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No role in slaying: McAfee

MEXICO CITY -- Software company founder John McAfee is denying any role in the slaying of his neighbour on a Caribbean island, an online article posted for Wired magazine reports.

Wired said McAfee called a reporter on Monday to say he was hiding from police who want to question him about the death of 52-year-old Gregory Viant Faull, whose body was found on Sunday. He is quoted as saying police would kill him if they find him.

McAfee said he saw police coming on Sunday and hid, burying himself in the sand and putting a cardboard box over his head so he could breathe, according to the article.

McAfee reportedly said whoever shot Faull may have been gunning for him instead and mistakenly killed his neighbour.

Faull was found with a gunshot wound to his head inside his two-storey home north of San Pedro, a town on the island of Ambergris Caye, said Raphael Martinez, spokesman for Belize's Ministry of National Security. The housekeeper discovered the body Sunday morning and called police. Martinez said no charges had been filed in the case.

Details in murder-suicide

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Letters found after an Ohio murder-suicide that killed three children indicate it was orchestrated by their grandmother and uncle, who were found dead with the youngsters in the family garage amid a disagreement over who should care for them, police said Tuesday.

Firefighters used a sledgehammer on Monday to force open a barricaded door to the garage, where a truck was running with hoses leading from the exhaust into the car that contained the bodies, police said.

Investigators said the relatives may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Two dogs and a cat also were found dead.

The family members were identified as 54-year-old Sandy Ford, her 32-year-old son, Andy Ford, and her grandchildren, 10-year-old Paige Hayes, six-year-old Logan Hayes and five-year-old Madalyn Hayes.

Australia greets eclipse

SYDNEY, Australia -- From boats bobbing on the Great Barrier Reef, to hot-air balloons hovering over the rainforest and the hilltops and beaches in between, tens of thousands of scientists, tourists and amateur astronomers watched today as the sun, moon and Earth aligned and plunged northern Australia into darkness during a total solar eclipse.

Stubborn clouds many feared would ruin the view parted -- at least partly -- in some areas of north Queensland, defying forecasts of a total eclipse-viewing bust and relieving spectators who had fanned out across the region to catch a rare glimpse of the celestial phenomenon.

"Total eclipses are one of the most dramatic sights that you can ever see," said Terry Cuttle of the Astronomical Association of Queensland, who has seen a dozen of them over the years. "I reckon everybody owes it to themselves to see at least one total eclipse in their life."

Spectators whooped and clapped with delight as the moon passed between the sun and Earth, leaving a slice of the continent's northeast in sudden darkness.

Death penalty sought

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- U.S. Army prosecutors on Tuesday requested a death penalty court-martial for a soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers in a predawn rampage, saying Staff Sgt. Robert Bales committed "heinous and despicable crimes."

Prosecutors asked an investigative officer to make the recommendation after the end of a hearing that included remote testimony from witnesses in Afghanistan, including a seven-year-old girl who described hiding behind her father as he was shot dead.

Bales, 39, is accused of slipping away from his remote base to attack two villages early on March 11. Among the dead were nine children. He faces 16 counts of premeditated murder and six counts of attempted murder.

France gives Syrian nod

BEIRUT -- France on Tuesday became the first western country to formally recognize Syria's newly formed opposition coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

The U.S. also recognized the leadership body announced in Qatar Sunday as a legitimate representative, but stopped short of describing it as the "sole" one, saying the group must first demonstrate its ability to represent Syrians inside the country.

The two announcements could start a trend toward world recognition of the rebels as the legitimate government of Syria, undercutting whatever legitimacy the regime of President Bashar Assad still has after 20 months of a bloody civil war.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 14, 2012 A12

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