Honduras will let ex-leader leave

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras - Honduras' interim government said last night that it had authorized ousted President Manuel Zelaya to leave the country and go to Mexico, and a Mexican official confirmed talks were under way on that possibility.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Milton Mateo said the safe-conduct pass was signed and would be delivered to the Brazilian Embassy, where Zelaya has been holed up since sneaking back into the country Sept. 21.

Zelaya, who was ousted in June, said he wanted "a negotiated solution . . . that respected the law, and respected my office" as president. He suggested a status that would "allow me to continue my [political] actions abroad. . . . I will not accept any political asylum."

Mateo said Mexican officials were sending a plane to pick up Zelaya and his family.

- AP

Irish abortion ban challenged

DUBLIN, Ireland - Three women filed a lawsuit in a European court against Ireland's abortion ban yesterday, saying the government violates the human rights of pregnant women by forcing them to travel abroad for abortions.

The three women took the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. A verdict is expected next year.

If they win, they could force Ireland, one of a handful of European countries that still outlaws abortion, to liberalize a system that inspires 7,000 Irish women annually to travel to other European countries, chiefly England, for abortions.

The Irish government fielded a high-powered legal team, including Attorney General Paul Gallagher, to defend its policies. Gallagher said the abortion ban reflects "profound moral values deeply embedded in Irish society."

- AP

China charges reform activist

BEIJING - Liu Xiaobo lobbied to abolish a vaguely worded Chinese law against subversion, but now it appears the high-profile dissident will stand trial for that very crime.

A year after secretly detaining him, police have finally filed a case against Liu, accusing him of inciting to subvert state power, Liu's lawyer said yesterday.

The evidence against Liu includes six essays he wrote and posted online as well as a bold appeal he coauthored that calls for sweeping democratic reforms, known as Charter 08.

Moves to prosecute him for subversion, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, appear calculated to send a message to anyone considering criticizing government policy, human rights advocates said.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Philippine police named 100 government militiamen as additional suspects in the politically motivated Nov. 23 massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao province. Most of the suspects are members of the Ampatuan clan, which has been implicated in the killings.

A statue of President Obama, depicting him as a 10-year-old in shorts and T-shirt, has been erected in a park in Jakarta, Indonesia, near where Obama lived from 1967 to 1971.