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TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2012
109TH YEAR I ©2012 THE MIAMI HERALD
Iran court sentences U.S. man to death in spy case BY HARVEY MORRIS
New York Times Service
PHOTOS BY EIRINI VOURLOUMIS/NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Vassilis Ballas and his wife Roula Boura extract resin from a mastic tree in Chios, Greece.
RETURNING TO ROOTS AMID ECONOMIC STRIFE, GREEKS LOOK TO NATION’S RICH RURAL PAST BY RACHEL DONADIO
New York Times Service
CHIOS, Greece — Nikos Gavalas and Alexandra Tricha, both 31 and trained as agriculturalists, were frustrated working on poorly paying, short-term contracts in Athens, where jobs are scarce and the cost of living is high. So last year, they decided to start a new project: growing edible snails for export. As Greece’s blighted economy plunges further into the abyss, the couple are joining with an exodus of Greeks who are ﬂeeing to the countryside and looking to the nation’s rich rural past as a guide to the future. They acknowledge that it is a peculiar undertaking, with more manual labor than they, as college graduates, ever imagined doing. But in a country starved by austerity even as it teeters on the brink of default, it seemed as good a gamble as any. Gavalas and Tricha chose to move back to his native Chios,
going from bad to worse,” Tricha said on a recent afternoon, as she walked through her greenhouse, where thousands of snails lumbered along on rows of damp wooden boards. “So I think our choice was good.” Unemployment in Greece is 18 percent, rising to 35 percent for young people between ages 15 and 29 — up from 12 percent and 24 percent, respectively, in late 2010. But the agricultural sector has been one of the few to show gains since the crisis hit, adding 32,000 jobs between 2008 and 2010 — most of them taken by Greeks, not migrant workers from abroad, according to a study released this fall by Nikos Gavalas and Alexandra Tricha feed snails at their the Pan-Hellenic Confederation of Agricultural Associations. farm where they grow edible snails for export, in Chios. “The biggest increase is in an Aegean island closer to Izmir, ﬁrst harvest later this year. But middle-aged people between 45 Turkey, than to Athens. They the couple are conﬁdent about and 65 years old,” said Yannis set up their boutique farm using their decision. Tsiforos, the director of the con$50,000 from their families’ life “When I call my friends and federation. “This shows us that savings. That investment has yet relatives in Athens, they tell me to pay off; they will have their there’s no hope, everything is • TURN TO GREECE, 2A
Islamists in Egypt support timing of military handover BY DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
New York Times Service
CAIRO — Poised to dominate the new Parliament here, Egypt’s largest Islamist group is putting off an expected confrontation with Egypt’s military rulers, keeping its distance from more radical Islamist parties and hoping that the United States will continue to support the country ﬁnancially, a top leader of the group’s political arm said. In a wide-ranging interview on Sunday, Essam el Erian, a senior leader of the political party founded by the group, the Muslim Brotherhood, said the party had decided to support keeping the caretaker prime minister and cabinet appointed by the ruling military council in ofﬁce for the next six months. Erian and other party leaders had previously suggested that they might act to have the Parliament challenge the council over control of the posts, perhaps as soon as later this month at the legislative
SMEAR ATTEMPT AGAINST PROTEST LEADER BACKFIRES IN RUSSIA, 3A
LONDON — Iran’s Revolutionary Court has sentenced to death a former U.S. military serviceman of Iranian descent on charges of spying for the CIA, the semiofﬁcial Fars news agency reported Monday. The former serviceman, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, 28, is the ﬁrst American to receive a death sentence in Iran since the Islamic Revolution more than 30 years ago ushered in the estrangement in U.S.-Iranian relations that has reached new levels of tension in recent months. Hekmati’s family in the United States has insisted he is no spy and was merely visiting family in Iran. “It’s a very shocking sentence,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a New York-based advocacy group that has been following Hekmati’s case. Hekmati, who has been imprisoned in Iran since August, had been charged by prosecutors with receiving espionage training at U.S. bases in Afghanistan and Iraq before inﬁltrating Iran. The Fars agency said he was sentenced to death for “cooperating with the hostile country and spying for the CIA.” “The court found him Corrupt on Earth and Mohareb [waging war on God],” according to Fars. The formulation is routinely used in cases against reported enemies of the Islamic Republic, and the charge carries the death sentence. Hekmati’s detention became public last month when Iranian state television broadcast video of him. It identiﬁed him as an U.S.-born Iranian-American from Arizona. In the video, the man identiﬁed as Hekmati said he joined the U.S. Army after graduating from high school in 2001, served in Iraq and received training in languages and • TURN TO SENTENCE, 2A
In Florida, lawmakers consider gambling bill A patron plays a slot machine at the Magic City Casino in Miami. A measure by a Republican state senator proposes opening the door to three large casinos in Florida.
BY LIZETTE ALVAREZ
New York Times Service
body’s ﬁrst meeting. But on Sunday, Erian said the party intended to let the caretakers stay on until the military’s preferred date for a handover of power, after the new Constitution is approved and a president is elected in June. To many Egyptians, the conciliatory tone evokes a frequent criticism that the Muslim Brotherhood has often been too willing to accommodate those in power. Many still talk about how it initially collaborated with the military-led government after Gamal Abdel Nasser’s 1952 coup — until Nasser turned on the Brotherhood and ordered a crackdown that jailed or executed many of its leaders. Erian made it clear in the interview, though, that the Muslim Brotherhood does not expect the military rulers to relinquish all power on their own. The party’s ﬁrst step in ultimately removing them, he said, would be to defend
MIAMI — As the Florida Legislature sprints into action on Tuesday for its annual two-month session, lawmakers will face the politically volatile task of redrawing the electoral map (sure to attract a court challenge) and devising new ways to plug a $2 billion deﬁcit in the state budget. But it is the “do we, don’t we” battle over whether to allow resort casinos into the state that has the state capital’s adrenaline pumping. The bill, which proposes opening the door to three large casinos in Florida, is expected to be one of the few major nonbudget-related pieces of legislation to be voted on this busy session. With a few powerful Republican lawmakers either opposed to the bill or skeptical of its beneﬁts and the session packed with other business, odds that resort casinos will be setting down stakes this year in South Florida, where major casino companies have shown the most interest, are getting longer.
• TURN TO EGYPT, 2A
• TURN TO FLORIDA, 2A
ARAB LEAGUE DEMANDS SYRIAN GOVERNMENT HALT ALL VIOLENCE, 6A
MERKEL, SARKOZY STRESS GROWTH A PRIORITY IN CRISIS, BUSINESS FRONT
JORGE POSADA RETIRES WITH PRIDE INTACT, SPORTS FRONT
INDEX THE AMERICAS ............4A U.S. NEWS.....................5A OPINION........................7A COMICS & PUZZLES ...6B