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Fighters must lay down arms, Ivorian leader says

BY TIM JOHNSON

McClatchy News Service

PUERTO GRANDE, Honduras — In a nation with the highest murder rate in the Western Hemisphere, it’s perhaps not a surprise that someone armed with a 9mm pistol opened fire last month on Franklin Melendez, wounding the radio journalist in the thigh. What astonishes is what happened next: Police refused to go to the crime scene. Later in the evening, the three officers on duty also didn’t budge when the alleged assailant waved his gun out of a moving vehicle and threatened to shoot another reporter for the radio station. “He pointed the pistol at me and said,

New York Times Service

‘You’re next, bitch. We’re going to kill you,’ ” recalled Ethels Posada, a 30-year-old part-time reporter. Numerous witnesses saw the assailant shoot Melendez and threaten Posada, but the police wouldn’t act without a formal complaint. Once the complaint arrived, eight days later, they still refused to do anything, saying an arrest order was needed. The assailant has now fled the area. “They didn’t lift a finger to help us,” Posada said of the police. That inaction underscores why gunmen in Honduras have gotten away with a string of attacks that have claimed the lives of at least 10 journalists, 60 lawyers, 155 women and 59 gays, lesbians or transgender people since 2008.

BY ALAN COWELL AND ROD NORDLAND

New York Times Service

PARIS — France and Britain urged NATO on Tuesday to intensify airstrikes against Moammar Gadhafi’s forces and called on the alliance to do more to shield noncombatants from loyalist attacks. The remarks could well embolden rebels who have proved unable to hold on to terrain captured from loyalist forces in weeks of advances and retreats along the coastal highway leading westward from the insurgents’ redoubts in eastern Libya. The comments by William Hague, Britain’s foreign secretary, and Alain Juppe, France’s foreign minister, also appeared to signal a rift within the alliance only eight days after it assumed command from the United States for the campaign. NATO rejected the criticism. “NATO is conducting its military operations in Libya with vigor within the current mandate. The pace of the operations is determined by the need to protect the population,” it said Tuesday, according to Reuters. While the pace of NATO air attacks appeared to pick up Monday in the battleground between Ajdabiya and the oil town of Brega in eastern Libya, rebel leaders have complained bitterly of a lull that seemed to coincide with the handoff of responsibility from the allied coalition to NATO, about 10 days ago. NATO pilots were also involved in two friendly-fire incidents that killed well over a dozen rebel fighters. NATO has been criticized for a go-slow approach in the rebel-held city of Misurata, which has fallen into desperate straits as a weekslong siege by pro-Gadhafi forces has stretched thin its stocks of food, water and medical supplies. The city’s port, a vital lifeline that was opened in the initial Western air attacks, was choked off by Gadhafi’s forces in the days after NATO took over. The port has since reopened, but the city remains under attack by tanks, artillery and snipers, and rebel leaders are complaining that NATO is failing there in its central objective of protecting civilians. The French and British comments coincided with a swirl of diplomatic activity on Tuesday as the battlefield situation offered neither the rebels nor their adversaries any immediate prospect of a definitive outcome.

AFP-GETTY IMAGES

Journalists release balloons during the burial of slain television journalist and university professor Jorge Alberto Orellana, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

EGYPTIAN BLOGGER JAILED FOR CRITICIZING ARMY, 6A

• TURN TO LIBYA, 2A

Mubarak hospitalized with heart trouble BY ASHRAF SWEILAM AND YASSER IMAM Associated Press

reached that threshold. Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director general of Japan’s nuclear regulator, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said that the total amount of radioactive materials released so far from Fukushima Daiichi equaled about 10 percent of that released in the Chernobyl disaster. But at a separate news conference, an official from the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said that the radiation release from Fukushima could, in time, surpass levels seen in 1986. “The radiation leak has not stopped completely, and our concern is that it could eventually exceed Chernobyl,” said Junichi Matsumoto, a nuclear executive for the company.

TOKYO — Japan has raised its assessment of the accident at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the worst rating on an international scale, putting the disaster on par with the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, in an acknowledgement that the human and environmental consequences of the nuclear crisis could be dire and long-lasting. The decision to raise the alert level to 7 from 5 on the scale, overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency, is based on new estimates by Japanese authorities that suggest that the total amount of radioactive materials released so far from Fukushima Daiichi since the beginning of the crisis had • TURN TO JAPAN, 2A

BP CLEANUP FUND FUELS GULF COAST OFFICIALS’ SPENDING SPREE, 5A

Britain and France urge NATO to do more in Libya

• TURN TO HONDURAS, 4A

Japan rates disaster on par with Chernobyl HIROKO TABUCHI, KEITH BRADSHER AND ANDREW POLLACK

108TH YEAR I ©2011 THE MIAMI HERALD

HONDURAN POLICE LOOK THE OTHER WAY AS MURDER RATE SOARS

Associated Press

• TURN TO IVORY COAST, 2A

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 2011

FATAL NEGLECT

BY MARCO CHOWN OVED

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara called on all fighters to put down their arms now that the longtime strongman has been captured after his refusal to cede power sparked violence leaving bodies piled at morgues. More than 1 million civilians fled their homes and untold numbers were killed in the more than four-month power struggle between the two rivals. The standoff threatened to reignite the civil war that divided the world’s largest cocoa producer in two nearly a decade ago. “After more than four months of post-electoral crisis, marked by so many human lives lost, we are finally at the dawn of a new era of hope,” Ouattara said in an address to the nation on radio and television late Monday. Residents of the commercial capital of Abidjan refrained from celebrating in public, still fearful of the many armed fighters prowling the streets and refusing to believe their leader Laurent Gbagbo had been arrested. An AP reporter heard heavy fire in a southern district of Abidjan lasting into early Tuesday. Residents in the rest of the city said that most of the combat had ceased, though gunfire continued around three university student residences where pro-Gbagbo militia are believed to stay. Gbagbo’s security forces have been accused of using mortars and machine guns to mow down opponents during the standoff. Gbagbo could be forced to answer for his soldiers’ crimes, but an international trial threatens to stoke the divisions that Ouattara will now have to heal as president. Ouattara cut short speculation that Gbagbo would be delivered to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, calling for an Ivorian investigation into the former president, his wife and their entourage. Ouattara also called on his supporters to refrain from retaliatory violence and said he intended to establish a truth and reconciliation commission. “Every measure has been taken to assure the physical integrity of Mr. Laurent Gbagbo, his wife and all those arrested,” he said. “They will receive dignified treatment and their rights will be respected.”

INTERNATIONAL EDITION

SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt — Egypt’s Former President Hosni Mubarak was abruptly hospitalized Tuesday for heart problems during an investigation over allegations of corruption and vio-

lence against protesters, reported state TV. In a sign that his ailment might not be very serious, however, Justice Minister Mohammed el Guindi said the former president was now being questioned in the hospital. The 82-year-old Mubarak was deposed Feb. 11 after 18 days of

Hosni Mubarak had to be hospitalized while being questioned about allegations against him of using violence against protesters. AMR NABI/AP FILE

GOP MEDICARE PLAN COULD SHAPE 2012 RACES, BUSINESS FRONT

popular protests and has been under house arrest in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh for the last two months. The public prosecutor announced Monday he was under investigation. Dozens of demonstrators picketed the hospital, denouncing the president and carrying a sign reading “Here is the butcher.” They scuffled briefly with supporters of Mubarak amid a massive security presence. El Guindi said Mubarak was being investigated over his role in the violence against protesters during the uprising in which more than 800 people died. The investigation into corruption charges would be carried out later by the Justice Ministry’s anticorruption department, he said. An investigation of Mubarak’s son, Gamal, is also underway in • TURN TO EGYPT, 2A

BARCA AND MAN UTD REACH CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMIS, SPORTS FRONT

INDEX NEWS EXTRA ............3A THE AMERICAS ..........4A OPINION........................7A COMICS & PUZZLES...6B

THE MIAMI HERALD 13 ABRIL 2011  

Edición 13 de Abril 2011

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