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Mexico’s narcocorridos turn drug violence to music

Mexico’s popular songs glorifying its drug traffickers, known as narcocorridos, have attracted a growing following in recent years, from Mexico City to Los Angeles. But authorities in northwestern Sinaloa for the first time banned the ballads in May, surprising many in the home state of Mexico’s oldest drug cartel, the…

More than 500 detained in Chile student protests

More than 500 people were arrested and 14 wounded in cities across Chile Thursday when police fired water cannons and tear gas to disperse student protesters calling for education reforms. Hundreds of students later occupied a Chilean TV station until producers agreed to air their message. In the evening thousands…

Spokesman denies Gaddafi’s son killed in NATO raid

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – A Libyan government spokesman on Friday denied reports that Muammar Gaddafi’s youngest son, brigade commander Khamis Gaddafi, had been killed in a NATO air strike. “It’s false news. They invented the news about Mr Khamis Gaddafi in Zlitan to cover up their killing,” Moussa Ibrahim told Reuters…

NATO planes bomb Tripoli, rebels attack pipeline

NATO warplanes bombed the Libyan capital early Friday, state television said, as Moamer Kadhafi’s regime accused rebels of sabotaging a key pipeline feeding the country’s sole functioning refinery. About 10 loud explosions rocked the city around 1:30 am (2330 GMT), an AFP journalist said. Shortly afterwards, Libyan television said “civilian…

Climbers flock to South Africa’s “rock farms”

CLANWILLIAM, South Africa (Reuters Life!) – They carry mattresses on their backs, and in bars they are the ones gesticulating like crazed semaphore operators. They are initiates of the sport of bouldering, and they have invaded the sleepy town of Clanwilliam in South Africa’s remote Cederberg mountains in their hundreds,…

New recession fears loom as world stocks dive

Global stocks plunged on Friday on the increasing prospect of a sharp economic downturn, with attention focused on US jobs data, widely expected to deepen the gloom of flagging growth and eurozone debt. European stock markets initially dived 3.0-4.0 percent after heavy falls in Asia and on Wall Street as…

Japanese parents live with radiation fear

Parents living near Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant are facing a nightmare dilemma: evacuate their children or live with the fear that radiation will make them sick. Since the crisis started on March 11, authorities have raised the exposure limit for children to that used for atomic plant workers in…

Iraqi security forces harassing media: watchdog

BAGHDAD — Iraqi security forces are harassing journalists, especially television crews, media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Thursday, calling for such actions to stop. “Reporters Without Borders is concerned about repeated harassment of media personnel, especial TV crews, by the Iraqi security forces,” a statement said. “Physical…

Spanish riot police ‘indignant’ over protests

MADRID — Spanish riot police said Thursday that the long hours they have been required to work this week to prevent protesters from gaining access to Madrid’s main square “is not tolerable for much longer”. Over 200 police were deployed Thursday for the third straight day to close the Puerta…

Crackdown on Mexico cartel leaves 31 dead

MEXICO CITY — A 19-day army crackdown on the violent Zetas drug gang in northern Mexico has left 31 dead including a soldier and an alleged local gang leader, the defense ministry said Thursday. More than 30 people were injured and 196 detained in the operation, which started on July…

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