Guatemalan President barred from leaving country
GUATEMALA CITY • Guatemalan President Otto Perez has been barred from leaving the country after Congress voted on Tuesday to strip him of immunity, clearing the way for him to be prosecuted over allegations he masterminded a multi-million-dollar corruption scheme.
The result gives Mr Perez the dubious distinction of becoming the country's first president to have his immunity revoked.
Mr Perez, a 64-year-old retired general, denies accusations of running a scheme that allowed businesses to reduce their customs duty by paying bribes to corrupt officials. Under Guatemalan law, he will be automatically removed from office if remanded in custody by a judge.
Missing package with radioactive material found
WASHINGTON • A US university says it has found a package containing radioactive material that had gone missing for more than 10 days.
Texas A&M University said on Tuesday that the FedEx shipment - which contained a "radioactive source" for research purposes - was located untampered with in one of its secure hazardous material storage facilities.
The university said the community was never in any danger, although a local broadcaster on Monday had quoted an earlier university statement as saying that the shipment did not pose a health risk so long as the contents, secured in a box, were not disturbed.
EU extends sanctions over eastern Ukraine for six months
BRUSSELS • The European Union will extend sanctions for another six months against Ukrainian and Russian figures accused of backing pro-Moscow rebels fighting for independence from Kiev.
Officials said yesterday that formal endorsement of the decision will come ahead of the scheduled expiry of the sanctions on Sept 15.
The 28-nation bloc has imposed asset freezes and travel bans on some 150 individuals and nearly 40 entities for their role in eastern Ukraine, sparking a sharp response from Moscow which has slapped bans on imports of EU foods and other goods.