Organ sellers guilty
Five people were convicted Monday in Pristina, Kosovo, in connection with an elaborate organ-trafficking network that lured poor people to the country and then sold their kidneys and other organs to wealthy transplant recipients from Israel, the United States, Canada and Germany, charging as much as $130,000 for each organ. The defendants, all Kosovars, were tried before a panel of judges sent by the European Union to handle the case. A special prosecutor called the case a landmark because doctors had been convicted. Two dozen donors were taken in by the scheme; many were never given any compensation and were released without adequate medical care.
Seven die in crash
A civilian cargo aircraft crashed at Bagram Air Field, north of the Afghan capital, soon after takeoff on Monday, killing all seven people aboard, the U.S.-led military coalition said. The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the crash, but the coalition said the “Taliban’s claims are false.” It said the cause of the crash was being investigated, but there was no sign of insurgent activity in the area at the time.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Monday that his national security team has been receiving payments from the U.S. government for the past 10 years. Karzai confirmed the payments when he was asked about a story published in the New York Times saying the CIA had given the Afghan National Security Council tens of millions of dollars in monthly payments delivered in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags. Karzai said the welcome payments were a “small amount,” although he did not disclose the sums.
Queen bids farewell
The Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix thanked her people Monday and urged them to support her son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, in a final address before she abdicates and he takes over as king. Beatrix, 75, is to sign the papers enacting the once-in-a-generation change of royal titles this morning, the central moment in several days of festivities that are already under way.
Compiled from wire reports.