BOGOTA, Colombia

Judge orders ex-official arrested in spying case

A Colombian judge Saturday ordered the arrest of former President Alvaro Uribe’s chief of staff for alleged involvement in spying on judges, journalists and politicians by the domestic security agency.

Bernardo Moreno, 51, is the second top former aide to Uribe to be ordered arrested on criminal charges. A former agricultural minister, Andres Felipe Arias, was jailed Tuesday for allegedly favoring political cronies with irrigation subsidies.

But the Moreno case is the first affecting Uribe’s former inner sanctum. He was the president’s chief of staff for both his terms in office from 2002-2010.

Moreno faces at least three years in prison if convicted by the Supreme Court.


Police arrest reputed chief of hit men for drug cartel

Federal police have captured the alleged leader of a gang of killers who work for a drug cartel in the violent border of Ciudad Juarez, Mexican news media said Saturday.

The suspect, Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, is wanted by the U.S. government on charges of murdering a U.S. consulate employee and her husband last year in Ciudad Juarez, which is across the border from El Paso, Texas.

The newspaper El Universal and Milenio television said the 33-year-old Acosta was arrested Friday in the northern city of Chihuahua. Mexican authorities have identified Acosta as the head of La Linea, a gang of hit men and corrupt police officers who act as enforcers for the Juarez Cartel.

Federal officials said they could not confirm the arrest, but federal police spokesman Juan Carlos Buenrostro said a suspect would be flown from northern Mexico to Mexico City to be shown before news media by today.


King Tut tomb artifacts heading back to Egypt

Nineteen artifacts taken from the tomb of the famed boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun will be returned to Egypt this week after more than half a century at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Egypt’s antiquities authority said Saturday.

The trove includes a miniature bronze dog and a sphinx-shaped bracelet ornament, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said.


NATO warplanes attack Libyan TV transmitters

NATO warplanes bombed three Libyan state TV satellite transmitters in Tripoli overnight, targeting a key propaganda tool that the military alliance said Saturday is used by Moammar Gadhafi’s government to incite violence and threaten civilians.

Libya’s rebel movement, meanwhile, appeared in disarray after the mysterious death of its chief military commander in a killing that some witnesses said was carried out by fellow rebel fighters who suspected him of treason.

The rebels’ political leader sought to dispel any notions of infighting Saturday and accused Gadhafi supporters of killing Abdel-Fattah Younis. He said the commander, who was Gadhafi’s interior minister before defecting, had not been suspected of treason but had been arrested after complaints he was mismanaging rebel forces.

– From news service reports