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In brief: N. Korean ship held weaponry from Cuba

Wed., July 17, 2013

PANAMA CITY – A North Korean ship carrying weapons system parts buried under sacks of sugar was seized as it tried to cross the Panama Canal on its way from Cuba to its home country, which is barred by United Nations sanctions from importing sophisticated weapons or missiles, officials said Tuesday.

A private defense analysis firm said the ship appeared to be transporting a radar-control system for a Soviet-era surface-to-air missile system, and Cuba later called the equipment on the boat “obsolete defensive weapons” from the mid-20th century.

A statement from Cuba’s Foreign Ministry late Tuesday acknowledged that the military equipment belonged to the Caribbean nation, but said it had been shipped out to be repaired and returned.

It said the 240 metric tons of weaponry consisted of two Volga and Pechora anti-aircraft missile systems, nine missiles “in parts and spares,” two Mig-21 Bis and 15 engines for those airplanes.

20 children die, many ill after eating free meals

PATNA, India – At least 20 children have died and more are sick after eating free meals at a primary school in eastern India, an official said Wednesday.

A Bihar state official said another 27 children and the school cook were hospitalized in Patna, the state capital.

Venezuelan president marries companion

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his longtime companion, former Attorney General Cilia Flores, have married in a civil ceremony.

Maduro announced the union Tuesday on state TV.

Gay rights activist was tortured, killed

DAKAR, Senegal – A rights group says a prominent gay rights activist in Cameroon has been tortured and killed just weeks after issuing a public warning about the threat posed by “anti-gay thugs.”

Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that friends found Eric Ohena Lembembe’s body at his home in the capital, Yaounde.


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