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12 dead in Mexico tourist hubs

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Twelve people have been shot dead in two of Mexico’s top tourist spots, authorities said, in two states that have been hard hit in the country’s spiral of drug-related violence.

In Mazatlan, one of Mexico’s busiest international tourism hubs, gunmen killed five people in a vehicle outside a liquor store. Witnesses told police the gunmen did say a word before opening fire on the three men and two women.

Mazatlan is in Sinaloa state — home to Joaquin ‘el Chapo’ Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s largest, with its operational reach extending through Central America and down to Colombia.

Guzman was arrested in 1993 but bribed his way out of a maximum security facility by hiding himself in a laundry cart.

He has a $5 million bounty on his head.

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In southwestern Guerrero state, seven bodies bound and riddled with bullets were found Sunday in the beach resort of Zihuatanejo, local police said.

A local newspaper published a photo of the victims, who appeared to be half-naked and bloodied, with their feet bound to a pole in the street.

Threatening notes bearing the seal of the Knights Templar, an offshoot of the La Familia crime gang, appeared to be near the bodies.

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More than 41,000 people have been killed across Mexico since the federal government in 2006 launched a crackdown against drug cartels, according to official data and media tallies.


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American, Italian and Russian blast off for ISS

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US, Italian and Russian astronauts blasted into space Saturday, headed for the International Space Station, in a launch coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA's Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set off on a six-hour journey to the orbiting science lab from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1628 GMT.

A NASA TV commentator hailed a "textbook launch" minutes after blastoff in "sweltering" weather in Baikonur, where daytime temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

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‘Free Digga D’: Scotland Yard Twitter and emails hacked

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London's Metropolitan Police apologized Saturday after its Twitter, emails and news pages were targeted by hackers and began pumping out a series of bizarre messages.

After a series of messages late Friday that read simply "test" or seemingly random letters, the police sites began using foul language with anti-police sentiment and calling for a jailed rapper to be released.

"Free Digga D," said one such message.

The Met Police's Twitter account has 1.22 million followers.

Scotland Yard police headquarters said its internal IT infrastructure had not been hacked, explaining the issue was limited to its press office's online provider, MyNewsDesk, which put news releases online to the public.

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What is at stake in the Strait of Hormuz?

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Tensions between the United States, Iran and other countries are flaring again in the Strait of Hormuz.

There are competing explanations for what’s going on in the narrow seaway through which 21% of the world’s crude oil currently passes.

Most of the reports of attacked tankers, smuggled oil and downed drones involve Iran and the United States. But the oil and the tankers involved also belong to other countries, including Japan, Norway and the U.K.

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