Candidate gunned down
A mayoral candidate was shot dead on Monday, the third attack on a politician in less than a week and the latest incident in the run-up to Sunday’s elections. Ricardo Reyes, a candidate for the leftist Citizen’s Movement party, was running for mayor of San Dimas municipality. He was killed around midday in Tayoltita, a rural mining town in the northwestern state of Durango, a party statement said. “The cowardly killer of comrade Reyes is part of an alarming climate of violence and impunity, which seems to be aimed at inspiring terror ... before the elections next Sunday,” the statement said.
De Klerk to get pacemaker
The F.W. de Klerk Foundation yesterday said former president F.W. de Klerk was scheduled to be fitted with a pacemaker later yesterday to help his heart function. It said De Klerk felt dizzy after returning home on Sunday from Europe, and that he had suffered several similar spells of dizziness in recent weeks. De Klerk was the last leader of the apartheid era and a co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with former president Nelson Mandela.
Green cards for gay couples
Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano announced on Monday that married same-sex couples may now apply for “green card” residency permits just as heterosexual married couples can. “I have directed US Citizenship and Immigration Services to review immigration petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse,” she said. The announcement follows last week’s landmark Supreme Court ruling that extends federal rights and benefits to gay couples who wed in states that recognize such unions.
Microbes to inherit Earth
Two billion years from now, an ever-hotter sun will have cooked the Earth, leaving microbes confined to pockets of water in mountains or caves as the last survivors, a study said on Monday. The bleak scenario is proposed by astrobiologist Jack O’Malley-James of the University of St Andrews in Edinburgh. As the sun ages over the next billion years, it will become more luminous, cranking up the thermostat on the Earth, O’Malley-James suggests in a computer model presented at a meeting of Britain’s Royal Astronomical Society. Increased evaporation rates and chemical reactions with rainwater will cause a dramatic fall in levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Over the second billion years, the oceans will dry up completely, leaving extremophiles — microbial life able to cope with intense ultraviolet radiation and heat — to inherit the planet.
Lopez offers excuses
Singer Jennifer Lopez appeared at a birthday bash for Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, but would have abstained if she had known of “human right issues of any kind” regarding him, her publicist said on Monday. And she only wished “Happy Birthday” to Berdimuhamedov as a “gracious” last-minute favor when asked to by the China National Petroleum Corp, which organized Saturday’s event, the publicist said in a statement. Lopez performed along with stars from Ukraine, Russia and Turkey for Berdimuhamedov’s 56th birthday. “The event was vetted by her representatives, had there been knowledge of human right issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended,” the publicist said.