Murders triple since 2005
The murder rate in has almost tripled since 2005, figures showed on Monday, though officials did not specify how many homicides were linked to the country’s war on drugs. A total of 27,199 people were killed last year, or 24 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 9,921 in 2005, or 9 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to preliminary figures from the National Statistics Institute. It was an increase of 5.6 percent from 2010, when 25,757 homicides were committed. Chihuahua state, which borders the US, recorded the most homicides last year with a total of 4,502.
Bank apologizes over bill
Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney apologized on Monday for provoking a racial row after purging an image of an Asian-looking scientist peering into a microscope from new C$100 (US$101) bills. The image of the woman scientist, alongside an insulin bottle, was meant to celebrate the nation’s medical innovations, but the bank note was changed before it began circulating in November last year to show a woman with neutral ethnic features after focus groups objected to an Asian-looking researcher being portrayed. She now appears Caucasian. The revelation last week provoked a public outcry, with Chinese-Canadians chiding the central bank for capitulating to the so-called racist feedback. The feedback from eight focus groups in four cities found that the original image presented “an inappropriate stereotype, ie, Asians have an affinity for the sciences.” Carney apologized for the controversy, saying the focus groups were shown a “photoshopped image based on an original photograph of a South Asian woman.”
Man deported over threats
The government has deported a US citizen of Russian origin who allegedly threatened to bomb a courthouse in California, police said on Monday. Georgiy Chipunov, 28, was handed over to US authorities on Sunday after his arrest in Tijuana, a police official said. “Chipunov threatened to blow up the federal courthouse of San Diego, California and kill judges and officials,” said Alfredo Arenas Moreno, international relations coordinator for police in Baja California. The suspect is considered a “dangerous terrorist” by US authorities who also accused him of cyberterrorism, Arenas Moreno said. US officials said Chipunov made his threats last week in e-mails that were traced back to San Antonio del Mar, a tourist complex in Tijuana.
Artist works with pot smoke
A painter is making an art out of smoking pot. At his studio in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, Fernando de la Rocque, 32, took a deep drag on a marijuana joint and blew onto a stencil overlaying paper. After several puffs an image began to appear — a golden-hued version of Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Italian sculptor Giovanni Lorenzo. Smoking marijuana is illegal, but some of Rocque’s prints are selling for US$2,500 each. It takes him a week to do a single print — blowing about five joints of smoke onto a paper daily.
Two dead in bull run
Authorities say two people are dead and 18 injured after this weekend’s running of the bulls in the central state of Tlaxcala. The dead include one man who was crushed against a barrier by a charging bull on Saturday. Another elderly man died on Sunday after a bull escaped its enclosure and went running through the streets.