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

Romney’s turf.

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

said.

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

gymnasium.

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

adversary.

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.

Britain marks

Dickens’ birthday

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

the Atlantic.

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.”

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