Outgoing Gov. Beverly Perdue issued pardons Monday to the Wilmington 10, a group wrongly convicted 40 years ago in a notorious Civil Rights-era prosecution that led to accusations the state was holding political prisoners. Perdue issued pardons of innocence for the nine black men and one white woman who received prison sentences totaling nearly 300 years for the 1971 firebombing of a Wilmington grocery store. The pardon means the state no longer thinks the 10 -- four of whom have since died -- committed a crime.
Newly installed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was quoted as saying that he would revisit a 1995 apology made by his nation's government for suffering caused in World War II. Although other Japanese officials have suggested retracting apologies for wartime horrors, the words coming from Abe himself are bound to inflame anti-Japanese sentiment in China and the Korean peninsula and put the new government off to a bad start with its neighbors.
As efforts to broker a deal to stop a rebel advance failed, residents of the capital of the Central African Republic are fleeing into the countryside, fearing a major battle between government troops and guerrilla fighters. Rebels rejected an offer from President Francois Bozize, brokered by the African Union, which proposed forming a government of national unity. The rebels balked, saying that previous deals had been quickly broken.