ITALY

Ex-CIA chief in Milan is detained in Panama

A former CIA base chief in Italy who was convicted in the 2003 abduction of Egyptian-born terror suspect Abu Omar from a street in Milan has been detained in Panama, diplomatic officials in Italy confirmed. An official familiar with Italy’s investigation and prosecution of Robert Seldon Lady said the former CIA official was detained on the border between Costa Rica and Panama, after Panama acted on a request by Interpol for his arrest. It was unclear whether Italy would request Lady’s extradition, since it has no extradition treaty with Panama.

JAPAN

Steam is detected at Fukushima reactor

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant stood ready to inject boric acid into one of its most heavily damaged reactors after it found steam emanating from the reactor building. The preventive measure would stave off sustained nuclear reactions in the reactor’s damaged core, though officials stressed that such reactions were a remote possibility. The Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, stressed that it continued to safely cool the reactor core and that vital temperature and radiation readings were stable.

PANAMA

North Korean freighter crew faces charges

Panama brushed aside North Korea’s demands that it release an impounded North Korean freighter and its 35-member crew, pressing criminal charges Thursday against all aboard for endangering public security by attempting to transport a concealed cargo of Cuban weapons through the Panama Canal. The charges against the crew members heightened the Panamanian confrontation with North Korea over the ship, the 450-foot Chong Chon Gang, which had been awaiting permission to transit the canal for the voyage home after a visit to Cuba.

PENNSYLVANIA

Sandusky settlements hit $60 million

Penn State University has reached tentative settlements totaling about $60 million so far with men who claim to have been sexually abused by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a trustee said Thursday. The trustee, Ted Brown, said he was unsure of how many claims have been settled and how many remain in negotiations. He said that figure does not cover every claim made and that he expected trustees to be asked to approve more when tentative agreements are reached.

MASSACHUSETTS

Witness in trial of crime boss is found dead

A former South Boston resident who said he had been extorted by crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger and has been a near-daily presence at his sweeping racketeering trial was found dead Wednesday in Lincoln, Mass., authorities said. Marian T. Ryan, the district attorney for Middlesex County, confirmed Thursday that the body of Stephen “Stippo” Rakes, 59, who most recently lived in Quincy, Mass., was discovered near a walking trail along a road. Ryan’s office said that there were no obvious signs of trauma, and that a medical examiner would determine the cause of death. Rakes, who owned a liquor store during Bulger’s criminal heyday, had learned this week that he would not be called by the prosecution to testify.

NEWS SERVICES