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News >  Nation/World

Martin scrambles to maintain power

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Ottawa, Canada Prime Minister Paul Martin scrambled Monday to prevent the fall of his government amid a kickback scandal in his Liberal Party, as a poll found opposition Conservatives would win fresh elections if held today.

In what some say is Canada’s version of Watergate, Martin reiterated he had nothing to do with the ethics fiasco in which party members are accused of taking kickbacks from ad agencies hired to promote federalism in the rebellious French-speaking province of Quebec.

The scandal, based on a secret program dating back to the 1990s and the Liberal Party leadership of former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, erupted anew last Thursday when a judge probing alleged misuse of funds lifted a publication ban on testimony.

Hezbollah launches spy drone over Israel

Beirut, Lebanon The militant Hezbollah group flew a spy drone over northern Israel on Monday, saying it was in retaliation for Israel’s flights over Lebanon.

Israeli officials accused the group of seeking to increase tensions and undermine Israeli-Palestinian peace moves.

It was the second time in recent months that the Shiite Muslim group sent an unmanned drone over Israel.

Two Israeli military aircraft flew over southern Lebanon shortly after the drone’s flight, Lebanese officials said.

Hezbollah said its “Mirsad I” drone flew over Israeli communities “in response to the enemy’s continuous and repeated violations of Lebanese airspace.”

Cuban who was hurt during prison riot dies

Havana An inmate who suffered severe burns in an uprising at a Cuban prison died Monday, officials said.

Inmates at Combinado del Este Prison had set mattresses and material ablaze in violence that left several prisoners injured on April 5, said an official with Havana-based Cuban Commission on Human Rights and Reconciliation.

He said the inmate who died, identified as 33-year-old Fredy Ibanez Blanco, was serving a sentence on drug-related charges. An official at a mortuary confirmed Ibanez’s body was expected to arrive late Monday.

According to to the rights official, many injured inmates refused to participate in the uprising, angering some rioters.

The disturbance, later controlled by Cuban authorities, was the second in less than 20 days at the Combinado del Este Prison, which houses thousands of inmates.

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