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American's trial in Cuba finishes

HAVANA — The trial of a U.S. government contractor facing up to 20 years in jail on charges he sought to undermine Cuba's government wrapped up Saturday after both sides gave closing arguments, but there was no immediate word of a verdict.

The fate of Alan Gross, a 61-year-old Maryland native detained for more than a year since being caught bringing communications equipment into the communist-run island, was in the hands of a five-judge panel.

Gloria Berbena, a spokeswoman for the U.S. diplomatic mission on the island, said Gross' Cuban lawyer would be notified when a verdict was reached, but there was no indication when that might be.

Strong aftershock shakes New Zealand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A powerful aftershock has rocked the devastated New Zealand city of Christchurch and the confirmed death toll from last month's magnitude 6.3 earthquake has risen by one to 166.

The GNS Science monitoring agency says the magnitude 4.8 aftershock struck Saturday night causing minor damage.

Police Supt. Sandra Manderson told reporters today the death toll had risen to 166 with another body recovered Saturday. The final toll is expected to exceed 200.

Mexico arrests man with a load of heroin

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican military says it has arrested a man who was carrying 1,000 doses of heroin along with cocaine, methamphetamines and a weapon on a federal highway.

A Defense Department statement issued Saturday says military personnel stopped the suspect the previous day at an unannounced checkpoint outside Tuxpan, north of beach resorts in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit.

A United Nations anti-narcotics agency recently reported that production of highly pure heroin is rising in Mexico.

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