Trucker convicted in smuggling deaths
A Dutch driver who watched movies and ate dinner while 58 Chinese immigrants slowly suffocated in the back of his sweltering tomato truck was convicted Thursday of manslaughter and sentenced to 14 years in prison.
The case exposed a murky underworld of smuggling gangs, known as "snakeheads," who profit from immigrants' hopes for new lives in the West. Justice Alan Moses laid much of the blame for the tragedy squarely on the shoulders of driver Perry Wacker, 32.
Rebels postpone hostage's beheading
In the face of a last-ditch military offensive, Muslim rebels backed off on their threat to kill an American hostage Thursday and send his head to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as a birthday present.
Just minutes before the threatened execution, Carol Schilling was hooked up on live radio with the Abu Sayyaf guerrilla group that has held her 25-year-old son, Jeffrey, since last August. Mrs. Schilling, a YMCA accountant from Oakland, Calif., had been told twice before that her son's execution was imminent. Moments before the scheduled execution time, a radio station reached the rebels who said the killing has been delayed.
Police files destroyed by Milosevic allies
After the fall of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, but while his former secret police chief remained in office, tons of police documents were destroyed and illegal copies of files on former opposition leaders were spirited away, Serbian Interior Minister Dusan Mihajlovic said Thursday.
"The period from Oct. 5 until Jan. 25 was used for the active destruction of evidence," Mihajlovic told a session of the Serbian parliament's Defense and Security Committee. "In our ministry, tons and tons of materials were destroyed."