Briefs 0208


Massive manhunt on for ex-cop accused of killing 3

LOS ANGELES — An ex-Los Angeles police officer who authorities say went on a deadly shooting rampage to punish those he blamed for his firing killed three people, setting off a manhunt that stirred fear across several states and Mexico.

The search for Christopher Dorner focused late Thursday on Big Bear Lake, about 80 miles east of Los Angeles, where police found a burned-out pickup truck that belonged to Christopher Dorner. San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said officers were going door to door looking for him.

Throughout the day, thousands of heavily armed officers patrolled highways in the state, while some stood guard outside the homes of people police say Dorner vowed to attack in an angry rant posted online. Electronic billboards that usually alert motorists about the commute urged them to call 911 if they saw him.

“I will bring unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” to Los Angeles Police Department officers, on or off duty, said the manifesto. It also asserted: “Unfortunately, I will not be alive to see my name cleared. That’s what this is about, my name. A man is nothing without his name.”

Dorner, 33, had multiple weapons including an assault rifle, said Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck, who urged him to surrender at an unusual press conference in an underground room at police headquarters where there was more security than normal.

Tunisia Islamists say no new government

TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia sank deeper into political crisis Thursday, as the ruling Islamist party rejected its own prime minister’s decision to replace the government after the assassination of a leftist politician led to a wave of angry protests.

The murder of Chokri Belaid, a 48-year-old secularist and a fierce critic of hardline Islamists as well as the more moderate ruling party, laid bare the challenges facing this nation of 10 million, whose revolution two years ago sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

Because of its small, well-educated population, there were hopes Tunisia would have the easiest time transitioning from dictatorship to democracy. But instead Tunisia — a staunchly secular state under ex-dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali — is now a battleground pitting secularists, moderate Islamists and hardline Islamists against one another.

The economy has struggled, power-sharing negotiations have stalled, and political violence is on the rise. The rejection of the prime minister’s move to create a government of technocrats to guide the country to elections also made clear that divisions exist between hardliners and moderates within the ruling party, Ennahda.

Accused witch burned alive in Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea — A woman accused of witchcraft has been burned alive in front of hundreds of witnesses in Papua New Guinea town in one of the highest profile sorcery-rated murders in this South Pacific island nation, police said Friday.

The brutal slaying of 20-year-old mother of one Kepari Leniata on Wednesday has been condemned by the nation’s prime minister, police and diplomatic observers.

Leniata was stripped naked by several assailants, tortured with a hot iron rod, bound, doused in gasoline, then set alight on a pile of car tires and trash in the Western Highlands provincial capital of Mount Hagen, police spokesman Dominic Kakas said.

Some of the hundreds of bystanders took photographs. Grisly pictures were published on the front pages of the country’s biggest circulating newspapers, The National and Post-Courier.

Leniata was accused of sorcery by relatives of a 6-year-old boy who died in the local hospital the day before, Kakas said.

By wire sources