Russian fishing vessel taking on water near Antarctica

A Russian fishing vessel with 32 crew members was in trouble and taking on water near Antarctica on Friday, with heavy sea ice hampering rescue efforts.

The vessel Sparta was listing at 13 degrees next to the Antarctic ice shelf in the Ross Sea, according to Maritime New Zealand. The agency said that the crew was safe and was throwing cargo overboard to lighten the ship, and that some of the crew had boarded lifeboats as a precautionary measure.

The Sparta, which is 180 feet long, sent a distress call early Friday. Maritime New Zealand said heavy ice in the Southern Ocean would make it difficult for other ships to reach the vessel.

The Sparta’s sister ship Chiyo Maru No. 3 was 290 nautical miles away and heading toward the stricken vessel but had no capacity to cut through sea ice, the agency said. Ramon Davis, who is coordinating rescue efforts with the agency, said there were no helicopters in the area.

“It is possible the crew will have a fairly long wait for rescue,” he said.


Carlos the Jackal given another life term in prison

Carlos the Jackal, the flamboyant Venezuelan who symbolized Cold War terrorism, was sentenced to life in prison – again – in a Paris trial that ended late Thursday with him rallying for revolution and weeping for Moammar Gadhafi.

Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, hasn’t seen freedom since French agents spirited him out of Sudan in a sack in 1994. He’s already serving a life sentence in a French prison for a triple murder in 1975, the worst punishment meted out in a country that does not have the death penalty.

Once one of world’s most-wanted men, the former gun-for-hire and self-proclaimed revolutionary was escorted out of his cell and back to court last month to face charges that he instigated four bombings in France in 1982 and 1983 that killed 11 people and injured more than 140 others.

— From news service reports