World Digest: Oct. 21, 2013

MEXICO

Report: NSA accessed e-mails of Calderón

A report citing documents from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden says the United States gained access to the e-mail system of then-Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

The German news magazine Der Spiegel cited the Snowden documents in a story posted Sunday. It said the documents describe an operation dubbed “Flat Liquid” that claims to have accessed Mexico’s “presidencia” domain, which was also purportedly used by members of Calderón’s cabinet.

A document dated June 2012 indicated the NSA had read Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s e-mails before he was elected. Peña Nieto has said that would be an illegal act if it occurred, and his government has demanded an investigation.

— Associated Press

NIGERIA

Boko Haram militants kill 19 at checkpoint

Islamist Boko Haram militants disguised as soldiers killed 19 people at a checkpoint on Sunday, mostly by slitting their throats, witnesses said.

Survivor Adamu Mallam, a trader who was hauled from his vehicle, said he saw two people shot dead by men dressed in military uniforms.

“They made me lie facedown on the ground. I was next to be killed,” he told the Reuters news agency by telephone, his voice trembling. “I heard a man close to me screaming. They slaughtered him with a knife.”

One of the attackers received a phone call and they all rode off on motorbikes, Mallam and another trader said.

The attackers set five trucks ablaze during the assault, Mallam said.

The militant group Boko Haram has been fighting for more than four years to try to revive old Islamic kingdoms in religiously mixed Nigeria. It remains the top security threat to Africa’s leading energy producer despite a military offensive ordered in May by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed 159 people in two roadside attacks also involving fake checkpoints in northeast Nigeria last month. In the past two months, the group has stepped up its attacks, with hundreds of killings reported, many targeting civilians.

— Reuters

Gunmen shoot Christian wedding guests in Egypt: Gunmen on a motorcycle fired on Egyptian wedding guests outside a Coptic Christian church in a Cairo suburb Sunday, killing two people and wounding seven, security officials said. Coptic Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt’s 85 million people and have generally coexisted peacefully with the Sunni Muslim majority for centuries, despite bouts of sectarian tension. But the army’s overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3 has been followed by the worst attacks on churches and Christian properties in years.

Coca growers attack Bolivian security forces: Coca growers in Bolivia ambushed soldiers and police who were destroying illicit crops used to make cocaine, killing two and taking hostages, the government said Sunday. Security forces were using machetes to clear coca fields in the northern Apolo region when they were attacked late Saturday, the government said in a statement. Two officers were killed, 20 were injured and eight were taken hostage, authorities said.

Family says it will not accept ­Israel’s award to Arab doctor: A member of the family of the first Arab honored by Israel for risking his life to save Jews during the Holocaust says the family isn’t interested in the recognition. The Egyptian doctor, Mohamed Helmy, was honored posthumously last month by Israel’s Holocaust memorial for hiding Jews in Berlin during the Nazi genocide, but a family member told the Associated Press in Cairo that her relatives would not accept the award, one of Israel’s most prestigious honors. “If any other country offered to honor Helmy, we would have been happy with it,” said Mervat Hassan, the wife of Helmy’s great-nephew.

Juncker’s party leads in Luxembourg election: The Christian Democrat party of long-serving Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker easily remained the leading party and the first choice to form a new coalition government in Luxembourg after Sunday’s elections. With near-complete results, Juncker’s CSV will drop almost 4.5 points from the 38 percent it won in 2009 elections, but it remains well ahead of Socialist coalition partner LSAP and the opposition liberal DP.

— From news services

 
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