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World/nation briefs

  • October 4, 2012 - 8:23 PM

TEXAS

Man accused of being an agent for Russia

A naturalized U.S. citizen accused of illicitly obtaining military cutting-edge microelectronics for Russia and operating as an unregistered agent of the Russian government formally heard the charges against him. Alexander Fishenko and seven others accused with him appeared in federal court in Houston. Fishenko was born in the former Soviet Union in what is now Kazakhstan and owns Houston-based Arc Electronics Inc. He and the others were arrested following raids there by the FBI.

FLORIDA

Rules worked out for Casey Anthony trial

Attorneys for Zenaida Gonzalez agreed in principle not to mention Casey Anthony's murder trial during her upcoming defamation trial in Orlando, if they can avoid it. However, the murder trial could be mentioned on specific topics individually approved by the judge. In July 2011, Anthony was acquitted on all major charges in the death of her daughter, 2-year-old Caylee. Gonzalez is suing because Anthony initially told authorities in 2008 that a similarly named nanny who didn't exist had kidnapped Caylee.

Zimmerman weighs defamation suit

George Zimmerman's attorney confirmed his client is considering a defamation suit against NBC over editing of a tape that he said made his client appear to be a racist. The tape, which aired March 27 on the "Today" show, made it sound as if Zimmerman volunteered in a call to police before the shooting that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, whom Zimmerman shot to death, was black, said attorney Mark O'Mara. However, Zimmerman made the remark in response to a dispatcher's question.

VENEZUELA

Huge crowd in capital turns out for Chavez

President Hugo Chavez danced in the rain and led followers in Caracas in song in the final mass gathering of his campaign before Sunday's presidential vote. Chavez, 58, warned the crowd that his defeat would bring an end to his popular social programs and leave the nation in the hands of oligarchs. While most polls give Chavez the lead, a few show him in a dead heat with former Gov. Henrique Capriles. Capriles spent the day campaigning in the western state of Apure, where he vowed to help the poor and bridge the ideological divide in the country.

SPAIN

Man arrested in plot to bomb university

Police arrested a man suspected of planning a bomb attack at a university, inspired by the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. The man, a 21-year-old Spaniard identified in the media as Juan Manuel Morales Sierra, was seized Wednesday in Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands, as he was taking delivery of bomb-making materials at his home, the police said. The man had been under surveillance for months.

MEXICO

Possible arrests in border shooting

Federal police have arrested two men who may be connected to the fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, a Mexican law enforcement official said. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said it was unclear if there was strong evidence linking the men to the shooting of agent Nicholas Ivie on Tuesday near Bisbee, Ariz. The FBI and other U.S. law enforcement officials would not comment on the development.

NEWS SERVICES

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was arrested Thursday on corruption charges related to allegations of misuse of $8.8 million in state lottery funds during her administration.

Arroyo, who is now a member of Congress, checked herself into a government medical center after the warrant was issued and shortly before it was served. Police said she was arrested while in a hospital bed. It was unclear whether she would be transferred to a jail cell later.

Joel Coronel, senior superintendent of the National Police, said Arroyo was suffering from dehydration and hypertension. She was in the same hospital suite where she spent about eight months under detention on separate charges of rigging an election before her release in July after a judge found evidence against her to be weak.

Additional charges are expected to be filed in the coming months. She has maintained that she is innocent of all allegations against her.

NEW YORK TIMES

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