Marcos won’t yield on family’s wealth
LAOAG | Former first lady Imelda Marcos, newly elected to the Philippines’ Congress, vowed Thursday never to compromise with the government in the battle for her family’s allegedly ill-gotten wealth.
The widow of deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos said she would be willing to discuss the wealth, but would not bargain on dividing the assets.
“I don’t want a compromise, a settlement or a plea bargain because it looks like there is a bit of guilt there, and I am not guilty,” the 80-year-old widow said as she showed journalists around a local hotel she helped develop.
She was reacting to calls by a government wealth-recovery agency for a settlement with the Marcos family over the assets and money they are said to have stolen from the state during the 20 years Ferdinand Marcos was in power.
While no exact figure is known, the agency has previously said it could be as much as $3 billion.
Protesters seize regional offices
BISHKEK | Opponents of Kyrgyzstan’s interim rulers stormed several regional government headquarters Thursday, threatening the delicate peace that has reigned since the violent overthrow of the president last month.
Provisional authorities are struggling to restore control over the entire country, particularly the former southern stronghold of deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was ousted April 7 amid violent clashes between government troops and demonstrators that left at least 85 people dead.
If the protests once again spread to the capital, Bishkek, it could threaten the stability of the Central Asian nation, which is of strategic concern to Washington and Moscow - both have military bases in Kyrgyzstan.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in front of the governor’s office in the city of Osh to demand the return of former Gov. Mamasadyk Bakirov, a Bakiyev loyalist who lost his post after the revolt.
Eyewitnesses said that after several minor scuffles broke out between supporters and opponents of the interim government, a crowd of around 500 people barged into the building and installed Mr. Bakirov in the governor’s office.
U.S. troops receive German medals
KABUL | Fourteen U.S. service members have received Germany’s Gold Cross Medal for their bravery in extracting wounded German soldiers from a firefight in northeast Afghanistan - the first time the award has been given to troops from another nation.
The Americans, all members of the U.S. Army’s 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, received the medals - one of Germany’s highest awards for valor - on Wednesday at a German base in Kunduz province in Afghanistan.
The U.S. crewmen were honored for risking their lives to rescue German soldiers ambushed by more than 200 Taliban fighters during a patrol April 2 near the provincial capital of Kunduz. Eleven German soldiers were critically wounded, and the battle was still active when U.S. Black Hawk evacuation helicopters arrived.
“We came under very heavy fire,” said Chief Warrant Officer Jason LaCrosse. “We couldn’t land at first, but we came back in a second time and loaded two casualties, brought them back to the hospital, then we went back to get more.”
Three of the German soldiers died of their wounds.
From wire dispatches and staff reports
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