Haiti jails 5 Americans in arms case
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Authorities in Haiti said Tuesday that five U.S. citizens are among eight men who have been detained with automatic weapons and other arms, and they are investigating whether anyone authorized their entry into the country.
Prosecutor Paul Eronce Villard said the seven foreigners and one Haitian were arrested Sunday in the capital, Port-au-Prince, while traveling with the weapons in cars without license plates. Villard declined further comment but said they are scheduled to appear in court soon.
Police spokesman Michel-Ange Louis-Jeune said the men told police they were on a "mission," but they refused to say anything else except that they would call their bosses.
He said the men were in two cars and that when they were being detained, a third car showed up with an unidentified man who pressured police to release them. Louis-Jeune said he had no further information.
A U.S. State Department spokesman confirmed that U.S. citizens had been arrested and that the government was seeking consular access as soon as possible.
The arrests follow more than a week of violent demonstrations by Haitians demanding that President Jovenel Moise resign amid rising inflation and allegations of corruption.
Mexico closes temporary migrant site
MEXICO CITY -- Officials in the northern Mexico border state of Coahuila said an empty assembly plant used to house about 1,600 Central American migrants during the past two weeks has closed.
Jose Borrego, a state spokesman, confirmed the closure of the Piedras Negras shelter Tuesday, a day earlier than scheduled. He said additional information would be made available later.
The shelter's population had been steadily falling since last week as migrants who had obtained humanitarian visas were given bus rides to other cities where they could have a better chance of finding work.
The migrants arrived at the border hoping to request asylum in the United States, but Mexican authorities corralled them in the shelter and only about a dozen were allowed to request asylum each day.
Egypt detains, expels U.S. journalist
CAIRO -- Egyptian officials detained a New York Times correspondent after he arrived in Cairo on Monday, holding him incommunicado for hours before forcing him onto a flight back to London without explanation.
The move against the correspondent, David D. Kirkpatrick, is an escalation of a crackdown against the news media under Egypt's leader, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Egyptian journalists have borne the brunt of el-Sissi's repression, with dozens imprisoned or forced into exile.
Kirkpatrick, 48, was Cairo bureau chief for The New York Times from 2011 to 2015 and is the author of a recent book on Egypt, Into the Hands of the Soldiers. He was detained by security officials upon arrival at the Cairo airport Monday night.
Hours later, after being officially denied entry to the country, Kirkpatrick's phone was confiscated and he was held without food or water for seven hours.
On Tuesday morning, Egyptian officials escorted him onto an EgyptAir flight back to London. Sam Werberg, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, said: "We're concerned about reports of the unexplained refusal of entry to Egypt of a U.S. citizen New York Times journalist. We have raised our concerns with Egyptian officials."
Michael Slackman, international editor of The New York Times, said, "We are deeply disturbed that the government of Egypt detained our correspondent, kept him incommunicado, denied him food or water and refused to allow him into the country."
Ukraine leader commits to NATO, EU
KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's president on Tuesday signed a constitutional amendment committing to join NATO and the European Union, acknowledging that the nation still has a long way to go to meet the membership criteria.
Speaking in parliament, Petro Poroshenko said he sees securing Ukraine's membership in the EU and NATO as his "strategic mission."
Poroshenko, who is running for a second five-year term in the March 31 election, told parliament that he aims to make a formal bid to join the EU by 2023 and also negotiate a detailed action plan for joining NATO.
He acknowledged, however, that Ukraine needs to go a "long way" to "do its homework" on meeting the criteria for joining both the EU and NATO.
Poroshenko criticized Ukrainian politicians who said their country shouldn't join any blocs, and he argued that the nation's bloc-free status has encouraged Russian "aggression."
European Council President Donald Tusk addressed the parliament in Ukrainian, declaring that "there is no Europe without Ukraine." He pledged that the EU would never acknowledge Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and that the bloc would keep its sanctions against Moscow.
A Section on 02/20/2019
Print Headline: The world in brief