Election bomb strikes
PAKISTANI ARMY soldiers on guard outside the city court as policeman carries ballot boxes to polling stations May 10 in in Lahore, Pakistan. A pair of bombs targeting the offices of candidates running in this weekend’s election killed three people on Friday in northwest Pakistan, the latest attacks in what has been a bloody campaign. At least 130 people have been killed in attacks on candidates and party workers since the beginning of April. The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for most of the attacks, saying the country’s democracy runs counter to Islam. The country is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on May 11, the first transition between democratically elected governments in a country that has experienced three military coups and constant political instability since its creation in 1947. The parliament's ability to complete its five-year term has been hailed as a significant achievement.
AP Photo/K.M. Chaudar
Former dictator denies genocide
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt denied on Thursday that he ordered the extermination of Ixil Mayas as he testified for the first time at his genocide trial.
The 86-year-old ex-general, who ruled Guatemala from March 1982 to August 1983 during the height of its civil war, said prosecutors hadn’t proved his participation in the killings.
“I declare myself innocent,” Rios Montt told the three-judge tribunal as many in the audience applauded. “It was never my intention or my goal to destroy a whole ethnic group.”
“I never ordered attacks on a specific race. I never did it, and of everything they have said, there was no clear participation,” he added.
The court was packed with representatives of indigenous, human rights and student groups as well as former soldiers and family members of victims.
Ixil Indian Benjamin Geronimo, president of the Justice and Reconciliation Association, told the tribunal that he survived massacres and killings that claimed the lives of 256 members of his community.
Sailor dies during race practice
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Andrew “Bart” Simpson had already garnered an Olympic gold medal in sailing in 2008 and a silver at last year’s games when Artemis Racing came calling with a chance to win yachting’s top prize — the America’s Cup.
On Thursday, the British sailor drowned when Artemis’ high-tech catamaran capsized and trapped him underwater for more than 10 minutes while on a practice run in the bay.
Simpson, 36, served as the Swedish team’s strategist. The British Olympic Association described Simpson as a “treasured and accomplished member” of its teams.
on the team’s website. “Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family.”
Cayard didn’t take questions during a brief news conference Thursday evening and didn’t return telephone calls.
The British Olympic Association described Simpson as a “treasured and accomplished member” of its teams.