Jewel heist at airport
The eight hooded thieves who seized diamonds worth $50 million from a passenger plane preparing to depart Brussels for Switzerland on Monday evening knew exactly when to strike — just 18 minutes before takeoff. Forcing their way through the airport’s perimeter fence, the thieves dressed in police uniforms raced to flight LX789. “There is a gap of only a few minutes” between the loading of cargo and the moment the plane starts to move, said Caroline De Wolf, a spokeswoman for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. “The people who did this knew there was going to be this gap and when.”
Athlete claims mistake
Oscar Pistorius portrayed himself as a lover caught in tragedy, wielding a pistol and frightened as he stood only on his stumps, then killed his girlfriend after mistaking her for an intruder on Valentine’s Day. Prosecutors, however, said the double-amputee Olympian committed premeditated murder, planning the slaying, then firing at Reeva Steenkamp as she cowered behind his locked bathroom door with no hope of escape. “She couldn’t go anywhere,” Prosecutor Gerrie Nel told a packed courtroom Tuesday.
Meeting about prisoner
U.S. lawmakers met with President Raul Castro and other senior Cuban officials Tuesday and were told they would be given access to an American imprisoned in Havana. In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the delegation of five senators and two representatives that includes Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, would meet with jailed American Alan Gross and seek his immediate release.
Soldier killed in Mali
A French soldier was shot to death on Tuesday in a clash with jihadists in a mountainous region of Mali’s far north. The death of the French Legionnaire, announced by President Francois Hollande, brings to two the number of French troops killed since France launched a military intervention in its former colony on Jan. 11.
Compiled from wire reports.