Washington – The Obama administration is setting up an Internet-based embassy to reach out to Iranians hoping to broaden their understanding of the United States, while at the same time studying new sanctions to raise the pressure on Iran’s government over its disputed nuclear program and alleged ties to terrorism.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in interviews Wednesday with Persian-language media that the U.S. wanted to affirm its friendship to the Iranian people even at a time of rising tensions with the regime in Tehran. As part of that effort, she said a “virtual embassy in Tehran” will be online by the end of the year, helping Iranians wishing to travel or study in the United States. “We’re trying to reach out to the Iranian people,” Clinton said.
The U.S. hasn’t had an embassy in Iran since breaking off diplomatic relations shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Alcohol poisoning killed Winehouse
London – Amy Winehouse drank herself to death. That was the ruling of a coroner’s inquest into the death of the Grammy-winning soul singer, who died with empty vodka bottles in her room and lethal amounts of alcohol in her blood – more than five times the British drunken driving limit.
Coroner Suzanne Greenaway gave a verdict of “death by misadventure,” saying Wednesday the singer suffered accidental alcohol poisoning when she resumed drinking after weeks of abstinence.
“The unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels (of alcohol) was her sudden and unexpected death,” Greenaway said.
The 27-year-old Winehouse had fought a very public battle with drug and alcohol abuse for years, and there had been much speculation that she died from a drug overdose. But a pathologist said the small amount of a drug prescribed to help her cope with the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal had nothing to do with her death.
A security guard found Winehouse dead in bed at her London home on July 23.
Sentence for beating prompts outrage
Cairo – In a verdict that disappointed pro-democracy activists, two police officers who beat a man to death were convicted Wednesday of the lesser charge of manslaughter and given a relatively light sentence in a case that helped spark Egypt’s uprising.
Relatives of defendants Mahmoud Salah and Awad Ismail Suleiman were still outraged by the sentence of seven years in prison each for the two officers. They smashed benches in the courtroom in the northern port of Alexandria and attacked the slain man’s uncle and lawyers despite the presence of other police and military troops.
Pro-democracy activists expressed disappointment not only with the verdict but also with the fact that it was closed to the public, which they saw as signs that the revolution that ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak in February was having little effect on getting rid of deep-seated corruption in Egypt.