HAVANA — Former President Jimmy Carter left Cuba on Wednesday without gaining the release of a U.S. government contractor jailed the past 16 months, a deflating end to what was otherwise a groundbreaking visit.
Carter spent hours talking about improving ties with brothers Raul and Fidel Castro, describing the latter as an “old friend.” He met with religious leaders and members of the island’s small opposition community, dined out at an atmospheric Old Havana restaurant and even sat down with family members of five Cuban agents serving long prison terms in the U.S.
But when the 86-year-old ex-president flew off in the afternoon without Alan Gross on board, it dashed the hopes of Washington officials and relatives who had hoped Carter would be able to bring the Maryland native home.
Gross, who was working on a USAID-funded democracy building program when he was arrested in December 2009, is serving a 15-year sentence after being convicted earlier this month of bringing communications equipment into Cuba illegally.
NH police: Woman who posted ad kidnapped, raped
CONCORD, N.H. — Bail is set at $50,000 for a New Hampshire man who police say held a woman captive in his home and raped her for three days after he responded to her Craigslist ad.
Forty-eight-year-old Jeffrey Gray was arraigned in Salem District Court on Wednesday on charges of kidnapping, rape, false imprisonment and assault. Police say Gray had answered the New York woman’s ad, in which she said she was seeking a fresh start in New England.
Gray is a Salem, N.H., planning board member who recently rented the Windham house where the crimes are alleged to have occurred in early March.
Windham Police Capt. Mike Caron said the file remains sealed. He would not say how the 34-year-old woman was restrained.
FDA won’t stop cheap version of preterm birth drug
ATLANTA — Pregnant women will still be able to get a drastically cheaper version of a new expensive drug that prevents premature birth, federal health officials said Wednesday.
Since the drug was approved, it’s been unclear whether women would have to pay $1,500 per dose for the licensed version or could continue to have it made by specialty pharmacies for $10 to $20.
The price increase caused an outcry, and the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday took the unusual step of declaring that pharmacies can still make the cheap version of the once-a-week shot on an individual basis, as they have for years. The agency said it wouldn’t step in unless there was a problem with the safety of the specially made version.