World briefs 8/24/04
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Mexican officials: Drug gang kingpin arrested
MEXICO CITY -- An alleged leader of a powerful drug gang was caught near the border with California, Mexican officials announced Monday, calling it a blow to a syndicate they say is smuggling nearly half the illegal drugs crossing the U.S.-Mexico frontier. Gilberto Higuera Guerrero was arrested before dawn Sunday at a house in the border city of Mexicali, Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha said at a news conference. He described Higuera as the "principal operator" for drug boss Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada. "He's practically a legend in drug trafficking," Macedo said.
Alleged U.S. vigilantes show videos of supporters
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Three Americans accused of torturing prisoners at a private jail played videos at their trial Monday showing a top Afghan official pledging his full support to the alleged vigilantes, then sending his security force on a raid with them. The videos, and another showing NATO peacekeepers in a separate raid, were part of the defense's effort to prove the counterterrorism operation had the backing of the Pentagon and Afghan officials and was not a rogue mission as the prosecution alleges.
Sudan rejects larger role for African peacekeepers
ABUJA, Nigeria -- Sudan rejected a wider role for African peacekeepers in putting down violence and disarming militiamen in the Darfur region, as Sudanese and rebel officials opened peace talks Monday. The African Union proposed earlier to send nearly 2,000 peacekeepers to Darfur, where a mostly Arab militia is accused of killing tens of thousands of black Africans. A Sudanese official rejected the African Union proposal, saying only his government was allowed to keep security in the sprawling Darfur region of western Sudan.-- From wire reports
North Korea lashes out at Bush
SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea lashed out Monday at President Bush for turning "a peaceful world into a pandemonium unprecedented in history," and reaffirmed it won't attend preparatory meetings ahead of planned nuclear disarmament talks. Last week, Bush referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il as a "tyrant," and said he had embarked on six-nation talks to convince Kim to disarm because the United States couldn't do it alone. The next round of talks -- which also include China, Japan, Russia and South Korea -- are supposed to take place by the end of September. But North Korea has recently thrown those plans into doubt by saying it won't attend working meetings to prepare for the larger talks.
-- From wire reports