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IRAN / Visas for hikers' families?

The Obama administration on Friday renewed calls for Iran to immediately release three American hikers detained for nearly nine months and also appealed to the Iranian government to issue their families visas to visit them. A day after the families said two of the three are in poor health, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said there should be no reason for their continued incarceration.

IRAQ / Marine conviction turned

The overturning of a Marine's murder conviction on a judicial mistake is the latest setback for the government after a string of defeats in its prosecution of U.S. troops accused of killing unarmed Iraqis. A military appeals court dismissed Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III's conviction Thursday because a military judge agreed to relinquish one of the lead defense attorneys for Hutchins before his 2007 court-martial. Hutchins is accused of leading a squad accused of killing an Iraqi in 2006. Meanwhile, a U.S. military judge has cleared a Navy SEAL of wrongdoing in the alleged beating of a prisoner suspected of masterminding the grisly 2004 killings of four American contractors in Iraq. The military says the judge found insufficient evidence to convict Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe on charges of dereliction of duty.

EL SALVADOR / Mexican official shot

Gunmen in El Salvador have shot and seriously wounded a Mexican diplomat who works with Interpol. Police say the diplomat's wife has been killed. The Mexican Embassy confirms that First Secretary Guillermo Medina Alfaro has been seriously injured. It says Medina works with the regional office of Interpol.

RWANDA / U.S. resident under probe

A former UN diplomat living in Alabama is being investigated by his native Rwanda for actions during the 1994 genocide. Jean-Damascene Bizimana, then-Rwandan ambassador to the UN, is now a U.S. citizen living in Alabama. He told AP he is innocent of any complicity in mass killings of Tutsis.

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