Three Haitians get 15 years for kidnapping
WASHINGTON - Three Haitian men were sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday for kidnapping an American teenager and her Haitian classmate for ransom.
The victims, identified only by their initials, were taken in May 2006 by gunmen who hijacked their driver on their way to school in Port-au-Prince. A third target, also a U.S. citizen, eluded capture when the American who was taken warned her not to come out of her house because they were being abducted.
The two girls were held for three days while the kidnappers negotiated with the American's grandfather for ransom. Prosecutors said their abductors, members of a Haitian Gang called Delmas, targeted Americans because they believed their families would pay more in ransom than Haitians. They say the men originally demanded $200,000 and threatened to kill the girls if they weren't paid, but ended up settling for an undisclosed amount that was much less.
NKorea's Kim may return to nuclear talks
SEOUL, South Korea - North Korean leader Kim Jong Il reportedly said Friday his country is ready to engage in multilateral talks, the latest move in a diplomatic chess game with the U.S. and regional powers seeking to rid Pyongyang of nuclear weapons.
'North Korea would like to solve relevant issues through bilateral and multilateral talks,' China's official Xinhua News Agency quoted Kim as telling a special envoy sent by Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Kim's remarks heightened the possibility of Pyongyang's return to stalled six-party disarmament negotiations it defiantly quit earlier this year.
Car bomb kills 7 in Iraqi market
BAGHDAD - A car bomb exploded Friday at a market south of Baghdad in a region that was once the scene of frequent attacks on Shiites, killing seven people and wounding 21 others, police and hospital officials said.
The bomb, inside a parked car, exploded in the town of Mahmoudiya about a half hour before the end of the day's fasting for Ramadan, when shoppers were in the market to buy last-minute supplies for the evening meal, or iftar.
Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, has a sizable Shiite community, while the countryside around it is predominantly Sunni. Al-Qaida in Iraq was once very active in the area.