NEWS STEW: US borrowing tops 100% of GDP: Treasury, # # Dow plunges after debt deal, raising anxiety over economy
10. two-point-four trillion, which is the number of dollars our Masters in Washington just decided to add to your backs
17. If Congress had to name laws honestly, it would be called the “Forcing Your Internet Provider to Spy On You Just In Case You’re a Criminal Act of 2011″
U.K.: Muslim prison inmates believed to be planning “massive attack,” staff nearly lost control after Friday prayers
Obama’s Birthday: The Cure for a Failing Citizenry
Fresh off the public flogging of Boehner disguised as a “Republican win,” Obama shifted his priorities back to the business of the nation: his 50th birthday bash! More
The Budget Control Act Of 2011 Violates Constitutional Order
Herbert W. Titus and William J. Olson
Those who voted for the “Budget Control Act of 2011″ (“BCA 2011″) were wholly unconcerned about trampling upon required constitutional processes on the way to the nirvana of “bi-partisan consensus” to avert a supposed crisis. More
Obama and the Looming Financial Crisis
A global financial crisis is becoming more likely, as American political and media elites bury their heads in the sand. The presumptive leader of the world economy is not even leading from behind. More
AAA or AA: Important for Choosing Batteries Not for Our Financial Future
Who, at this stage in our country’s path to insolvency and currency degradation, is naive enough to take any proclamation by a rating agency seriously? More
Macroeconomics and the Entitlement State
Mikiel de Bary
It is high time to judge macroeconomics — the pseudo-economics of “aggregates” — as a disaster. We must challenge both the premises of the macroeconomists and their “policy” alternatives. More
Guns Are Racist: Chicago Politics and Blame-Shifting for Urban Violence
John T. Bennett
Guns are responsible for violence in the same way that pencils are responsible for bad test scores. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy seems to have it out for both. More
The Class War Rhetoric War on Reality
The tiresome class warfare analogies share common attributes to other human prejudices: They are filled with stereotypes, play to the lowest human qualities and are equally intellectually vacuous. More
First Anniversary of the Killing of the Deepwater Horizon Macondo Well
August 4, 2011
There are 230,000 workers looking for high paying jobs waiting for the government to do its job. If President Obama is still looking for an ass to kick, he ought to look at his own cabinet first. More
Iran Commander: We Have Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles
August 4, 2011
We only have ourselves to blame as it is now certain that the Jihadists in Tehran will have nuclear bombs with the delivery system to target any country on the planet. More
Denver Post: Aborting Our Children Will Save the Planet
August 4, 2011
All things — even the lives of children — should be sacrificed in homage to planet earth. More
Will China really buy UK’s mothballed aircraft carrier?
August 4, 2011
A purchase of HMS Ark Royal by Beijing would give China the ability to put two fledgling carrier battle groups into the South China Sea by the end of 2013. More
Church bombers sentenced to death in Iraq
August 4, 2011
Iraq has a functioning rule of rule — even when it comes to seeking justice for crimes committed against its Christian minority. MSM largely ignores the story. More
Television and radio pundit David Menzies found himself in a dangerous situation with his 9-year old son yesterday after doing the unthinkable — taking photographs of muslim bagheads in Toronto’s downtown Yonge-Dundas Square.
Landmark Report (H/T TROP) After enjoying a lunch of pizza and bubble tea, Menzies deigned to use his new camera to take pictures of the surroundings, much to the dismay of a nearby hijab-wearing Muslim women. Menzies writes:
She was part of a group that included two women wearing full face-covering burkas. She was screaming: “We are Muslim! You do not take pictures of us!” (Odd. I can’t find the “no photos” rule in the Qur’an.) I informed the lady I was in a public square in a democracy. I can actually take pictures of whomever I please. And then: Ka-pow! Her fist collided with my face. Worse, she almost knocked my new camera from my hands. My son and I were then surrounded by a mob of about 20 people, many of whom were speaking Arabic. One kept demanding I surrender my camera to him.
Fortunately, there were a group of Toronto police officers nearby. There were also Arabic-speaking witnesses who saw the attack on Menzies and understood the chants of the mob that was surrounding him. Menzies writes further:
My Spidey Senses started to tingle when I overheard the questions being asked of the witnesses. “Was it a closed-fist punch or an open hand? Was it the front or the back of the hand?”Huh? Physical contact had been made. Why did severity matter? After the officer took my statement, he went over to the offending woman. Another constable was inexplicably miffed I was (legally) taking photos in the first place. The irony: Just above our heads a Toronto Police Service sphere was videotaping the activities.
The police officer then informed an understandably shaken David Menzies that no charges would be laid because the woman wasn’t trying to attack Menzies, but “she was merely trying to knock the camera out of [his] hands.”
That anyone would assault a stranger in public for such a reason is ridiculous, but that the police would refuse to press any charges because the crime being committed was only the by product of another crime being committed is disgusting. Also, that’s not something that would happen had the suspect been a non-Muslim.
Imagine the scenario were flipped and a mob of angry white men surrounded a Muslim woman and her child and got punched in the process. There were be arrests made, charges laid and the Piper would get paid. And rightfully so. That is, after all, the way the law is supposed to operate in a free country.
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The so-called ‘honour’ retribution has included smashed windows at their Coventry home, vandalized cars and death threats. Now, head of the family, Aslam Parvez, has made a plea to the culprits to end the hatred.
UK DAILY MAIL ‘We’re a good family and have done nothing wrong yet we’re being punished in the name of honour,’ he said. Aslam Parvez, 53, blames members of the Muslim community who believe the family have been dishonoured by his daughter’s marriage.
The hate campaign started five months ago when a national magazine published an article on albinos which featured Naseem, who no longer lives in Coventry and has little contact with her family. It revealed how she has married a Christian, goes to church and is expecting her second child with her husband.
Mr Parvez says copies of the article were quickly spread maliciously, and were posted on walls near their house and through the doors of Muslim homes in the community. Mr Parvez says he has received numerous death threats and has spent hundreds of pounds installing security cameras around his house.
He has now stopped going to mosque and says he may be forced to flee the city with his wife Shameem Akhtar, 55, three sons Mohammed, 17, Haider, 28, Gulam, 30, and daughters Muqadas, 26 and Musarat, 19.
‘We’ve had enough of all these bad things. We’re not a bad family and have done nothing wrong. ‘We’re being punished for our daughter’s decision. We just want to live our lives in peace. ‘I’m a good religious man. Look at your own lives before you judge us.
Mr Parvez was born in Pakistan and moved to Coventry at the age of 10 to join his family. He later met and married his Shameem, who is also an albino. Their six children inherited their parents’ condition, which causes an absence of pigmentation and partial sightedness. Mr Parvez says their condition has meant they have been subjected to ridicule, but recent events have made their lives unbearable.
‘We’ve dealt with discrimination all our lives. This has made us feel 10 times worse.’
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Where is the outrage from the worldwide Christian community? I could fill hundreds of pages with stories of muslims burning down churches and killing Christians. Here is a very small sample of recent incidents of Christian persecution taking place on a regular basis in countries with majority muslim populations.
Muslims on Saturday (July 30) burned down a church building on Zanzibar island off the coast of Tanzania, church leaders said, just three days after another congregation’s facility on the island was reduced to ashes.
Live Leak – Another Zanzibar church burning – another pre-Ramadan gesture of Interfaith Dialogue™ to the tiny Christian population of this Tanzanian island outpost. In Fuoni on the south coast of Zanzibar (known locally as Unguja), Islamic extremists torched the building of the Evangelical Assemblies of God-Tanzania (EAGT) at around 2 p.m., said Pastor Leonard Massasa, who oversees Zanzibar’s EAGT churches. The assailants were shouting, “Away with the church – we do not want infidels to spoil our community, especially our children,” Pastor Massasa said.
On neighboring Pemba island, suspected Muslim extremists in Konde on June 17 razed a Seventh-day Adventist Church building, a witness said.
“We don’t want churches on our street. Today we are going to burn the church, and if you continue we are going to burn your house also,” Note posted to the donor of a plot for a church building in Zanzibar. As if a 97% Muslim majority was not enough, the local population and government (taking a cue from how they do it in other Muslim countries) is, through this latest Zanzibar church burning incident, seeing to it that Islam is the only way on Tanzania’s Pemba and Unguja Islands.
The latest Zanzibar church burning isn’t an isolated initiative. Other places of Christian worship have been torched recently and only days ago, Muslims started work on building a hotel directly on a Anglican cemetery they had siezed.
The real ethnic cleansing in Kosovo is being carried out by muslims who are trying to drive out/kill all the Serbian Christians who remain there and burn down and destroy their churches.
In order to terrorise the remaining Christian Serbs to leave their homeland of Kosovo, Albanian muslims burned down more then 40 monasteries and churches some over 1000 years old. This was done in the front of NATO and all the charities of the world who came to Kosovo to create a multiethnic society.
In Pakistan, muslims regularly target churches and Christians.
Asia News – On March 25, a mob of Islamic extremists attacked a Pentecostal church in Hyderabad, killing two Christians and burning some copies of the Bible. Eyewitnesses said that the fundamentalists stormed the place of worship looking to set it on fire, but a group of believers defended the church.
Security forces have fled the scene, leaving those present at the mercy of the crowd. The attackers hurled anti-Christian slogans and a feeling of anger toward the religious minority has spread. in the city The pastor of the church reports that “despite the condemnation of the burning of the Koran” the community “has come under attack because they think that we are linked to the Americans.” “What fault did those two innocent people have – he ends – who were not Americans, but only Pakistani Christians?”.
In a second incident, the Full Gospel Assembly Church, in the Badami Bagh area of Lahore, was attacked. Again fundamentalists burned the church, threw copies of the Bible into the street and accused the Christians of blasphemy, claiming they found pieces of the Koran, not far from the church.
Muslims burn down 60 churches in Ethiopia.
Persecution – Beginning on March 2nd in an Islamic area of Ethiopia, Muslims went on a rampage beginning with an assault on the church in Asendabo.
ICC and others alerted the world and called on the Ethiopian government to intervene. Sadly, they could not or would not stop the Muslim attacks. After a week, when the smoke cleared, the damage was evident. The Muslims had burned down the homes of 30 Christian leaders, they had killed one Christian, wounded several others, and burned down 69 churches, a Bible school, and a Christian orphanage.
The violence has displaced more than 10,000 Ethiopian Christians – leaving the churches in the area scrambling to provide basic necessities for the persecuted.
The ‘NEW’ Egypt: Muslims burn down church, then kill protesters.
News Real – Why were the Christians protesting? Recently, in the village of Sole, just outside of Cairo, local Muslims decided they now had the freedom to burn down the town’s Coptic church. Without a strong Mubarak police force, they had nothing and no one stopping them. After torching the sacred place, the Muslims promised to build a mosque on that very spot.
Thousands of Coptic Christians protested in front of the state-ran television building in Cairo. They carried large wooden crosses and hoped to get the media’s attention of the burning down of their church (the Church of the Two Martyrs). Sadly, soon after, many of the protesters became martyrs. We were staging a peaceful demonstration for the church, but they attacked us with firearms, stones and Molotov cocktails. -Samia, a Christian protester.
The tanks made way for the thugs to come in. There was shooting until two o’clock in the morning. After that they burnt the houses and stole from them. They broke whatever they could not carry away. No fire engines or ambulances came. We had to take the injured to hospital in garbage trucks.
Muslim Mobs burn down 288 churches, kill hundreds in Nigeria.
Persecution – On April 18, Kenneth Ngeumpa was eating his breakfast and getting ready to go to work in the metropolitan city of Kaduna when violence broke out. He watched in terror as a Muslim mob led by his neighbor approached his home shooting and calling for murder of his family. Ngeumpa and 12 members of his family narrowly escaped from the attackers by fleeing through the back door of their home before the mob set the house on fire, burning their entire property to the ground.
Ngeumpa was lucky to escape with his life. Many other Christians were not so lucky. Muslim attackers have killed hundreds in the attacks that began on April 18. ICC source travelled to the towns of Zonkwa and Kafanchan in Kaduna, where more than 300 people, mostly Christians, were massacred. It is impossible to know the exact number of victims because the Nigerian officials quickly conducted a mass burial of the victims in order to prevent any revenge attacks and cool down the crisis. The Muslim attackers also burned down 288 churches and several Christian homes.”
MORE STORIES/VIDEOS: persecution-of-christians
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A federal judge refused to let a Muslim file a third amended complaint that claims a Christian church in Florida violated the First Amendment with its ultimately successful, highly publicized attempts to burn the quran last year.
Courthouse News Though Terry Jones’ Dove World Outreach Center did not burn the Muslim holy book on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as it planned , the church ultimately set fire to the book in April 2011 after finding it guilty of having caused “murder, rape and terrorism” in a mock trial.
Syed Mohammed Iqtidar Haider, a Muslim, filed for an injunction against the Rev. Terry D. Jones, who publicized a Quran book burning on Sept. 11, 2010, at his church, the Dove Church Outreach Center. The motion was denied the day it was filed because Haider neither served the motion on Jones nor filed an affidavit as required. After attracting international criticism for his demonstration, Jones ultimately canceled the event .
By March, however, Jones announced plans to judge the Quran in a mock March 2011 trial. Signs outside of the Dove Church read: “Burn it. Drown it. Shred it. Shoot it.”
Haider filed a second amended complaint, which was again dismissed because it not state a cause for relief. It also exceeded the maximum page limit and was not filed on the standard complaint form.
Jones announced that his church found the Quran guilty of murder, rape and terrorism, and that his church subsequently burned it.
In April 2011, Haider moved to file a third amended complaint, claiming Jones violated his First Amendment rights by all the aforementioned actions and others, including posting a sign at Dove Church in July 2009 that read “Islam is of the Devil.” Haider also challenged the church’s July 2010 protest at the Islamic Center of Gainesville in which Dove congregants wore shirts saying “Islam is of the Devil” and carried signs that related Islam to terrorism. Haider said Jones’ propaganda caused the deaths of two people and injured four others during Afghanistan protests.
Haider sought to have the city manager, sheriff, police chief and fire chief of Gainesville release any records they have on the Dove Church. He also sought a hearing at which he could “explain the First Amendment in the light of the verses of Qur’an”.
Haider went on to say that if the court accepted his explanation of the First Amendment, he wanted to submit additional claims for relief. U.S. District Judge Gary Jones in Gainesville rejected the motion on July 15.
“Plaintiff’s complaint falls squarely within the definition of frivolous,” Jones wrote. “Plaintiff appears to allege not that his own First Amendment rights were violated, but that Jones, in the course of exercising his First Amendment rights, expressed himself in ways that plaintiff contends are outside the scope of First Amendment protection. The First Amendment grants rights and cannot be invoked by a private citizen to curtail speech he finds disagreeable.”
“Because the flaws in plaintiff’s complaints are so numerous and so fundamental, the court concludes that granting plaintiff a further opportunity to amend would be futile and would simply be a further waste of scarce and valuable judicial resources,” Jones concluded.
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Keeping bagheads off the streets is a good first step which should be followed by banning Islam altogether. So, why isn’t the U.S. banning the burqa, too?
UK DAILY MAIL -Italy is set to be the next European Union to introduce a burkha ban after parliament announced today it would debate legislation after the summer recess. France and Belgium already have bans in place and the proposal has the backing of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ruling centre right coalition.
Italy’s Constitutional Affairs Committee said that the bill which was initially suggested by the anti-immigration Northern League would be debated following the summer recess in September.
Berlusconi’s has a healthy majority in both the upper and lower houses of the Italian parliament and a ban is highly likely to go through when it comes to an eventual vote.
The draft law, which makes no mention of religion, would also ban the niqab, which covers the bottom part of the face only, and other head-covering garments ‘of ethnic origin’. Committee members agreed to the proposal going before the house after a vote which was opposed by the opposition Democratic Left – with other opposition parties abstaining.
The penalty being considered for offenders will be a fine of between 150 and 300 euros or alternatively some kind of community service ‘aimed at encouraging integration’. Officials said that the legislation would also take into account people who ‘force someone to wear a burkha or face veil using either physical or psychological violence’. This offence would be punished more severely with a year in prison and a 30,000-euro fine.
There have been incidents, especially in northern Italian cities such as Milan and Verona, where women wearing it have been asked to remove at least the face veil. The Northern League’s proposal aims at amending a 1975 law, introduced amid concern over domestic terrorism, which bans anyone wearing anything which makes their identification impossible.
Last year Amel Marmouri, 26, was stopped by carabinieri officers in a spot check outside a post office in Novara in northern Italy and given a 500 euro (£431) fine for wearing clothing which made her ‘not immediately identifiable’.
A recent survey found that 73 per cent of Italians thought Islamic face coverings should not be worn in public, with a third saying they felt such veils were a degrading practice imposed on women by others.
By JASON BUCH
San Antonio Express-News
It could be a while before the accused Texas-born drug trafficker known as “La Barbie” will face charges in the U.S.
The attorney for Edgar Valdez Villarreal, a 38-year-old U.S. citizen from Laredo, said his client was expected to come to the U.S. for his drug trafficking charges, then be returned to Mexico. But a Tuesday announcement by Mexico’s attorney general that the government there will pursue charges of organized crime, kidnapping and arms possession against Valdez means the U.S. may have to wait its turn.
Valdez is wanted by federal courts in Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. So far only Louisiana and Georgia have asked for his extradition, his attorney Kent Schaffer said.
“The last I heard, they thought he could be brought back here sometime by early fall,” Schaffer said. “If they’re intending to try him there, that could be way down the road. That could take years.”
After his August 2010 arrest, the Mexican government said Valdez has dual citizenship because his mother was born there and required the U.S. to request his extradition.
That contrasts with accused Zeta hit man Wencesloa Tovar, a U.S. citizen who was arrested while living with his parents in Nuevo Laredo last month and deported to the U.S. the same day.
Schaffer said he thinks the Mexican government wants to hold onto Valdez, a prize catch in President Felipe Calderón’s war against the narcos.
“At the time that Edgar was arrested, this was a huge coup for the president,” Schaffer said. “He was just getting beaten by all sides, because violence was way up, the corruption was way up, soldiers and police were feuding … and then Edgar gets captured and he becomes a trophy for that administration.”
U.S. and Mexican authorities have alleged that Valdez was a chief lieutenant of Arturo Beltrán Leyva, once a capo in the powerful Sinaloa Cartel. Beltrán Leyva split with Sinaloa in 2008.
Without the cartel’s backing, the Beltrán Leyva organization fell on hard times. Several of Beltrán Leyva’s brothers were captured and the capo himself was killed by Mexican marines in December 2009. That caused a fight for control of the organization, with Valdez heading one of the factions.
After Valdez’s arrest, the Mexican government has taken down a series of his successors. The most recent, Moisés “El Koreano” Montero Álvarez, was arrested Monday in Acapulco, Valdez’s former headquarters.
Additional links (Spanish)
Fourteen police in the northern Mexican town of Allende have been arrested for their suspected role in the killings of two young women, Nuevo Leon state authorities said Wednesday.
The police had “received orders” from an organized crime gang to hand over the women, who were detained Sunday in Allende for a minor offense, the state’s Security Council spokesman, Jorge Domene, said.
The victims, 24-year-old half-sisters Katia Cavazos Castillo and Kendy Cavazos Caballero, were nieces of state Social Development Secretary Juana Aurora Cavazos.
They remained 40 minutes at the Allende jail before a criminal gang ordered the police to drop them off in the main square of the town, located 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon’s capital.
“From that point, what we know so far is they were taken away by an organized crime gang” and their mutilated bodies turned up several hours later, Domene said.
“Municipal authorities were complicit (in their deaths) and that’s why 14 police have been arrested,” he added.
The bodies of the two women were left in plastic coffins along with a message from the criminals.
Allende is part of the citrus-growing region of Nuevo Leon that also includes the towns of Montemorelos and General Teran, an area plagued by high levels of gangland violence.
General Teran currently has no police force because all of the municipal officers resigned after their station was attacked with grenades and firearms.
The mayor’s office in Montemorelos also was targeted recently in a grenade attack.
Nuevo Leon, which borders Texas, has seen about 1,000 homicides this year, most of them connected to a brutal turf war between the Gulf and Los Zetas drug mobs.
Monterrey is home to many of Mexico’s industrial giants and long seemed to be immune to the drug war that has claimed more than 40,000 lives nationwide since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle with the cartels.
But that metropolis and its suburbs have been battered by a wave of drug-related violence since March 2010.
Unconfirmed reports from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas state that the Los Zetas plaza chief in Nuevo Laredo, Jorge de la Peña alias “El Pompín”, was killed in a shootout yesterday with Mexican Army soldiers.
The shootout, in which another gunman and one soldier also died, occurred at the intersection of Maclovio Herrera and Alvaro Obregon in downtown Nuevo Laredo, approximately one mile south from the International Bridge #1 that links the city with Laredo, Texas.
Two gunmen survived the shootout and were taken into custody. All four men were travelling in a white late model pickup when they were intercepted by an Army unit at around 12 noon.
Minutes after the late morning shootout, “narco” blockades were reported throughout the city.
The local newspaper in Laredo, the Laredo Morning Times, reported clashes in different areas of the city. The Morning Times quoted a Mexican federal source saying that some “halcones”, or lookouts that provide early warning and intelligence functions for criminal gangs, were also killed by Army troops.
The name of Jorge de la Peña,”El Pompín”, appeared in the Mexican press in May of this year after parts of the Marine interrogation of Sergio Mora “el Toto” were made public.
El Toto was the Los Zetas head of operations in the state of San Luis Potosi when the attack on ICE agents, in which agent Jaime Zapata was killed, occurred in that state in February of this year.
El Toto was swept up in the dragnet of Zetas from San Luis Potosi after the attack and was arrested in Saltillo, Coahuila.
During the interrogation El Toto identified “El Comandante Pompin” as the local head of the plaza for Los Zetas in Nuevo Laredo. El Toto also identified El Pompin’s second in command as Ramiro Rojas “El Comandante Rama Rojas” and Juan José González “El José” as the principal in charge of drug distribution in the city.
El Toto confirmed that Heriberto Lazcano is the leader of the Los Zetas organization and that Miguel Angel Trevino is the head of operations and second in the chain of command.
The third position in the Los Zetas hierarchy was identified as a person with the last name of Zamudio and known as “El Samurai” or “El Samy” who serves as the chief financial officer for the organization and supervises all Zeta “accountants” and “supervisors” from his base of operations in Nuevo Laredo.
El Toto recanted his statements made to the Marines after he was transferred to the custody of the PGR, Mexico’s Attorney General’s office, saying that the confession was forced under torture.
Halcones in Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa, Tamaulipas.
A dark-colored SUV led authorities on a mad dash through rural roads.
The vehicle had been spotted by the U.S. Border Patrol as it neared the edge of the Rio Grande and was spotted moments later as it made its way away from the river. When authorities had drawn near, the driver had changed his course and driven back toward the Rio Grande.
Rather than stop at the river’s edge, the driver gunned the engine and plunged the SUV into the water, where several men in rafts waited to unload the bundles of drugs and take them back to Mexico — so they could take another crack at bringing the load into the United States.
“‘Splashdown’ is a term used by law enforcement to describe a vehicle that is launched into the Rio Grande,” Border Patrol spokesman Dan Milian said. “It’s a sporadic trend that we have seen form transnational criminal organizations. The tactic is used primarily when they are being pursued by law enforcement, and they drive into the water to avoid apprehension.”
Various local police departments say it’s a new twist on an old practice that has little effect on the way local police respond to them. Authorities will try to stop the vehicle regardless of its direction. The practice is sporadic and hasn’t taken place recently in Mission, but authorities will address it accordingly, said Jody Tittle, Mission police spokesman.
The tactic requires a considerable amount of coordination. The driver must be in constant communication with his associates in Mexico, who notify him where to go into the water so they can have their recovery team ready, Milian said.
Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector reported about 20 splashdowns from Oct. 1 through July 21. In that same time frame the previous year, authorities responded to 28 splashdowns.
The tactic of splashdowns differs greatly from the long-standing practice of having the driver of the vehicle bail out and run toward Mexico, leaving the drugs behind, Milian said.
“Now it’s a lot more expensive for these transnational criminal organizations to move their drugs, and they are taking a big hit not only with us but also with our allies in the Mexican government who have had a lot of success,” Milian said. “The new orders for smugglers are to not give up their load.”
From January to March, the Mexican Army reported seizing close to 50 tons of marijuana in the northern region of Mexico. Recently, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office announced the destruction of close to 30 tons of marijuana that had been seized in 44 different operations in Matamoros, Reynosa and Ciudad Miguel Aleman, which sits across the river from Roma.
Similarly, from January to April, U.S. authorities from various agencies have seized more than 125 tons of marijuana. The drugs were turned over to the McAllen office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
The amount of seizures in the Valley is up and is expected to surpass the 375,000 pounds that was seized last year.
The warden and four guards have been arrested by police in Mexico’s Chihuahua state in connection with the massacre last month of 17 inmates at the jail in Ciudad Juarez, prosecutors said.
Lucio Cuevas Sanchez was arrested on negligence, corruption and other charges stemming from the July 25 killings at the jail, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.
The four unidentified guards face similar charges, as well as several counts of covering up illegal activities, the AG’s office said.
One of the guards is also being charged with corruption of minors after being caught leading a 15-year-old girl away from the jail, where she attended an orgy, the AG’s office said.
Arrest warrants were issued for inmates Alejandro Alvarado Ruiz and Sergio Bustamante on murder charges, prosecutors said.
Alvarado Ruiz and Bustamante, however, are wanted in connection with two different cases, the AG’s office said.
One of the men is wanted for last month’s massacre, while the other is being sought for the July 24 orgy involving minors, who were given drugs and alcohol at the jail, prosecutors said.
Nine more arrest warrants will be issued in connection with the massacre, the AG’s office said.
The shootout at the municipal jail in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, left 17 inmates dead and 20 others wounded.
A woman was among those killed in the incident, officials said.
Gunfire broke out between members of the rival Los Aztecas and Los Mexicles gangs at the prison, officials said.
Los Mexicles works as the armed wing of the Sinaloa drug cartel in the border city, while Los Aztecas provides enforcers for La Linea, a gang allied with the Juarez cartel.
The cartels have been battling for control of Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, unleashing a wave of violence that has left thousands of people dead since 2006.
The inmates had firearms and knives, AG’s office spokesman Carlos Gonzalez Estrada said, adding that it is not known how many weapons were seized.
A man suspected of being “the No. 2 operative at the national level of the economic-financial structure of the Los Zetas criminal organization” was captured by army troops in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, officials said Wednesday.
Valdemar “El Adal” Quintanilla Soriano was arrested on Tuesday in a raid staged on the basis of intelligence and surveillance work, the Defense Secretariat and the Attorney General’s Office said.
Quintanilla Soriano worked closely with Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano and Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, the two top leaders of Los Zetas.
The suspect traveled regularly between Monterrey, the capital of the northern state of Nuevo Leon, and the cities of Saltillo and Monclova, both located in Coahuila, to “coordinate accounting aspects and payments to authorities on the criminal organization’s payroll,” officials said.
Quintanilla Soriano previously worked as an accountant at the state level for Los Zetas in states where the cartel has a presence, such as Veracruz, San Luis Potosi and Coahuila, the Cabinet departments said.
Quintanilla Soriano’s assistant, Jose Guadalupe Yañez Martinez, who helped run the cartel’s financial operations out of a safe house in Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila, was also arrested.
Army troops seized two rifles, a handgun, four automobiles, communications equipment and documents from the suspects.
Quintanilla Soriano and Yañez Martinez were paraded before reporters on Wednesday and the property seized in the raid was turned over to the Siedo organized crime unit of the AG’s office.
Nine Mexican polling company workers were released Wednesday, several days after they were apparently kidnapped in a western region plagued by drug-cartel violence.
The polling firm Parametria said its three employees were released Tuesday morning, hours after six working for Consulta Mitofsky were let go in the area near the city of Apatzingan where they disappeared.
No one has said who is responsible for seizing the nine. But Michoacan state prosecutor Jesus Montejano said the area is a stronghold of the La Familia and Knights Templar cartels.
“We believe this could be a consequence of one of the criminal groups that operate in the area,” he said in an interview with MVS radio.
Roy Campos, president of Consulta Mitofsky firm, said in the same radio interview that the six from his firm, five men and a woman, are safe and with their families. Parametria director Francisco Abundis told Milenio TV that his three workers where not threatened by their captors but are shaken up.
“We think they were waiting to identify them to make sure they weren’t people working undercover,” Abundis said of the captors.
All had returned to Mexico City by midday Wednesday and were set to give statements to authorities.
The apparent abductions raised concerns that drug violence could interfere with the state’s Nov. 13 gubernatorial election and possibly Mexico’s 2012 presidential race as well.
Abundis said all Mexican pollsters are now evaluating how to proceed with their work, given the dangers.
“Unfortunately we’ve run into a situation in which we don’t know how we’re going to be able to work,” he said. “Our options are either an information blackout or to continue working in risky situations.”
The polling firms have already decided that some parts of the country are too dangerous, including the northeastern border state of Tamaulipas, where the Gulf and Zetas cartels have waged a bloody fight for turf.
“There are many places where we haven’t been for some time,” Abundis said. “The fact is that in this area, Apatzingan and La Cofradia, we had already been working there for a month or a month and half and nothing happened.”
The Mitofsky employees disappeared Saturday. The Parametria workers vanished two days later while conducting home interviews with potential voters about local mayoral and legislative races, including the mayor of Apatzingan.
Both companies said they were working on a poll commissioned by the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, which currently governs Michoacan. Parametria was conducting an independent “mirror” poll that candidates and parties commission to verify the results of the original poll.
The company presidents said their employees were from Mexico City but had experience working in rural zones, which in Mexico are often plagued by political and land disputes as well as cartel violence. They said their workers go in as teams with identification and stay in constant contact with supervisors. They are accustomed to being watched and questioned by locals, they said.
The two companies had issued public appeals to anyone who might be holding the pollsters, on the chance they could have been mistaken for government agents.
Mitofsky stressed that its employees were “not part of any conflict.”
“We send a clear message to the authorities, that they cannot allow the best of our country, its people, to be prevented from working in safety and liberty,” Mitofsky said in a statement Tuesday.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld can be sued personally for damages by a former U.S. military contractor who says he was tortured during a nine-month imprisonment in Iraq.
The lawsuit lays out a dramatic tale of the disappearance of the then-civilian contractor, an Army veteran in his 50s whose identity is being withheld from court filings for fear of retaliation. Attorneys for the man, who speaks five languages and worked as a translator for Marines collecting intelligence in Iraq, say he was preparing to come home to the United States on annual leave when he was abducted by the U.S. military and held without justification while his family knew nothing about his whereabouts or even whether he was still alive.