Former prisoner barred
A former Guantanamo prisoner, who was released without being charged in 2005, was denied boarding on an Air Canada plane from London to Toronto for allegedly posing a security risk, his lawyer said on Saturday. Moazzam Begg, a British human rights activist, was scheduled to speak at a conference on Islamophobia in a Toronto suburb at the invitation of his attorney Dennis Edney, who also currently provides legal counsel to Omar Khadr, a Canadian held at the US naval base of Guantanamo, Cuba. Shortly before embarking on the flight on Friday, airline authorities told Begg that the Canadian High Commission in London refused to allow him to fly because “the plane could be rerouted to the United States.”
Potholed cyclist awarded
A cyclist who was seriously injured after falling into a pothole in 2003 will receive almost a US$205,000 check from the city of Montreal, La Presse newspaper reported on Saturday. The woman, Marnie Scanlan, fractured her left shoulder during the fall. Part of her left arm remains incapacitated. Scanlan, a personal trainer for more than three decades, had to change her profession to become a Pilates instructor. On the day of her fall, Scanland said she was biking to a client’s home down a street on a 10-degree slope without pedaling, hands on the breaks, at about 15kph.
Moon rock thief arrested
Authorities in southern California have detained a woman accused of trying to sell a moon rock for US$1.7 million. The Riverside County sheriff’s department says the woman was detained on Thursday during an undercover meeting at a Lake Elsinore restaurant where she showed the rock for an undercover NASA investigator. A call to NASA’s Office of Inspector-General was not immediately returned on Friday. Washington considers moon rocks national treasures that cannot be sold. Authorities say NASA had been investigating the case for several months. Authorities haven’t released the identity of the woman or details on how she obtained the rock.
Zetas gangsters arrested
Three alleged members of the Zetas drug gang were arrested on Saturday on suspicion of involvement in the killing of 27 farm workers a week ago near the northern border with Mexico. The arrests were made in the city of Quetzaltenango, about 200km west of the capital, police said, with the alleged members identified as 32-year-old Jose Arturo Godoy Artola, Cristofer Jose Cardona Chen, 20, and an unnamed minor. As part of the probe into the brutal killings — 26 of them by beheading — police earlier this week said they had already arrested two suspects in Peten department and detained another suspected Zetas leader in nearby Alta Verapaz.
Ciudad Juarez awarded title
Lawmakers in Chihuahua State on Saturday awarded the drug cartel-plagued border city the title of “Heroic” Ciudad Juarez to honor its role in the 1910 Mexican Revolution. President Felipe Calderon attended a commemoration ceremony at a cultural center and used the occasion to highlight a decrease in crime in the city, which has been one of the world’s most violent cities in recent years. Homicides have fallen 60 percent, to about four daily last month from 11 daily last October.