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Friday, November 14, 2008


Crime Reporter Slain

A crime reporter in the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez was shot dead Thursday as he warmed up his car, in the latest killing of a journalist amid a rising wave of drug violence.

Armando Rodríguez, a reporter for El Diario newspaper, had covered crime in the city for 10 years.

With Rodríguez's death, 24 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000 -- at least seven in reprisal for their reports on crime -- and since 2005, seven others have disappeared, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Many reporters refuse to put their bylines on stories, and some newspapers have stopped covering the drug gangs.

Also Thursday, state police said at least one gunshot was fired outside the U.S. Consulate in the northern city of Monterrey, the third attack on the building in less than two months.


U.N. Supplies Dry Up

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency said Thursday that it had run out of food supplies for 750,000 Palestinians in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip after Israel blocked deliveries by the world body.

Short of fuel, Palestinian officials shut down Gaza's sole power plant as Israel kept commercial crossings with the coastal territory closed for a 10th day.

Israel blamed the closure and the partial blackouts in Gaza City on cross-border rocket attacks by Palestinian fighters.


FedEx Plane Crashes

A cargo plane carrying FedEx packages crashed in western Iraq on Thursday morning, apparently killing the seven people aboard, the U.S. military said.

The Russian An-12 aircraft crashed west of Fallujah while traveling from a U.S. military base near that city to Baghdad, said Sgt. Brooke Murphy, a U.S. military spokeswoman.

There was no evidence of foul play, Murphy said. She added that she did not know the crew members' nationalities but that none was American.

-- Ernesto Londoño


Islamists Near Capital

Advancing closer to Somalia's beleaguered capital, Mogadishu, Islamist fighters declared Thursday that they will use strict Muslim rules to bring the lawless Horn of Africa country under control.

The latest conquest by Islamist forces came Wednesday in Elasha, 10 miles from the capital. They now control most of southern and central Somalia, with the crucial exceptions of Mogadishu and Baidoa.


Medvedev Makes Nice

The start of a new U.S. administration under President-elect Barack Obama offers a good opportunity to repair relations between Moscow and Washington, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.

The Kremlin leader, speaking at a business forum in the French town of Cannes, abandoned his recent bellicose rhetoric two days before flying to Washington for a summit on the global financial crisis. "I wish good luck to the new U.S. president, because he faces tremendous economic and political problems," Medvedev said.

Pakistan Reports Missile Attack

U.S. drones fired at least three missiles into Pakistan's Waziristan tribal region Friday, killing as many as 12 people, including five foreigners, government and paramilitary officials said.

Brown Backs Congo Troop Boost

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that he will support a U.N. plan to send 3,000 more troops to Congo but that the force must have better leadership and equipment. The United Nations has a 17,000-member peacekeeping force in Congo, but officials have said more are needed.

38 Arrested in Zambian Protests

Zambian police arrested 38 people after violent protests over the arrest of a priest and radio announcer in the country's second-largest city, Kitwe. Police said the arrest of Frank Bwalya, manager of Catholic-run Radio Icengelo, which has been critical of the government of President Rupiah Banda, sparked the riots.

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