News around the world
Santorum wins in 3 states
WASHINGTON — Resurgent Rick Santorum
said his sweep of three GOP contests
earned his shoestring campaign $250,000 overnight,
cash he needs to take his upstart bid for
the Republican presidential nomination to Mitt
Santorum’s stunning victories Tuesday in
Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado marked
his best performance thus far in the rollicking
contest for the Republican presidential nomination
— and Romney’s worst. The better-funded
and organized former Massachusetts governor
shrugged off his poor showing, but his losses
were stinging reminders of a stubborn weakness:
Romney’s inability to appeal to the conservatives
at the base of the party.
Sanctions on Iran aim to head off Israel
WASHINGTON — Additional U.S. sanctions on Iran are more signifi
cant for their timing than their immediate effect on Iran’s economy,
coming as the United States and its allies are arguing that Israel should
hold off on any military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities to allow
more time for sanctions to work.
The U.S. ordered tough new penalties to give U.S. banks additional
powers to freeze assets linked to the Iranian government and close
loopholes that offi cials say Iran has used to move money despite earlier
restrictions imposed by the U.S. and Europe.
Like previous economic penalties, these are intended to persuade
Iran to back off what the West contends is a drive to build a nuclear
bomb. Israel increasingly is concerned that sanctions will never be
enough to make Iran drop what has become a national priority for a
clerical regime that has vowed to wipe Israel off the map.
Nonprofi ts caught in Egypt dispute
CAIRO — Americans facing trial in Egypt over activities of their
pro-democracy groups have been caught in a dispute between the U.S.
government and Egypt over aid, a lawyer representing the Americans
In a measure of the depth of the tensions, an Egyptian government
delegation abruptly canceled meetings in Washington with U.S.
lawmakers set for Monday and Tuesday, after angry American offi cials
warned the clash could jeopardize more than $1 billion in annual foreign
aid to Egypt.
A senior Egyptian offi cial confi rmed that the government has
objected for years to the U.S. directing part of its aid to pro-democracy
and human rights groups, calling the practice illegal and acknowledging
that a cut in U.S. aid could follow.
The dispute has led to 19 American workers with the groups facing
trial and six banned from leaving Egypt.
School staff removed during abuse probe
LOS ANGELES — The entire staff at a Los Angeles elementary
school is being removed while authorities investigate horrifi c allegations
of sexual abuse by two of the school’s teachers, one of whom is
accused of blindfolding children, taping their mouths and photographing
them in a classroom.
Los Angeles Unifi ed School District Superintendent John Deasy
said that more than 120 staff members at Miramonte Elementary
School — everyone from the principal and teachers to the cafeteria
workers — were being replaced because a full investigation of the
allegations will be disruptive and staffers will require support to get
through the scandal.
“We intend to interview every adult, every adult who works at that
school, whether they are a teacher or administrator, or whether they are
an after-school playground worker or a custodian or a secretary. I mean
every single solitary adult who works at Miramonte,”
Deasy said to parents who packed a high school
Opponents gear up for Venezuela vote
CARACAS, Venezuela — Outmatched time
and again at the polls by President Hugo Chavez,
Venezuelan’s opposition leaders are trying a new
strategy to unseat the populist leader this year, holding
the nation’s fi rst presidential primary to choose
the strongest challenger.
The front-runner in Sunday’s election is Henrique
Capriles, a 39-year-old state governor who
has won a large following as a youthful alternative
to the 57-year-old Chavez. Capriles, an avid jogger
who plays pickup basketball games with supporters,
has crowd appeal that makes him a formidable
Capriles has pledged both to help the poor and
be a friend to business. He describes himself as a
center-left progressive, saying he admires the approach
of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva.
Uganda’s anti-gay bill reintroduced
KAMPALA, Uganda — The Ugandan parliamentarian who fi rst
introduced an anti-gay bill that carried the death penalty for some
homosexual acts reintroduced the bill on Tuesday, raising concerns
among rights activists who have been fi ghting the legislation.
Parliamentarian David Bahati fi rst introduced the bill in 2009 but
it has never come before the full legislative body for a vote. Though
widely supported in Uganda, the bill’s progress apparently has been
slowed by an international outcry against the bill, including condemnation
from President Barack Obama.
LONDON — He wrote about life
in the modern city, with its lawyers and
criminals, bankers and urchins, dreamers
and clerks. He created characters still
known to millions — Ebeneezer Scrooge
and Tiny Tim, Pip and Miss Havisham,
Fagin and Oliver Twist. And it made him
a star, mobbed by fans on both sides of
Britain on Tuesday marked the 200th
birthday of Charles Dickens, the fi rst
global celebrity author and chronicler of
a world of urban inequality that looks a
lot like the one we live in today.
“You only have to look around our
society and everything he wrote about in
the 1840s is still relevant,” said Dickens’ biographer, Claire Tomalin.
“The great gulf between the rich and poor, corrupt fi nanciers, corrupt
Members of Parliament … You name it, he said it.”