World briefs 5/10/06

Confessed cannibal convicted, jailed for life

FRANKFURT, Germany -- A man who admitted killing and eating an acquaintance he met on the Internet was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison Tuesday following his retrial in a case that engrossed and appalled Germany. Announcing the verdict at the Frankfurt state court, presiding Judge Klaus Drescher described the killing as "a particularly perverse murder." Armin Meiwes' attorneys had argued that the court should instead convict him of the lesser offense of "killing on demand," on the grounds that he was only following his victim's wishes.

Republicans reach agreement on tax cuts

WASHINGTON -- Republicans in Congress agreed Tuesday on a $70 billion measure to extend tax breaks for investors and prevent more middle-income families from being hit by a tax aimed at the wealthy. The bill would hand President Bush one of his top tax priorities, a two-year extension of the reduced 15 percent tax rate for capital gains and dividends, currently set to expire at the end of 2008. Republicans credit the tax cuts, enacted in 2003, with boosting economic growth and creating many jobs.

Woman pleads guilty to harboring immigrant

DENVER -- A woman accused of keeping an Indonesian nanny as a virtual slave for four years pleaded guilty Tuesday to harboring an illegal immigrant. Sarah Khonaizan, 35, faces a sentence ranging from probation to a year in prison and a fine of up to $20,000, attorneys said. In exchange for her guilty plea, prosecutors dropped charges of forced labor and document servitude. Prosecutors and FBI agents accused Khonaizan and her husband, both citizens of Saudi Arabia, of hiding the woman's passport and forcing her to cook, clean and care for their five children in their suburban Aurora home. She slept on a mattress on the basement floor and was paid less than $2 a day, the FBI said.

Hayden navigates concerns on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON -- President Bush's CIA nominee, Gen. Michael Hayden, canvassed Capitol Hill on Tuesday addressing Republican and Democratic concerns about a military officer running the civilian agency and about his close ties to the warrantless surveillance program. In a break with the White House, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said he was surprised by the nomination and concerned about Hayden's background. Since Hayden's nomination was announced, the White House said the general had called more than 25 members of Congress and was meeting some. Aside from Hastert, several Republicans and Democrats have expressed discomfort with Bush's decision to choose a military man to run the CIA.

244 Palestinians from Iraq reach Syria

TANAF, Syria -- Nearly 250 Palestinian refugees fleeing violence and death threats in Iraq came to Syria on Tuesday, after most of them were stranded for weeks in a desert border area because Jordan refused to admit them. The Palestinians said their community in Iraq was being targeted by armed groups -- though some said they were fleeing general instability in parts of the country, including the capital Baghdad.

-- From wire reports