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Britain, U.S. alter immunity agreement

LONDON -- The United States and Britain have agreed to "new arrangements" surrounding immunity agreements that allowed the wife of a U.S. diplomat to leave the country after being involved in a fatal traffic accident.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that the changes would mean that something similar cannot happen again.

In August, Harry Dunn, 19, was killed when, according to police, his motorcycle was struck by a car driven by Anne Sacoolas.

Sacoolas, an American diplomat's wife, admitted to driving on the wrong side of the road last August when she collided with Dunn. She claimed immunity and fled to the United States. At the time of the incident, Sacoolas was living with her husband near a British air base operated by the U.S. Air Force.

The announcement was made a day after the issue was raised with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his trip to London.

In a written statement, Raab said: "First and foremost, the U.S. waiver of immunity from criminal jurisdiction is now expressly extended to the family members of U.S. staff at the Croughton Annex, thus ending the anomaly in the previous arrangements and permitting the criminal prosecution of the family members of those staff, should these tragic circumstances ever arise again.

"We have the deepest sympathy for Harry Dunn's family. No family should have to experience what they have gone through and I recognize that these changes will not bring Harry back."

Italian officers arrested in drug scheme

MILAN -- Seven police officers were arrested Wednesday in northern Italy on accusations that they helped drug dealers evade the country's coronavirus lockdown to obtain supplies.

The purported abuses of power date back several years and include the extortion and torture of suspects, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors in the northern city of Piacenza, one of the places in Italy hit hardest by the virus, closed down and sequestered the police barracks where the suspects operated. Six of the officers were jailed and the seventh was put under house arrest

"While the city of Piacenza was counting its many coronavirus dead, these [police officers] were supplying drugs to dealers who were without due to the anti-covid measures," prosecutor Grazia Pradella said during a news conference.

The officers are accused of signing off on declarations that made it appear the drug dealers had been checked by authorities when they moved about during the lockdown. During Italy's nationwide lockdown, residents were allowed to leave home only for reasons of absolute necessity.

The officers also are accused of mistreating and torturing suspects, behavior that Pradella likened to the methods of organized-crime syndicates and said went at least as far back as 2017. The behavior was reported by another officer in Piacenza.

First Pacific hurricane of season forms

MEXICO CITY -- The first hurricane of the eastern Pacific season formed far from land on Wednesday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said that Hurricane Douglas was centered about 1,785 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii, on Wednesday morning with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

It was moving to the west at 15 mph. That track would carry it toward Hawaii on Sunday or Monday, but forecasters said it was likely to weaken back to a tropical depression by that point.

Meanwhile, recently formed Tropical Storm Gonzalo was strengthening in the Atlantic and the center said it was expected to become a hurricane by today.

It was centered about 1,205 miles east of the southern Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. It was heading west at 14 mph.

The Hurricane Center said that interests in the Windward Islands should monitor the storm.

Gonzalo's strengthening breaks a record set by Tropical Storm Gert, which formed on July 24, 2005. So far this year, Cristobal, Danielle, Edouard and Fay also set records for being the earliest named Atlantic storms of their respective place in the alphabet.

Russia, Turkey push for Libya cease-fire

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkish and Russian delegations met Wednesday in Turkey's capital to discuss the war in Libya and agreed to press ahead with efforts for a lasting cease-fire in the North African country, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said.

A joint statement released after the meeting said the sides -- who back rival parties in the conflict -- had agreed to work together and encourage Libya's opposing factions to create "conditions for a lasting and sustainable ceasefire." They also agreed to joint efforts to advance a political dialogue.

Turkish-backed forces allied with the U.N.-supported government in Tripoli, the capital, are mobilizing on the edges Sirte and have vowed to retake the Mediterranean city, along with the inland Jufra airbase, from rival forces commanded by Khalifa Hifter. Hifter's forces are based in the east.

The Turkish and Russian delegations will consider creating a joint working group on Libya and were scheduled to hold more consultations in Moscow "in the near future," according to the statement.


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