Taylor to be held in UK jail
Former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who was convicted for sponsoring atrocities in Sierra Leone, will serve his 50-year sentence in a British prison, British Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation Jeremy Wright announced on Thursday in a letter to parliament. Taylor, 65, is the first former head of state convicted by an international war crimes court since World War II. The Special Court for Sierra Leone found him guilty in April last year of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including terrorism, murder, rape and using child soldiers. His conviction was upheld in an appeal last month.
Kidney traffickers arrested
Authorities have detained three doctors and a Greek citizen as suspected participants in a ring that trafficked kidneys to foreigners. Attorney General Carlos Jimenez said the doctors worked at a public hospital in San Jose, but performed transplants of illegally purchased kidneys in two private clinics in other parts of the country. He said on Thursday that the Greek citizen has a small pizzeria across the street from the hospital where he recruited donors to sell their kidneys. Jimenez said the doctors conducted transplant surgeries “with full knowledge that the donors were receiving money in exchange for their organs.”
AI pans absurd charges
Amnesty International (AI) on Thursday urged Morocco to immediately drop what it called “absurd charges” against a teenage couple arrested after a photograph of them kissing was posted on Facebook. The case has sparked outrage, with activists threatening to lock lips in a group “kiss-in” outside parliament today in protest. The young couple and a male friend who took the photo outside their school were detained last week and released on bail ahead of their trial yesterday for violating public decency. If convicted, they could be jailed for up to two years.
Douglas lied about cancer
Michael Douglas has revealed that he lied about the type of cancer he was diagnosed with, following word from surgeons that tongue cancer could entail radical surgery. Speaking to the actor Samuel L. Jackson on the British ITV daytime show This Morning, the actor said he told the press he was suffering from throat cancer rather than tongue cancer. Douglas, 69, was diagnosed with stage-four cancer in August 2010 after a series of misdiagnoses. He has spoken about how a specialist in Montreal finally realized the severity of his illness after looking inside his mouth using a tongue depressor.