Jury faults police in 'terrorist' death

LONDON - A British jury decided yesterday that a string of police failures caused the death of a Brazilian electrician shot by anti-terror police after being mistaken for a suicide bomber - a ruling that prompted his family to demand a new investigation.

The jury at a coroner's inquest rejected claims by police that they lawfully killed Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, who was shot seven times at close range.

The jurors' failure to exonerate the police is a blow to London's force, which has insisted it was trying to protect the public from a suicide attack when its officers shot the unarmed man. The dead man's mother expressed satisfaction with the decision, and said the family would press to hold someone accountable.

- AP

Nigeria high court affirms 2007 vote

ABUJA, Nigeria - Nigeria's Supreme Court yesterday upheld the results of last year's presidential election, rejecting a bid by opposition leaders in Africa's most populous country to annul the vote.

The April 21, 2007, election saw power transferred from one elected civilian to another for the first time in Nigeria's coup-plagued history. But thugs openly stole and stuffed ballot boxes and harassed voters, and international observers said the election was deeply flawed.

A lower court had ruled earlier this year that former strongman Muhammadu Buhari and ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar - who placed second and third in the election - had failed to prove that the fraud was so pervasive that the official results should be discarded.

- AP

Belgian widow held in terror plot

BRUSSELS, Belgium - Authorities yesterday arrested the Belgian widow of a man involved in killing an anti-Taliban warlord, saying she was part of an al-Qaeda group that was about to launch a suicide attack.

Malika El Aroud, 49, was charged with belonging to a terrorist organization. Five men in their 20s were also charged; eight others were released for lack of evidence. El Aroud was arrested during a night raid Thursday, a few hours before a summit of European Union government leaders was scheduled to open.

El Aroud has figured in almost every major Belgian terror probe since 2001, investigators say. An official in the Federal Prosecutor's Office said she frequently switched laptops and wireless Internet services to evade investigators.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Taiwanese prosecutors

indicted former President Chen Shui-bian on graft charges, a stunning blow for a man who rode to power 81/2 years ago on promises of reform. His wife, son and daughter-in-law were also among those arrested. Chen denied the charges.

Russian forces

dismantled a post near the separatist South Ossetia region. The post was a source of tension along the edge of South Ossetia, the Russian-backed breakaway region at the center of Russia's five-day war with Georgia in August.