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Verdict annulled in nun's killing

RIO DE JANEIRO - A judicial panel annulled the conviction of a man in the shooting death of Dorothy Stang, a 73-year-old American nun and rain-forest defender. Under Brazilian law, Rayfran das Neves Sales faces retrial.

In October, he was convicted and sentenced to 27 years for the Feb. 12, 2005, killing. Prosecutors say he was offered $25,000 to kill Stang because of a dispute over a patch of jungle. A rancher and two others also were convicted. The judges accepted Sales' argument that the trial judge should have allowed the jury to consider his story that he acted on his own out of fear and rage, a court spokeswoman said.

Prosecutors said Sales, who has changed his testimony several times, is now trying to clear the other men. Stang's relatives said they were "appalled."

- AP

More deaths in Gulf of Aden

GENEVA, Switzerland - More than 1,400 migrants drowned in the Gulf of Aden this year trying to make the perilous journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, the U.N. refugee agency said yesterday.

On Saturday, 54 Ethiopians and four Somalis fleeing strife died and 37 went missing when their boat capsized off Yemen, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. "This year has been a particularly tragic one," spokeswoman Astrid van Genderen Stort said.

Another boat, carrying 270 people, including children, hit a rock off the Yemeni beach Sunday and broke into three pieces. While 173 passengers swam ashore, others likely drowned, van Genderen Stort said.

- AP

U.N. chief visits bombing site

ALGIERS, Algeria - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the site of a suicide bombing that killed 17 U.N. staff and 20 others, saying yesterday that terrorism "must be condemned in the name of humanity."

Ban toured the ruins of the U.N. headquarters in the upscale Hydra neighborhood and met with staff members in Algiers. Ban said the United Nations was committed to working with Algerian authorities to end attacks like the Dec. 11 twin truck bombings.

An insurgent group calling itself al-Qaeda in Islamic North Africa claimed responsibility for the attacks, which also hit a government building in Algiers.

- AP


Italian and German police

arrested four figures from Italy's most powerful organized-crime syndicate, the 'Ndrangheta, in the August execution-style slaying of six people from a rival clan outside a pizzeria in Duisburg, Germany. Two suspects were taken from their home village in the southern Italian province of Calabria; two others were arrested in Germany.

Ukrainian lawmakers

elected fiery Orange Revolution heroine Yulia Tymoshenko, 47, as prime minister. Tymoshenko, who heads a pro-West coalition, won 226 votes - the bare majority needed in the 450-member parliament.

A Beirut court

convicted a Lebanese man and sentenced him to 12 years in jail in a failed July 2006 attempt to bomb German trains, judicial officials and the defense lawyer said. Three other defendants were acquitted.