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In the World

Achille Lauro hijacker freed

ROME - One of the Palestinians who hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and killed a U.S. passenger in 1985 has been released after more than 23 years in jail in Sicily, officials said yesterday.

Youssef Magied al-Molqui, a member of the four-man team that hijacked the ship off Egypt, had been serving a 30-year sentence, which was reduced for good behavior.

He was convicted of shooting Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly Jewish man from New York, and ordering him to be dumped in the sea while in his wheelchair. Klinghoffer's daughters and the Anti-Defamation League condemned Molqui's early release.

- AP

Mexico jails 12 investigators

MEXICO CITY - Mexican authorities have detained 12 federal police investigators accused of leaking information to hit men who ambushed and killed eight officers in a failed attempt to free a high-level drug cartel member, the Mexican Attorney General's Office said yesterday.

The prosecutor's office said the 12 allegedly gave information allowing the hit men to carry out the April 19 attack that killed four federal police officers, two federal investigative agents and two prison employees.

The officers had been transferring Jeronimo Gamez, a key member of the Beltran Leyva cartel. About 20 assailants launched a running gun battle against the vehicles escorting nine prisoners between an airport and penitentiary in Nayarit. As their comrades lay dead, officers returned fire and managed to deliver Gamez to prison.

- AP

Save shipyard, Walesa urges

WARSAW, Poland - Former Polish President Lech Walesa appealed to senior European politicians yesterday to save the struggling Gdansk shipyard, the cradle of the pro-democracy Solidarity movement that he founded.

The Gdansk yard has been struggling for years with the threat of bankruptcy. The money-losing business has been kept alive with state subsidies, putting Poland at odds with the European Union.

"Please take a moment and think what can be done to prevent the destruction of this first monument of our victory in Europe and in the world," Walesa said, winning applause. Poles have a strong emotional attachment to the Gdansk shipyard, a symbol of the demise of communism.

- AP


Two aid workers held hostage in Darfur, one French and one Canadian, were free yesterday thuafter three weeks in captivity. The women, who worked for International Medical Aid, were in good health, officials said.