Wrold briefs: Iran launches crackdown

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GENEVA -- With presidential elections approaching in June, Iran has cracked down on journalists, rights activists and lawyers in an apparent bid to stifle dissent, a United Nations investigator said Tuesday. He also said that the judicial authorities in Iran had tortured some Iranians for contacting him.

Iran rejected the assertions by the investigator, Ahmed Shaheed, calling them unfounded propaganda done under pressure of the West to malign the country. Iranian officials have issued similar rejoinders to the reports of Mr. Shaheed, a former foreign minister of the Maldives, since he was appointed to the role after the repression of anti-government protests over the disputed Iranian presidential elections of 2009.

Israeli troops kill protester

JERUSALEM -- Israeli troops shot to death a Palestinian man on Tuesday after he and others hurled rocks and firebombs at them in the West Bank, the military said.

The death was the latest in a new uptick in Palestinian casualties in the area, where protests in support of prisoners held in Israeli jails have led to violent clashes between the protesters and Israeli forces. The protests have largely subsided.

Korean War cease-fire

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea said Tuesday that North Korea cannot unilaterally nullify the 1953 Korean War cease-fire, calling the North's war threats a psychological ploy to strengthen Kim Jong Un's leadership at home and force Washington and South Korea to make concessions to the isolated country.

Following through on a standing threat that it revived last week amid tensions over joint U.S.-South Korean military drills coupled with U.N. sanctions, North Korea declared the armistice nullified as of Monday and that the guns of the 1950-53 Korean War, silenced for 60 years under an uneasy truce, could roar again any time.

Snowfall disrupts travel

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Snowfalls that crippled road, rail and air travel in northern Europe Tuesday have prompted Eurostar Group Ltd. to scrap eight services today as transport links including Frankfurt airport struggle to return to normal.

Eurostar canceled two trains in each direction between London and Paris and London and Brussels, a company spokeswoman said.

Police faulted in BBC case

LONDON -- Police failures over five decades allowed Jimmy Savile, one of Britain's best-known television personalities, to escape investigation for a lifetime of sex offenses dating back to the early 1960s, according to a report published by the Home Secretary Tuesday.

The review of police conduct revealed a catalog of poor procedures and missed opportunities and an unwillingness to pursue accusations against one of the country's most famous celebrities, whose renown also inhibited many possible victims from coming forward. Savile died in 2011.

Also in the world ...

People living on the South Atlantic archipelago of the Falkland Islands voted almost unanimously, 1513 out of 1517, to keep their status as a British territory, rejecting Argentina's claim to sovereignty. ... India will summon the Italian ambassador to protest the decision by his government not to return two marines charged with killing Indian fishermen in February 2012 when they suspected of being pirates in seas off Kerala state.

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