Around the world

2013-04-07T00:00:00Z Around the worldFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
April 07, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Iraq

Suicide bomber kills 20 at political rally

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber blew himself up Saturday at a lunch hosted by a Sunni candidate in Iraq's upcoming regional elections, killing 20 people, officials said.

The blast ripped through a hospitality tent pitched next to the house of Muthana al-Jourani, who is running for the provincial council and held the lunch rally for supporters, councilman Sadiq al-Huseini said.

The attack took place in Baqouba, a mixed Sunni-Shiite city 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. Insurgent attacks and sectarian bloodletting have been rampant there in the decade since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Violence is expected to surge in the run-up to Iraq's provincial elections on April 20.

Cyprus

Amid crisis, convicts offer financial help

NICOSIA - With Cyprus' economy falling apart, even those behind prison bars are pulling together to help people in need.

Dozens of central prison inmates donated about 9,000 euros ($11,649) to a volunteer clinic Saturday to help needy families receive free medical attention amid the country's most severe economic crisis in decades.

The inmates, many of them serving long sentences, raised the cash from the 300 euros in pocket money they're allowed to keep for once-weekly purchases at the prison canteen.

Lara Ioannou, 25, whose husband has four years left on a 13-year drug-related sentence, helped hand the money to Eleni Theocharous, a Cypriot European parliament member and pediatric surgeon who also runs the country's first volunteer clinic in the heart of the capital's medieval center.

Ioannou said inmates thought that access to medical attention is as important as food as needy families try to weather the country's financial collapse.

Dominican Republic

Ex-anti-drug chief extradited to US

SANTO DOMINGO - A former director of the Dominican Republic's National Drug Control Agency has been extradited to the U.S. to face drug trafficking charges.

Francisco Hiraldo is expected to be tried in federal court in New York. Authorities accuse the 55-year-old retired Navy officer of protecting drug traffickers for at least nine years, and of allowing 25 drug cargos to pass through in return for $100,000 per cargo.

Authorities also accuse him of receiving (1,500 pounds) of cocaine as payment in 2008. Hiraldo has said he is innocent and agreed to be extradited.

Agency spokesman Roberto Lebron said Saturday that Hiraldo was turned over Friday to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Chile

Workers end strikes halting exports

SANTIAGO - Chilean port workers are returning to work after reaching a deal to end three weeks of strikes that blocked exports of copper, fruit and wood pulp.

The stoppage in the world's No.1 copper-producing nation began in the northern port of Angamos when workers demanded a 30-minute lunch break. Workers in 10 other ports joined in solidarity.

The Ultraport company managing the Angamos port agreed late Friday to compensate workers with a bonus following negotiations mediated by Chile's work minister.

The strike caused worries because Chile produces a third of the world's copper and its economy is built around exports of minerals.

The Associated Press

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