Wed, Jan 05, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

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GUATEMALA

Transport workers targeted

Bus drivers paid US$1.5 million in extortion money to organized crime rings last year, according to a police report out on Monday. Over the course of last year police arrested more than 500 criminals and charged them with trying to extort money from business owners and workers. Some of those charged were members of the notorious Mara 18 street gang, according to Donald Gonzalez, a spokesman with the national civil police.Public transport workers appear to be at particular risk. Human rights groups said that between January and November, 119 drivers and 51 transport aides were shot dead.

BRAZIL

Release sought for fugitive

Lawyers for an Italian fugitive sentenced in his home country to life in 1993 for a series of murders in the 1970s when he was a member of a radical left-wing group, asked the high court on Monday to order him freed after former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva refused to extradite him, sources close to the case said. Cesare Battisti’s lawyer, Renata Saraiva, said that with the high court on a vacation recess, the justice on call can decide on his own to authorize the release, or consult with the other justices. His lawyers argued that he has been detained in Brazil since 2007, and since Lula decided he should not be extradited to Italy, should now be released.

BRAZIL

Rouseff chats with UN head

President Dilma Rousseff and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke by telephone on Monday about the UN Security Council — a body on which Brazil has long tried to secure a permanent seat. “The UN secretary general called the president to congratulate her on her inauguration, and they spoke for 15 minutes about current events, especially the Security Council,” Rousseff’s advisor on international affairs, Marco Aurelio Garcia, told reporters. Garcia pointed out that Brazil is a temporary member of the council and would hold its rotating presidency next month. Rousseff and Ban also discussed Brazil’s participation in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, with the president saying her country would continue to contribute to the earthquake-devastated Caribbean nation.

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