Haiti drops charges against missionaries

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A lawyer says Haiti has dropped kidnapping charges against nine of the 10 U.S. missionaries, including one from Topeka, who were arrested trying to take a busload of children out of the quake- ravaged country.

The group's leader, Laura Silsby of Boise, Idaho, remains jailed in Haiti. The other nine were let go in February and early March and allowed to leave the country.

Caleb Stegall, an attorney for three of them, told the Associated Press on Thursday that a senior State Department official informed him of the dropped charges.

The AP was not immediately able to reach the presiding judge for confirmation.

The Baptist missionaries were halted Jan. 30 trying to take 33 children to an orphanage they were setting up in the Dominican Republic.

U.S. resumes flights at base in Kyrgyzstan

MANAS, Kyrgyzstan — The U.S. air base near Kyrgyzstan's capital was fully back in action Thursday providing crucial support to the NATO campaign in Afghanistan, with planes taking off and landing throughout the day.

The flights were halted April 7 after a day of violent protests that ousted the president and as a new provisional government worked to establish control. The upheaval also raised concerns about the future of the U.S. base, but the leader of the new government said Tuesday that the lease would be extended.

The Manas base provides refueling flights for warplanes over Afghanistan and serves as a major transit hub for troops.