BOGOTA, Colombia — Russia delivered at least 1,800 shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles to Venezuela in 2009, U.N. arms control data show, despite vigorous U.S. efforts to stop President Hugo Chavez's stridently anti-American government from acquiring the weapons.
The United States feared that the missiles could be funneled to Marxist guerrillas fighting Colombia's pro-American government or Mexican drug cartels, concerns expressed in U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and first reported in the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
It had been unclear how many of the Russian SA-24 missiles were delivered to Venezuela, though the transfer itself was not secret.
Philippines pleads for five jailed in China
MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III says the Philippines did not send a representative to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony honoring a jailed Chinese dissident because of his efforts to spare Filipinos on death row in China.
Aquino said in an interview published in the Philippine Sunday Inquirer that he must look after the interests of the Filipinos first.
He said he already sent a letter to the Chinese government seeking clemency for five Filipinos sentenced to death for drug trafficking.
Palin makes tightly managed trip to Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began a tightly managed visit to Haiti on Saturday in which she visited cholera clinics while avoiding crowds and the press.
The 2008 vice presidential candidate was a guest of Rev. Franklin Graham, whose aid group works in the impoverished country. Haiti is facing a brutal cholera epidemic while struggling with an electoral crisis and reconstruction from the January earthquake.
Palin, who traveled in part by helicopter, provided access on her tour solely to U.S. cable network Fox News.
Graham's organization, Samaritan's Purse, refused to discuss Palin's itinerary with other media and asked Haitian and American reporters to leave its compounds, citing a "security lockdown."
Associated Press television journalists saw Palin talking with foreign aid workers. It was her first trip outside the United States since speaking to investors in Hong Kong last year.