International Briefs

Sentence commuted

MIAMI: A convicted Cuban spy’s prison term in the US has been reduced from life to 30 years after an appeals court ruled the original sentence was too severe. A federal judge in Miami imposed the lesser sentence on Tuesday on 46-year-old Ramon Labanino after his attorney and prosecutors worked out an agreement. The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out the life sentence as unduly harsh. Labanino is one of the so-called “Cuban Five” convicted of seeking in the 1990s to infiltrate U.S. military bases and law enforcement agencies, and monitor Cuban exile groups and politicians in Miami. The men are lionised in Cuba as heroes.

Ex-editor sues daily

WASHINGTON: The former opinion editor of The Washington Times has sued the newspaper, alleging breach of contract, emotional distress and damage to his reputation.

Richard Miniter says he was pressured to attend a Unification Church event and harassed over his refusal to sign a fraudulent document to help an executive. The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages was filed Tuesday in US District Court in Washington. It also names the Unification Church and its leader, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, as defendants.

Child abuse row

DUBLIN: Ireland's Catholic bishops met on Wednesday to debate whether any of them should resign in the wake of a damning investigation that blamed five of them for helping to conceal child abuse by Dublin-based priests. The two senior Catholics in Ireland are expected to travel to Rome for discussions on Friday with Pope Benedict XVI, who alone can hire and fire bishops.