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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Judge: Two suspects in Aruba can be held

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Oranjestad, Aruba A judge ruled Wednesday there was cause to keep holding two former hotel guards in connection with the disappearance of an Alabama high school honors student.

The decision means authorities can hold Nick John, 30, and Abraham Jones, 28, for nearly four months while prosecutors investigate possible murder and kidnapping charges in the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway. Neither man has been formally charged.

Holloway, of Mountain Brook, Ala., vanished May 30 while on a trip with 124 classmates celebrating their high school graduation on this Dutch Caribbean island. The former guards worked for a hotel two blocks from where Holloway stayed.

53 journalists in Nepal arrested for protesting

Kathmandu, Nepal Police arrested 53 journalists Wednesday as they protested press restrictions in this Himalayan nation where the king seized absolute power earlier this year, a rights group said.

The journalists, chanting and carrying banners calling for press freedom, were arrested after they tried to march into the streets near the royal palace complex.

Many of the streets near the palace complex and government offices in other parts of Katmandu have become restricted areas since King Gyanendra began running the country on Feb. 1.

Criticism of the king, the government and security forces has been banned.

Suspicious packages examined in Australia

Canberra, Australia Police were investigating a number of suspicious packages sent to Australia’s Parliament House and foreign embassies, including the U.S. embassy, an official said today.

The packages had been secured by teams trained in dealing with hazardous material and were being investigated by emergency response crews, an official said.

The packages were the latest in a string of incidents involving government buildings in Australia’s capital. Earlier this week, a suspicious package containing white powder that was later found to be harmless sparked a security scare at the Indonesian Embassy, less than a week after a similar hoax caused embassy staff to be quarantined and decontaminated.

Volcano in Mexico rumbles back to life

San Marcos, Mexico The Volcano of Fire has rumbled back to life with its strongest eruptions in 20 years, spewing lava and ash clouds that had some residents who remained in their homes Wednesday casting nervous glances at the peak.

The volcano, which straddles the line between Colima and Jalisco states 430 miles west of Mexico City, has had six spectacular eruptions in the past three weeks.

A seismologist said the increasing frequency of the eruptions and their intensity signaled the volcano was returning to an explosive stage like one that started in 1903 and climaxed with a massive explosion 10 years later that left a 1,650-foot-deep crater at the volcano’s peak and scattered ash on cities 240 miles away.

Relatives seek haven for Cuban taxi-boaters

Havana Relatives of Cubans intercepted off Key West in a vintage blue taxicab converted into a boat urged authorities Wednesday to let their family members stay in the United States.

Rafael Diaz Rey, a mechanic who was aboard the taxi-boat with his wife and two sons when it was intercepted off Key West by the Coast Guard on Tuesday.

He was making his third attempt to cross the Florida Straits in a floating car, his cousin said.

The mechanic and his family were among a group of Cubans who tried to reach the United States illegally in 2004 on a Buick sedan powering another homemade barge.

They were intercepted and returned to Cuba.

Ten years earlier, Diaz launched the same journey in a 1947 Buick, but had electrical problems and had to turn back.

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