World briefs 1/30/04

Friday, January 30, 2004

Mexican officers linked to drug trafficking, murders

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- Authorities questioned 13 state police Thursday about drug trafficking and the murders of at least 12 people, feeding fears that officers in this gritty border city take part in the crime they should be fighting. The 13 officers were detained Wednesday. Their commander and three fellow officers were being sought. A state police spokesman acknowledged officials have been unable to clean up the force despite firing about 300 officers in the past two years.

Unemployment benefits disappearing for millions

WASHINGTON -- Nearly 2 million people are expected to exhaust their state unemployment benefits in the first half of the year without access to more government aid or a regular paycheck, according to a study released Thursday. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities based its study on Labor Department data of jobless workers who began receiving regular unemployment benefits in the last half of 2003.

Judge delays Stewart trial due to new evidence

NEW YORK -- A federal judge shut down the trial of Martha Stewart for the rest of the week Thursday, postponing the testimony of the government's star witness after defense attorneys accused prosecutors of withholding vital information about his story. The government says Stewart sold the shares of ImClone stock because her stockbroker and co-defendant, Peter Bacanovic, sent a tip through Faneuil that ImClone Systems founder Sam Waksal was trying to dump his family's shares. But Faneuil's former lawyer, Jeremiah Gutman, gave a statement to the FBI in 2003 that raised questions about whether it was Bacanovic or Waksal who had ordered Faneuil to tip off Stewart.

-- From wire reports

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