World briefs: Terror suspect denies charges

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TORONTO -- A man accused of plotting with al-Qaida members in Iran to derail a train in Canada rejected the charges and said Tuesday that authorities were basing their conclusions on appearances. Law enforcement officials in the U.S. said the target was a train that runs between New York City and Toronto, Canada.

Canadian investigators say Raed Jaser, 35, and his suspected accomplice Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, received guidance -- but no money -- from members of al-Qaida in Iran. Iran released a statement saying it had nothing to do with the plot, even though there were no claims in Canada that the attacks were sponsored directly by Iran.

Police -- tipped off by an imam worried by the behavior of one of the suspects -- said it was the first known attack planned by al-Qaida in Canada.

Child porn suspect caught

WASHINGTON -- A former elementary school teacher who had been on the run for nearly five years was arrested in Nicaragua over the weekend on suspicion of producing pornography of young boys, the FBI said Tuesday.

Eric Justin Toth, now 31, was once a third-grade teacher at Beauvoir, an exclusive elementary school attached to the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. When Beauvoir officials confronted him about pornography of a student on a school camera, he fled.

He appeared in federal court Tuesday in Washington and was ordered held without bond. He faces charges of producing child pornography.

Prisoner ends strike

JERUSALEM -- A Palestinian prisoner whose prolonged hunger strike helped drive weeks of protests recently in the West Bank agreed to end his strike Tuesday after reaching a deal with Israeli authorities for his release in eight months, his lawyer said.

Samer Issawi, 33, of Jerusalem, had been on an intermittent hunger strike since August to protest his rearrest. Refusing food and receiving only infusions of water, vitamins and minerals, he was hospitalized in recent weeks as his condition deteriorated.

In the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Mr. Issawi became a symbol of the 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails.

Deadly raid in Iraq

BAGHDAD -- Security forces stormed a Sunni protest camp in northern Iraq on Tuesday, sparking deadly clashes in several towns and sharply intensifying rage at the Shiite-led government. The unrest and a spate of other attacks, mostly targeting Sunni mosques, killed at least 56 people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks on three Sunni mosques, and it was unclear if there was any connection to the storming of the protest camp. Sunni extremists such as al-Qaida have in the past targeted moderate Sunnis. But if Shiite militias were behind the attacks, it would raise fears of a return to the open sectarian fighting of 2006 and 2007 when Iraq was on the brink of civil war.

Murder suspect captured

MOSCOW -- An ex-convict suspected in the shooting of six people in the Russian city of Belgorod was arrested late Tuesday night as he tried to leave on a freight train, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said.

If convicted in the six slayings, Sergei Pomazun, 32, could face life in prison.

Mr. Pozamun was suspected of shooting three shop assistants at a hunting store Monday afternoon, then shooting three passers-by outside, including two teenage girls. All six died of their wounds.



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