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In brief: Venezuela closing consulate in Miami

Sat., Jan. 14, 2012

Caracas, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday that his government will close its consulate in Miami after the U.S. government expelled a diplomat.

Chavez said he decided the consulate will shut its doors in response to what he called an unfair action by the U.S. State Department.

Livia Acosta Noguera, Venezuela’s consul general in Miami, was ordered out of the U.S. last weekend following an FBI investigation into allegations that she discussed a possible cyber-attack on the U.S. government while she was assigned to the Venezuelan Embassy in Mexico. The allegations were detailed in a documentary aired by the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision.

Van der Sloot sentenced to prison

Lima, Peru – A Peruvian court on Friday sentenced Joran van der Sloot to 28 years in prison for murder of a young woman he met at a Lima casino, even as the family of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway sought to have him prosecuted in the U.S. over her disappearance in 2005.

The decision comes two days after the young Dutchman pleaded guilty to killing Stephany Flores, a 21-year-old business student.

Van der Sloot told the court he would appeal the sentence.

It is the first ever imposed on him, despite prosecutors’ repeated efforts to prove he was involved in Holloway’s apparent death on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba.

The judges said that due to time already served, van der Sloot’s sentence would end in June 2038. But under Peru’s penal system, van der Sloot could become eligible for parole after serving half of the sentence with good behavior, including work and study.


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