In Brief


November 23, 2008|By From Sun news services

Iraqi premier lobbies for U.S. forces agreement


BAGHDAD: The Iraqi parliament will vote Wednesday on a pact that would allow American troops to stay in Iraq for three more years, but the government's hopes of winning a wide margin of approval to ensure the deal's legitimacy appeared to be fading. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his top ministers struggled yesterday to rally support for the pact, arguing that Iraqi security forces aren't ready to stand on their own. A U.N. mandate for the American troop presence expires Dec. 31, and U.S. military operations would have to stop immediately without a new mandate or the legal cover of the pact being considered by parliament.

Tibetan exiles affirm conciliation with China


NEW DELHI: After an intense debate on whether to begin a formal independence movement, the majority of delegates attending a conference of Tibetan exiles in northern India recommended yesterday that the Tibetan government in exile continue to adopt the Dalai Lama's conciliatory approach to China, a Tibetan spokesman said. But most delegates also advised the Tibetan government to end the dialogue until China shows real willingness to negotiate, the spokesman, Thubten Samphel, said in a telephone interview from Dharamsala, India.

Father outraged over viewers of son's suicide


MIAMI: The father of a college student whose suicide was broadcast live over a webcam said yesterday that he was apalled by the virtual audience that egged on his son. He called for regulation of Internet sites. Abraham Biggs Sr. said those who watched and the Web site operators share some blame in his 19-year-old son's death. Police found Abraham Biggs Jr. dead in his father's bed Wednesday, 12 hours after he first declared on a Web site for bodybuilders that he planned to take his own life. He took a fatal drug overdose in front of an Internet audience. Although some viewers contacted the Web site to notify police, authorities did not reach his house in time. Biggs, who said he was at work during the episode, said he had not known about his son's online presence.

Career opportunity: police informant


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.: The Albuquerque Police Department has turned to the want ads for snitches. An ad this week in the alternative newspaper The Alibi asks "people who hang out with crooks" to do part-time work for the police. It reads in part: "Make some extra cash! Drug use and criminal record OK." Capt. Joe Hudson says police received more than 30 responses in two days. An informant whose tip helps officers arrest a drug dealer could earn $50. A tip about a murder suspect could bring up to $700.

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