Thursday, August 16, 2012

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Injured Syrian women arrive at a field hospital after an air strike hit their homes in the town of Azaz on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

Cuba prosecutors seek seven years for Spain's Carromero

Spanish politician Angel Carromero Angel Carromero belongs to Spain's centre-right Popular Party

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Cuban prosecutors are reported to be seeking a seven-year jail term for Spanish politician Angel Carromero over the death of dissident Oswaldo Paya in a car crash.
Mr Carromero was driving a car that hit a tree along an unpaved stretch of road in eastern Cuba on 22 July.
He and Swedish politician Jens Aron Modig survived but Mr Paya and fellow Cuban activist Harold Cepero died.
Mr Carromero has been in custody since then.
Diplomatic sources told Spanish media that prosecutors were seeking three-and-a-half years for each victim.
Under Cuban law, involuntary manslaughter carries a term of between one and 10 years.
Spanish media report that Mr Carromero's trial could begin in the coming days.
If Mr Carromero is found guilty, the Spanish government is hoping that he will be allowed to serve out his sentence in Spain, El Pais newspaper reported.
Mr Paya's family have questioned the circumstances of the crash, alleging that the vehicle may have been forced off the road.
But on 30 July, Mr Carromero appeared in a pre-recorded video released by the Cuban authorities saying that he had lost control of the car and denying that a second vehicle had been involved in the crash.
Mr Modig, a member of Sweden's Christian Democratic Party, and Mr Angel Carromero, from Spain's centre-right Popular Party, admitted that they had taken some 4,000 euros ($4,900; £3,100) to Cuba to give to Oswaldo Paya and other dissidents, which is illegal in the country.
Mr Modig, who has since returned home, said he was asleep at the time of the crash.
Oswaldo Paya, who was 60, was best known as the founder of the Varela project, a campaign begun in 1998 to gather signatures in support of a referendum on laws guaranteeing civil rights.
The Cuban government described him as an agent of the US who was working to undermine the country's revolution.

The Cuba Libre Cocktail -- Originated With BACARDI Rum -- Celebrates 112th Anniversary

World's favorite cocktail created in 1900 with BACARDI rum; More than six million enjoyed every day
HAMILTON, Bermuda , Aug. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - In its 150th anniversary year, Bacardi celebrates another historic milestone with consumers around the world. The legendary original Cuba Libre, more commonly called a "BACARDI and Coke®," turns 112 years old this month. Since its inspiration and creation in Havana , Cuba , in 1900, this classic cocktail has become the most ordered cocktail in the world with seventy BACARDI Cuba Libre drinks enjoyed every second, every day around the world.
To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/53410-bacardi-rum-150-anniversary-cuba-libre-cocktail-gold-coke-112-cola
And yet, the drink that caused such a cocktail revolution was, appropriately enough, borne of revolutionary origins itself. The year was 1900, marking the end of Cuba's War for Independence. It was this war, known as the Spanish-American War, which brought many Americans to Cuba , including future United States President Theodore Roosevelt , then a Colonel in his regiment popularly known as the Rough Riders. These Americans had also brought Coca-Cola® with them to Cuba , and soon it had become a popular beverage among Cubans and Americans alike. While celebrating Cuba's victory at The American Bar in Havana , a U.S. Army Signal Corps captain decided to combine his Cuban BACARDI Rum with Coca-Cola® and the squeeze of a fresh lime, sparking interest among others bar patrons. Soon the entire bar was drinking this enticing, new combination. The captain proposed a toast of "Por Cuba libre!" (For a Free Cuba )--a phrase of particular political significance used frequently as the battle cry by Cuban revolutionaries and Americans soldiers alike. The name caught on, and stuck. Today, the Cuba Libre cocktail is globally recognized as containing BACARDI rum, cola and lime juice.
"The fact that the Cuba Libre cocktail, distinctively but simply made with BACARDI rum, cola and fresh lime juice, is the world's favorite cocktail and continues to gain popularity after 112 years speaks to the exceptional quality and great taste BACARDI rum adds to this iconic drink," said Facundo L. Bacardi, Chairman of Bacardi Limited and great-great grandson of the Bacardi founder. "Taste and superior quality, along with the mixability of BACARDI rum, remain key to our phenomenal success and position today as the world's favorite and most awarded rum brand."
And the revolutionary Cuba Libre was itself a product of a revolution in rum-making. In 1862, in Santiago de Cuba , Don Facundo Bacardí Masso developed the world's first smooth light-bodied spirit--BACARDI--what the world now knows as premium rum. Designed to be the ultimate mixing spirit, as it never dominates or dilutes the taste of the drink, BACARDI rum inspired the creation of other legendary cocktail recipes like the authentic Mojito, the original Daiquiri, and the Pina Colada. For nearly 150 years, through seven generations of Don Facundo's descendants, family-owned Bacardi has focused on innovation, consistency, quality, taste and excellence.
"The hand-crafted quality of BACARDI rum is easily detectable, and that's why, when making a Cuba Libre, you simply can't substitute its great taste with anything else," said Ed Shirley , President and CEO of Bacardi Limited. "It's also a very easy drink to make, and deliciously refreshing, which explains why it's the drink of choice for millions of consumers globally. In fact, every day, more than six million BACARDI Cuba Libre cocktails are enjoyed around the world."
Today, sipping an original BACARDI Cuba Libre still summons a feeling of celebration and liberation. Like the soldiers in the bar in Havana , this cocktail still unites friends in a spirit of fun and fellowship with a taste of freedom from the ordinary.
The original BACARDI Cuba Libre is a consumer favorite because it's easy to make and just tastes great. To make a perfect Cuba Libre, the method is important as the squeeze of lime over ice makes all the difference.
Original Cuba Libre1 part BACARDI Gold® rum
3 parts Coca-Cola® (bottled)
2 lime wedges
Ice cubes
Fill a highball glass with cubed ice. Squeeze juice of fresh lime wedge into the glass. Drop the squeezed lime wedge rind into the glass. Pour in BACARDI Gold rum and top with chilled Coca-Cola®, ideally bottled. Stir gently. Garnish with a lime wedge.
After 150 years, Bacardi continues to make history with its great-tasting cocktails. To learn more about its pioneering heritage, revolutionary spirit, and classic cocktail recipes, visit www.BacardiLimited.com/150 and www.BacardiMediaCentre.com.
About Bacardi Limited
Bacardi Limited, the largest privately-held spirits company in the world, produces and markets internationally-recognized spirits and wines. Its brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDI rum, the world's best-selling and most-awarded rum; GREY GOOSE vodka, the world's leading super-premium vodka; DEWAR'S Blended Scotch whisky, the top-selling blended Scotch whisky in the U.S.; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin, the top-valued and fastest-growing premium gin in the world; MARTINI vermouth and sparkling wines, the world's leading vermouth and the world's favorite Italian sparkling wines; CAZADORES 100% blue agave tequila, the #1 premium tequila in Mexico and a top-selling premium tequila in the United States ; ERISTOFF vodka, one of the fastest-growing vodka brands in the world; and other leading and emerging brands.
Founded in Santiago de Cuba on February 4, 1862 , and family-owned for the past seven generations, Bacardi employs nearly 6,000 people, manufactures its brands at 27 facilities in 16 markets on four continents, and sells in more than 150 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. www.BacardiLimited.com
ENJOY RESPONSIBLY
©2012 BACARDI
BACARDI, THE BAT DEVICE AND OTHER TRADEMARKS RELATED TO BACARDI GROUP REFERENCED ARE TRADEMARKS OF BACARDI & COMPANY LIMITED OR OF OTHER SUBSIDIARIES OF BACARDI LIMITED
SOURCE: Bacardi Limited

Over 60 miners dead in Congo shaft collapse: officials

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KINSHASA | Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:45am EDT
(Reuters) - At least 60 miners were killed when a shaft collapsed in a remote part of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where local armed groups complicated rescue efforts, officials said on Thursday.
The local miners were digging for gold in shafts up to 100 meters (109 yards) underground when the accident occurred on Monday in Mambasa territory in Orientale Province, said Simon Pierre Bolombo, the provincial head of mines.
He said the collapse had been caused by a landslide.
"It was deep in the forest, there was a landslide, at least 60 people have been killed," Bolombo told Reuters by telephone from the town of Bunia in northeast Congo.
Congo's minister of mines, Martin Kabwelulu, told Reuters the workers were there illegally and that their shafts were deeper than the 30-metre (32-yard) limit required by the mining code for small-scale mining.
Hundreds of thousands of people in eastern Congo make a living in non-industrial mines, where safety precautions are almost nonexistent and accidents are common.
The area where the mine is situated is currently in the hands of a local rebel group - known as Mai Mai Morgan - which will likely hamper any rescue efforts, Bolombo said.
"(The mine) is controlled by the rebels … There's almost total insecurity, it's difficult for us (to reach)," he added.
Mining companies AngloGold Ashanti and Randgold operate in the region, which is known to be rich in tin and gold, although the accident did not take place on either company's concession, officials said.
Armed groups across eastern Congo use illegal and small-scale mining to help fund their activities, despite international attempts to stamp out so-called "conflict minerals".
(Editing Bate Felix and Alessandra Rizzo)

Julian Assange: Ecuador grants Wikileaks founder asylum

Ecuador's Foreign minister Ricardo Patino: "We believe that his fears are legitimate"

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Ecuador has granted asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange two months after he took refuge in its London embassy while fighting extradition from the UK.
It said there were fears Mr Assange's human rights might be violated.
Foreign minister Ricardo Patino accused the UK of making an "open threat" to enter its embassy to arrest him.
Mr Assange took refuge at the embassy in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over assault and rape claims, which he denies.
The Foreign Office said the decision on Mr Assange's application for political asylum would not affect the UK's legal obligation to extradite him to Sweden.
It tweeted: "We remain committed to a negotiated solution that allows us to carry out our obligations under the Extradition Act."

Political asylum is not available to anyone facing a serious non-political crime - such as the allegations levelled against Mr Assange.
But does his new status mean he can now leave his Swedish problems behind? No. Asylum does not equal immunity from prosecution - and Julian Assange needs safe passage through UK territory that he won't get.
Mr Assange knows he can't leave without risking arrest by officers waiting outside. The police can't enter the embassy unless the government revokes its status.
Embassy vehicles are protected by law from police searches - but how could he get into an Ecuadorian car without being apprehended? And what happens after he's in the car? At some point he will have to get out again. Stranger things have happened.
In 1984 there was an attempt to smuggle a Nigerian man from the UK in a so-called "diplomatic bag" protected from inspection. The bag was in fact a large crate - and customs officers successfully intercepted it at the airport.
The UK government will still seek to arrest him and it will not grant him safe passage. If he steps out, he will be arrested.
Announcing Ecuador's decision, Mr Patino said the country believed Mr Assange's fears of political persecution were "legitimate".
He said the country was being loyal to its tradition of protecting those who were vulnerable.
"We trust that our friendship with the United Kingdom will remain intact," he added.
The announcement was watched live by Mr Assange and embassy staff in a link to a press conference from Quito.
Outside Ecuador's embassy in London, the BBC's James Robbins said news was slowly spreading through Mr Assange's assembled supporters and they were delighted.
"The political temperature has risen very significantly. It is clear this is only the beginning of a very long legal contest," he said.
And BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman said there was now a "complete standoff" between the UK and Ecuador regarding the status of the embassy in London.
He said the British government now had to make a decision, adding that the risks were enormous - including making other embassies around the world vulnerable.
"I imagine the Foreign Office is awash with lawyers, discussing their options," said our correspondent.
"I would be very surprised if that power was used - certainly in the short term," he added.
Mr Assange entered the embassy after the UK's Supreme Court dismissed the Australian national's bid to reopen his appeal against extradition and gave him a two-week grace period before extradition proceedings could start.
It was during that fortnight, while on bail, that he sought refuge.
Scuffles have broken out outside the Ecuadorean embassy
A subsequent offer by Ecuador to allow Swedish investigators to interview Mr Assange inside the embassy was rejected.
The Wikileaks website Mr Assange founded published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments, particularly the US's, in 2010.
Earlier, the UK Foreign Office warned it could lift the embassy's diplomatic status to fulfil a "legal obligation" to extradite the 41-year-old by using the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987.
That allows the UK to revoke the diplomatic status of an embassy on UK soil, which would potentially allow police to enter the building to arrest Mr Assange for breaching the terms of his bail.
Mr Assange says he fears that if extradited to Sweden, he will then be passed on to the American authorities.
In 2010, two female ex-Wikileaks volunteers accused Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, of committing sexual offences against them while he was in Stockholm to give a lecture.
Mr Assange claims the sex was consensual and the allegations are politically motivated.
 http://www.bbc.co.uk