Tag Archives: Mexico Drug Crisis

Obama Announces Rail Plan and Releases Torture Memos

The Justice Department has released four secret Bush administration memos that detail interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, used by the U.S. on 28 terror suspects. The ACLU has all 4 documents up on their website here. In a reactionary statement, President Obama has vowed to “ensure that the actions described within them never take place again.” The White House will not prosecute CIA officials for engaging in torture acts, BNO.

In the first of its kind, the Youtube Symphony Orchestra premiered at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night and wowed audiences. Almost 100 musicians were chosen to perform from 3,000 video submission. Organizers of the event are hoping the success will change the audition process for performers, CNN.

President Obama has kicked off his first trip to Latin America on a positive note. Obama wrote an op-ed piece that ran in many Latin America newspapers, saying “We will renew and sustain a broader partnership between the United States and the hemisphere on behalf of our common prosperity and our common security.” His big promise so far was made to Mexico in a show of support for fighting drug lords and rising violence in America’s neighbor, NPR.

In even more Obama news, the American president has announced a high-speed rail plan that will cut American dependence on cars and airplanes. The plan calls for 10 corridors that will connect America’s biggest cities and allow trains to reach more than 100 mph, The Guardian. Image of proposed line here.

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Galapagos Volcano Threatens Native Species

La Cumbre, a volcano on Fernandina Island in the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador, has erupted. People living  on nearby islands are not in danger, but the lava could threaten giant tortoises living on the island and could harm plant and animal species as it seeps into the sea, Sky News.

Protests continue in Thailand. While exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra claims the protests are the beginning of a revolution and has suggested he will return to Thailand to lead the revolution, a conflict between protesters and the police would be very bloody. The protesters are calling for the removal of current prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, CNN Explainer.

The Summit of the Americas will take place in Trinidad and Tobago this week. The summit will focus on economic and security concerns, including Mexico’s bloody war on drugs and the 50 year U.S. embargo against Cuba, Official website.

Two day ceasefire continues in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government called for a ceasefire during the New Year holiday in order for Tamil civilians to escape from the war zone. The UN estimates that more than 100,000 people are trapped in a 20 square kilometer “safe zone.” However, few have left. There are reports that Tamil Tigers are using the civilians as human shields, CTV.

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Violent Massacres Take Hold of the World

Sri Lankan army officials say over 100 Tamil Tigers have been killed into two separate battles for control of the country. At least 60,000 civilians have fled the fighting so far, BBC News.

There have been two more deadly mass shootings in America today. This afternoon, police found 5 children dead in a Washington state home, apparently killed by their father, CNN. In Pennsylvania, a man killed 3 cops today after they responded to a domestic abuse call. Reports say that the man was wearing a bulletproof vest and was armed with three guns, MSNBC.

Violence continues to brew in Mexico. Today 11 bodies were found in the country, and some had been tortured. Others had notes found on their bodies that had threatening messages. Since 2006, 9,000 people have been killed in Mexico due to drug violence, Wa Po.

And the #1 World News Story: NATO Agrees to Send More Troops to Afghanistan.

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General Motors CEO Resigns

General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner has resigned from the company as of early Monday morning. White House officials say his resignation was part of the government’s federal bailout deal. Wagoner has been a controversial figure during the economic crisis and many felt he was not doing enough to get GM out of bankruptcy, CNN.

As we reported earlier, 8 people have been killed at a nursing home in Carthage, North Carolina by a single gunman, who was injured during the shooting. A nurse was among the fatalities and the others dead were residents. The gunman is 45-year-old Robert Stewart and not believed to be related to any of the victims or residents at the home, BBC News.

22 fans were killed at a World Cup qualifier between the Ivory Coast and Malawi on Sunday after a stampede caused a wall to collapse. More than 130 were injured, CNN.

Reporter’s Notebook: NPR reporter Marisa Peñaloza takes a look at the startling difference between the Juarez, Mexico of the past and the violence-ridden town it has become, NPR.

And the #1 World News Story: BREAKING NEWS: 20 Dead at Pakistan Police Academy, Gunmen in Standoff With Police.

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Vermont Governor to Veto Gay Marriage Bill

Yesterday, Vermont lawmakers in the House passed a bill to legalize gay marriage in the state. Today Governor Jim Douglas has said he will veto the bill if it passes in the Senate, as it is expected to, VCAX Vermont.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the U.S. must hold some of the blame for the drug wars in Mexico. She blamed the U.S. for fueling drug trade and “our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.” Clinton is in Mexico for a two day visit, BBC News.

Photos: Residents of Umm el-Fahm confront riot police in response to a march by far-right Jewish activists, Washington Post.

And the #1 World News Story: U.S. Warns North Korea Over Missile Launch Plan.

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Battling Mexican Drug Cartels

The U.S. has announced that it will boost border security along Mexico. The move is attempting to fight drug cartels which are responsible for 8,000 deaths in Mexico in only the last two years. The White House fears rising levels of violence in the Southwest U.S. is due to these cartels, BBC News.

The AP is reporting that Filipino militants have threatened to behead a Red Cross volunteer unless troops recede, BreakingNewsOn.

The Czech government has lost a no confidence vote and is being forced to step down. Parliament voted 101-99 to oust the center-right government. Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said he would step down has said he will step down and President Vaclav Klaus now has the power to choose a replacement. Klaus has three chances to do that, but if he fails, former Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek says the current cabinet will likely stay in power until elections can be held in the fall, WSJ.

And the #1 World News Story: Obama Defends Budget as Essential to Recovery | Transcript

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U.S. Government to Buy Toxic Bonds

The Dalai Lama was refused a visa to enter South Africa. He had planned to attend an international peace conference in Johannesburg, which was meeting to highlight South Africa’s advances on human rights issues in advance of South Africa hosting the World Cup in 2010.  A South African official said that the attendance of the Dalai Lama would shift world focus away from the World Cup and onto the problems of Tibet and China. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former South African President F. W. deKirk have said they will boycott the event if South Africa does not relent, CNN.

Mexico has offered informants 30 million pesos ($2 million USD) for information lending to the arrest of any of the 24 leaders of drug cartels. Mexico has seen drug-related violence skyrocket in response to tougher drug enforcement strategies under current President Felipe Calderón, BBC News.

The stock market soared today after Treasury Secretary Geithner met with Congress to discuss his new economic plan. The increase was the highest one day jump since November, with almost 500 points added to the Dow, CNN.

And the #1 World News Story: U.S. federal government announces plan to buy troubled (popularly known as “toxic”). Washington plans to inject up to $1 trillion into the economy by buying non-performing loans and securities, including the now essentially worthless mortgage-backed securities that started the financial crisis.  The Obama administration hopes to create a market that will bring value back to the assets, CBC News.

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