Cuba

Navy judge lifts Gitmo no-touch order

A military judge has lifted his restraining order and is again allowing female prison guards to touch an alleged war criminal while moving him between Guantanamo's most clandestine prison and legal appointments. Navy Capt. J.K. Waits lifted the restriction in a Feb. 24 ruling, according to lawyers who have seen it. It was still under seal at the Pentagon's war court website on Sunday. Last year, the judge forbade female guards from touching Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, 54, who invoked Islamic and traditional doctrine. Hadi, captured in Turkey and sent to the prison in 2007, is accused of commanding Al-Qaida's army in Afghanistan after the 2001 U.S. invasion. He could be sentenced to life in prison.

Nationwide

Boston nears snow record; rain in L.A.

After cold and snow that set February records, southern New England is entering this month with another round that could push Boston over its 20-year-old snowfall record. With 102 inches, Boston needs 5.7 more to break the 1995-1996 record of 107.6. Snowfall of 4 to 6 inches was expected by early Monday across the area, with up to 8 inches in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Less is expected in northern Massachusetts and New York state, and on Cape Cod. Crews worked to clean up a mudslide that shut down a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway northwest of Los Angeles early Sunday. The area received between a quarter-inch to half an inch of rain overnight. The threat of showers will linger until Monday morning.

Vermont

City weighs letting 16- and 17-year-olds vote

Residents of Brattleboro will vote Tuesday on a ballot item that would let 16- and 17-year-olds vote in local elections. Vermont's current voting age is 18, and that wouldn't change for state and federal elections. The proposal by Brattleboro resident Kurt Daims would move the minimum age two years younger for town elections. Town Clerk Annette Cappy says she's not hearing a lot of support for the measure among older voters.

Kashmir

Ruling party forms coalition government

India's ruling Hindu nationalist party formed a coalition government in Kashmir, marking the first time it will hold a leadership position in the disputed Muslim-majority region. Leaders from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Peoples Democratic Party were sworn into office in the state's winter capital of Jammu amid tight security in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. No single party managed to win a clear majority needed to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir state during the elections last year.

Argentina

Coverup denied in bombing inquiry

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner made an impassioned defense of her role in the investigation into the fatal bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires here in 1994, days after a judge dismissed criminal allegations against her. In her annual State of the Union address to Congress, Kirchner accused her opponents of using the case for political gain. Kirchner had been accused of conspiring to shield Iranian officials from responsibility in the bombing.

news services