Europol: Mexican drug cartels want a foothold in Europe- Los Angeles Times, April 12, 2013
In May, a deputy administrator for the Drug Enforcement Administration told a group of U.S. senators that Mexican cartels are involved in the African methamphetamine trade, and have "documented links" to criminal groups in Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "We haven't identified specific cartel activity in Africa," a DEA official told the Voice of America in June. "We've identified Mexicans in Africa, and we know they are affiliated with cartels - we just haven't put it together." The Europol statement said that law enforcement officials had recently "averted" the Sinaloa Cartel's attempts to set up a major European cocaine wholesaling operation. Thus far, according to the report, few violent incidents in Europe have been attributed to the Mexicans. "We do not want the level of violence and brutality which we see in Mexico mirrored in Europe," said Rob Wainwright, the Europol director.
News you might have missed: Iran considers annexing Azerbaijan (again)- Foreign Policy, April 12, 2013
On Tuesday, Iran's Fars news agency reported that Azerbaijani-speaking lawmakers in Iran had introduced a bill to re-annex their neighbor to the north. Iran lost Azerbaijan in 1828 -- "The most frustrating chapter in the history class!" Fars laments -- when it was forced to sign the Turkmenchay treaty, ceding the territory to Russia. The legislators propose revisiting the terms of the treaty, which, according to Fars, means "the 17 cities and regions that Iran had lost to the Russians would be given back to Iran after a century." For its part, Azerbaijan has told Iran to "bring it" -- diplomatically speaking. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports that Siyavush Novruzov of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party has declared that revisiting the treaty would result not in Azerbaijan being annexed to Iran, but rather in Tehran ceding its northwestern territory to Azerbaijan.
Venezuelans head to polls to elect new president- UPI, April 14, 2013
Maduro, the acting president, had a 7-point lead over challenger Henrique Capriles in the most recent major polls -- down from 15 points at the end of March -- the Los Angeles Times said. Maduro has said he would further what he calls the Chavez revolution, channeling billions in oil revenues into health, food and education programs for the poor, Voice of America reported. Capriles has labeled Maduro a liar, incompetent and corrupt, and said he plans an aggressive strategy to halt rising inflation, spiraling crime and food shortages, the Times reported.
Chinese authorities detained 21 Tibetans in Kyegudo- Phayul, April 14, 2013
The Chinese authorities detained twenty-one Tibetans following a conflict between Tibetans and Chinese securities over forced land eviction at Kyegudo in Eastern Tibet. Citing sources with contacts in the area, the Washington-based Voice of America said, "21 Tibetans have been detained after a conflict between local Tibetans and Chinese troops over forced land eviction in Kyegudo in Qinghai (Ch: Yushu)." "The conflict arose after angered local Tibetans protested the authorities over demolition of their rebuilt homes and tents." VOA said. It is reported that six Tibetans were severely injured while four armies were hurt in the incident.
Japan agrees to rice deal with Myanmar- Asia Times, April 15, 2013
Japan is helping Myanmar (also known as Burma) to regain its status as a top rice exporter by making its first purchase of the grain from the Southeast Asian country in more than four decades and investing in rice processing plants there. Myanmar has already ramped up rice exports to record levels after two years of reforms following the end of military rule and Japan's moves could further boost production, local industry officials say. "We have seen that Japan is enthusiastic about investing in Burma's rice production," Myanmar Rice Industry Association Chairman Chit Khaing told Radio Free Asia's Burmese Service.
CAMBODIA: Khmer CNRP'S policies that deserve support- Asia Human Rights Commission, April 15, 2013
It has been my view that Hun Sen, a shrewd politician, would come to see the personal benefit of releasing Sonando. I've observed in recent articles that Hun Sen has metaphorically used the popular Khmer circle dance, the Ramvong, to keep Cambodians and foreigners guessing as he has formulated his decision. Sure enough, on March 15, Mam Sonando walked out of Phnom Penh's Prey Sar Prison. CAMBODIA's Court of Appeal decided there was "no evidence" to support the charges against him and the Court ordered his release. "I am happy that I have been released, but I am also sad because I didn't commit any crime. The court convicted me of a crime that I never could have conceived of," Sonando told Radio Free ASIA. He is out of jail, but he is not a free man. Some less serious charges (such as "illegal logging") still hang over him. Cambodian activists cheered Sonando's "victory," and Sonando vowed, "I will educate the people about their rights, the law, and democracy so that voters will be better informed."
Kyegudo quake-hit Tibetans held for protesting demolition of rebuilt homes- Tibetan Review, April 14, 2013
Chinese authorities have demolished around 1,000 Tibetan homes in the Kyegudo (Chinese: Jiegu) county-town of Yulshul Prefecture, Qinghai Province, provoking a clash between protesting Tibetans and Chinese paramilitary People's Armed Police on Apr 9, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) Apr 11. The clash, which ensued after the paramilitary troops used violence to break up a protest by more than 100 Tibetan residents, ended with at least six Tibetans and four security personnel being injured and 21 Tibetans being detained.The area was hit by a devastating earthquake on Apr 14, 2010, officially resulting in nearly 3,000 people being killed. Tibetans have accused the authorities of demolishing Tibetan homes after the natural calamity on the pretext that they were unsafe and dispossessing Tibetan land in the name of rebuilding with little or no compensation.
New HIV/AIDS Drug In South Africa Streamlines Treatment And Lowers Costs- Nature World News, April 12, 2013
South Africans living with HIV or AIDS are being offered a new option for treatment that will significantly reduce the number of pills they have to take daily. The South African government, which sponsored the new medication, says it will be the least expensive HIV/AIDS treatment in the world, according to Voice of America news. Treatment for one patient using the old system of anti-retrovirals reportedly cost the government 400 rand ($45) per patient.The government says it will save at least 300 rand ($33) per patient with the new treatment system, which effectively combines the properties of three separate treatments into one pill. The drug, called Atrozia, is combination of three drugs that are used in treating HIV: tenofovir, emtricitabine and efavirenz.
Azerbaijan: Insider Deals Thrive In Ministry- hetq, April 15, 2013
Minister Ziya Mammadov's son, Anar, and the Minister's brother, Elton, are business partners with the members of the family of the founder of the Baghlan Group, a prominent Azerbaijan company involved in major projects in transportation, construction, sports complexes and oil exploration. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) found that Baghlan was the contractor on a series of major initiatives by the Ministry including the importing of 1,000 London taxis to Baku, the construction of an international bus station, and a lucrative road construction project. The Group has received preferential treatment and the interlinked companies owned by the families have taken large shares or even monopolized certain transportation sectors like bus transport, taxis, road constraction, and cargo transportation services in the country.
Obama tax return: President's return revealed shows he made $690K, paid $112K- examiner, April 14, 2013
Tax day is almost here and all Americans will need to file their taxes, and that includes those that inhabit the White House. A report from Voice of America on Saturday, April 13, 2013, shows that President Barack Obama paid an effective federal tax rate of 18.4 percent in 2012 and saw income from his books drop as he ran for re-election.