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International brief ~ USS Cole bombers get death sentences

Two of the bombers convicted of planning and perpetrating the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole were sentenced to death Wednesday morning by a Yemeni court. Abdul-Rahim Al-Nashiri and Jamal Al-Badawi were accused and convicted of masterminding the attack. Four other suspects were sentenced as well, one to an eight-year prison sentence, and the other three- to five-year terms. Read background on the Cole bombing here. From Sana'a, the Yemen Observer has more.

In other international law news...

  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair has joined the ranks of those disputing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's characterization of the Iraq war as illegal. In a BBC Radio 4 interview Blair stated that while he understood Mr. Annan's position, he disagreed with it. Blair said that he believed Iraq's breach of Security Council resolutions was a legal justification for the war. He also said that he refused to apologize for the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, an act he described as something he was proud of having been involved in. Listen to the BBC interview here. BBC News has more.

  • Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has joined Italy in opposing the proposed expansion of the Security Council by the 'G-4' nations of India, Germany, Japan, and Brazil. On a visit to that country Tuesday he said Pakistan agreed with Italy in not wanting to see any more "centers of privilige" being created in the Security Council. Dawn has more.

  • The Bangladesh Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Bangladesh government to cease its pattern of nation-wide arrests during an anti-crime drive. Over 7000 people have been arrested in under a week. The Supreme Court said it would hear further petitions the rest of the week before giving its final opinion on the legality of the arrests on Sunday. The Kerala News has more.

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