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Ex-Kosovo leader acquitted by U.N.

PARIS --The United Nations tribunal for the former Yugoslavia acquitted Ramush Haradinaj, former prime minister of Kosovo, of all charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, in a surprise decision yesterday. Judges found that prosecutors had failed to prove a deliberate campaign to kill Serb civilians in Kosovo or expel them in the late 1990s, when Haradinaj led the Kosovo Liberation Army against Serbian security Forces. The tribunal also acquitted one of two other defendants, Idriz Balaj. The other, Lahi Brahimaj, was sentenced to six years' imprisonment "for cruel treatment and torture of two persons," the court said.

Dissident gets 3 1/2 years in China

BEIJING --Confined to house arrest for seven months, Chinese activist Hu Jia still managed to use the Internet and telephone to chronicle the harassment of dissidents in his country before he was hauled off to jail last December. Yesterday, Hu, one of China's most prominent human rights advocates, was given 3 1/2 years in prison for "inciting state subversion," said his lawyer, Li Fangping. The evidence included five Internet articles Hu wrote and two interviews with foreign media, Li said.

Pope to visit N.Y. synagogue

NEW YORK --During his first papal trip to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI will visit a synagogue led by a rabbi who survived the Holocaust, the nation's bishops said yesterday. The pope, 80, will make a brief stop April 18 at Manhattan's Park Street Synagogue, whose leader, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, lived under Nazi occupation in Budapest and emigrated to the United States in 1947.

Clinton, Obama split on debate date

RALEIGH, N.C. --Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have both signed off on a Democratic presidential debate in North Carolina. The question now is when. Obama had previously agreed to debate his rival April 19 in North Carolina. Yesterday, the Clinton campaign said she has agreed to a debate April 27. North Carolina votes May 6. The two candidates have agreed to debate in Philadelphia on April 16, days before the Pennsylvania primary on April 22.

Air Force wing OK'd after nuclear error

BISMARCK, N.D. --The Air Force wing blamed for an embarrassing mix-up last year in which a B-52 bomber mistakenly flew to Louisiana armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles has passed a new inspection, the military said yesterday. Minot Air Force Base's 5th Bomb Wing was recertified in the handling of nuclear weapons after the inspection, which followed months of retraining and the sanctioning or outright replacement of some airmen.

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