World briefs 1/18/06

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mexico City police stumped by serial killer

MEXICO CITY -- The killer is either a cross-dressing man or a robust woman who strangles elderly women. Mexican police believe the so-called "Mataviejitas," or "Little Old Lady Killer," has killed at least seven elderly women in the country's bustling capital of 20 million, although they are investigating whether 22 other slayings of older Mexico City women since 2003 are also related. Police say the killer struck most recently in October. Investigators believe the killer probably tricks his or her way into the victims' homes by posing as a nurse or government worker, then kills the women and ransacks their places.

Gunmen kill two U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti

UNITED NATIONS -- Gunmen killed two Jordanian U.N. peacekeepers and seriously wounded a third Tuesday at a checkpoint in a slum in Haiti's capital that is a stronghold for supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a spokesman said. The shootings in the teeming slum of Cite Soleil in Port-au-Prince occurred three weeks before long-postponed elections to replace the interim government imposed after Aristide fled the country. The three Jordanian peacekeepers were manning the checkpoint when they came under fire, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Europe drafts resolution to refer Iran to U.N.

VIENNA, Austria -- Pressure on Iran intensified Tuesday, with key European countries and the United States moving ahead with plans to refer Tehran to the U.N. Security Council and Israel vowing not to let the Iranians develop nuclear weapons. Russia and China -- Iran's past backers -- urged negotiations instead of confrontation, casting doubt on whether next month's International Atomic Energy Agency meeting will demonstrate a unified political will.

Polls say Conservatives poised to win in Canada

TORONTO -- Canada's Conservative Party, which would be more in line with the Bush administration policies, appeared to gain strength in its quest to end 13 years of Liberal Party rule as campaigning for national elections entered its final week. Opinion polls released Monday show that Stephen Harper's opposition Conservatives were holding an advantage of 8 to 13 percentage points over Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal Party -- a gap that analysts say will be very difficult for the ruling party to overcome by Jan. 23, when voters will cast ballots for the 308-seat House of Commons.

-- From wire reports

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