropical storm-strength winds.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Wednesday night that the storm’s top sustained winds had reached 135 mph. It said Dora’s center was about 235 miles southwest of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, and moving west-northwest at 16 mph.
The fourth hurricane of the eastern Pacific season was forecast to stay offshore as it moved parallel to the coast for the next day or so. It could strengthen more before weakening begins Friday, forecasters said.
Cameron says he regrets hiring editor
London – Prime Minister David Cameron told a special meeting of Parliament on Wednesday that he regretted hiring a former editor of the News of the World as his chief communications aide and that he would apologize if the man turns out to have been implicated in the phone-hacking scandal.
Opposition lawmakers have been hammering at Cameron’s decision to bring Andy Coulson into his inner circle at 10 Downing St. in spite of the fact that Coulson was forced to quit as editor of the News of the World in 2007 because of criminal phone hacking at the tabloid.
Coulson, who left the prime minister’s employ in January, was arrested last week in connection with the scandal.
Cameron defended his decision in Parliament, saying that the former editor had assured him of his innocence. But for the first time, Cameron also said he would not have hired Coulson if he knew then what he knows now about how widespread and pervasive the hacking at the now-defunct News of the World now appears to have been.
Last Balkan war fugitive arrested
Belgrade, Serbia – The last fugitive sought by the U.N.’s Balkan war crimes tribunal was seized Wednesday as an accomplice delivered him cash in a remote mountain forest, secretly watched by black-masked Serbian secret police chasing a money trail.
The arrest of Goran Hadzic, former leader of Croatia’s ethnic Serbs, was hailed as the symbolic closure of a horrific chapter in Balkan history, and an important step toward the former pariah state of Serbia joining the European Union.
According to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, Hadzic was among those responsible for the 1991 leveling of Vukovar.
The Hague tribunal indicted Hadzic in 2004 on 14 charges including war crimes and crimes against humanity, among them the murder, torture, deportation and forcible transfer of Croats and other non-Serbs.