Photographer still held
NEW ORLEANS -- The U.S. military's indefinite detention of an Associated Press photographer in Iraq, without charges, is an outrage and should be seen as such by the journalistic community, AP editors said Friday. "We are angry, and we hope you are, too," AP International Editor John Daniszewski told a gathering of the Associated Press Managing Editors.
Bilal Hussein has been held by the military since April.
2 acquitted, 2 convicted
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Bosnia's state court said Friday it had acquitted a former Bosnian Serb member of the presidency and one of his aides of embezzlement charges but had convicted two other former officials. Mirko Sarovic, who was part of Bosnia's three-member presidency between October 2002 and April 2003, and three other former officials were charged with abuse of office, forgery, organized crime and aiding war crimes suspects at large. Sarovic and his former aide, Milovan Bjelica, were acquitted of the charges, the state court said.
But former senior Bosnian Serb officials Momcilo Mandic and Milorad Govedarica were found guilty of abuse of office and forgery. Mandic was sentenced to nine years in prison while Govedarica received a four-year sentence. Both also were ordered to return about 3.3 million to Mandic's private bank within two weeks. Bosnia's three-member presidency represents each of the rival ethnic groups: Orthodox Christian Serbs, Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats.
Bail granted to 2 in plot
LONDON -- A British judge granted bail Friday to two people accused in an alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound jetliners with liquid explosives, and he urged lawyers to avoid any delays in a trial that is already more than a year away. Nabeel Hussain, 22, and a 17-year-old male were granted bail by Judge David Calvert-Smith after a hearing at London's Central Criminal Court -- the only two of the accused to be granted bail so far. The judge denied bail Friday to 24-year-old Cossor Ali, the only woman charged in the case.
Police arrested 25 people in raids across Britain on Aug. 9-10 and charged 17 of them after uncovering a suspected plot to assemble and detonate improvised explosives on board as many as 10 U.S.-bound planes. The alleged plot was described by investigators as having the potential to be on a similar scale to the Sept. 11 attacks. Hussain is one of 11 people charged with conspiracy to murder and preparing acts of terrorism. Ali is accused of failing to disclose information about a possible terrorist attack. The 17-year-old, who cannot be identified because he is underage, was charged with possessing material that could be used to prepare a terrorist act.
14 villagers killed
KABUL, Afghanistan -- A roadside blast struck a pickup truck in southern Afghanistan on Friday, killing 14 villagers who were traveling to a provincial capital for holiday celebrations, an official said. The explosion went off near a village five miles west of Tirin Kot, the capital of the province of Uruzgan. Capt. Andre Salloum, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, said it was caused by an anti-tank mine, but it was not clear whether it was an old mine or newly planted by insurgents.
In the southern city of Kandahar, meanwhile, mourners attended a prayer ceremony in memory of some of the several dozen civilians who Afghan officials say were killed during NATO operations Tuesday in the nearby Panjwayi district.
Abbas issues ultimatum
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he will dissolve the Hamas-led government within two weeks if the Islamic militant group does not agree to form a governing coalition with his Fatah Party, Palestinian officials said Friday. Abbas told the European Union's top diplomat that he would replace the Cabinet with an apolitical panel of professionals, the officials said.
The moderate Palestinian president has raised the idea before but promised not to force it on a reluctant Hamas. His new stand suggested a willingness to take a stronger line against Hamas in a bid to ease crippling Western sanctions designed to force the Islamic group to moderate its militantly anti-Israel ideology.
3 Palestinians killed
NABLUS, West Bank -- Israeli troops killed three Palestinians in West Bank clashes Friday, medics and relatives said. In the refugee camp of Al Faraa, Saadi Subuh, 23, and Mustafa Abu Zalat, 17, were shot and killed, their relatives and medics said. The circumstances of shooting were not clear, but Abu Zalat's uncle said his nephew might have been throwing stones at army jeeps at the time. In the village of Yamoun, Ahmed Abul Hassan, 28, was shot and killed while he stood on the roof of his home.