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In brief: World's oldest lady turns 115

BESSE COOPER, officially listed as the world's oldest person, has celebrated her 115th birthday in the US.

Mrs Cooper, of Monroe, Georgia, was declared the world's oldest person in January. Her daughter-in-law Edith said a small group of relatives and friends gathered at her Monroe nursing home.

Mrs Cooper has 12 grandchildren and more than a dozen great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Her husband Luther died in 1963.

Abuse priest's release halted

A CHILD-molesting former priest could face indefinite time in custody if prosecutors win a motion to commit him to a mental hospital.

Michael Baker, whose case was at the centre of an abuse scandal that rocked Los Angeles, was scheduled to leave prison after serving half of a 10-year sentence.

But the district attorney's office blocked his release.

Prosecutors said Baker (63) is a sexually violent predator who would be likely to commit further crimes.

The case was adjourned until September 13.

Man ordered journalist killed

THE former leader of a community group has been sentenced to life in prison for ordering the killing of three men, including a journalist who was working on a story about the organisation.

Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey was the first journalist killed on US soil for reporting a story in 20 years.

Yusef Bey IV, the former head of Your Black Muslim Bakery, continues to assert his innocence.

Mr Bailey (57) was gunned down in broad daylight.

Bomb attack 'was not CIA'

A FORMER Nicaraguan official said that the country's Sandinista government was behind the bomb that killed seven people at a 1984 news conference in Costa Rica.

While the bombing had once been blamed on the CIA, reports began surfacing that it had been a plot by the government to kill Contra leader Eden Pastora.

Luis Carrion, who was assistant interior minister in the Sandinista government, told The Associated Press that his department arranged the bombing.