US gives gang victim asylum
A US court has granted asylum to a Mexican man threatened by organized crime after 11 of his family members were killed by gangsters in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, his lawyer said on Tuesday. A US immigration judge in El Paso, Texas, decided last month to grant sanctuary to Christian Chaidez, 32, after he crossed the border and told authorities that 11 of his relatives, aged between 24 and 66, were murdered between 2009 and last year, lawyer Carlos Spector said. The relatives were killed for refusing to pay protection money demanded by gangs.
Cocaine smuggled in dogs
South American drug gangs in Milan have been using dogs to smuggle cocaine from Mexico into the country, police said on Tuesday after an operation that found at least 48 dogs had been killed to retrieve the drugs. The animals were forced to swallow plastic packets containing the drug before being sent to Italy on flights that usually landed at Linate Airport in Milan. The packages were wrapped in black vinyl tape to shield them from X-ray checks. The drug traffickers then dismembered the dogs. A court ordered 49 people arrested in the operation to face trial under a fast-track procedure, a Milanese police spokesman told reporters.
Waterboarding illegal: Comey
James Comey, the man nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next FBI director, said on Tuesday said he believed the use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique was torture and illegal. Comey, the former deputy attorney general from 2003 to 2005, told senators at a confirmation hearing that he had made his views known, but lost battles to stop the CIA from using so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. “When I first learned about waterboarding when I became deputy attorney general, my reaction as a citizen and a leader was ‘This is torture,’” he said. “It’s still what I think.”
Five held for botched rites
Five people appeared in court in Eastern Cape Province, where bungled traditional initiation rites killed 30 young men and landed almost 300 more in hospital, police said on Tuesday. Health authorities in the rural province on Sunday said 293 youths were undergoing treatment for dehydration, gangrene and septic wounds. Besides the deaths, some had lost genitals in botched circumcisions.
Tonnes of ivory seized
Officials at Mombasa Port impounded more than 3 tonnes of illegal ivory disguised as peanuts for export to Malaysia in the biggest seizure so far this year. Revenue officials said the ivory was worth more than US$700,000. The ivory was seized on Monday and had been declared as 240 bags of peanuts, Kenya Wildlife Service spokesman Paul Mbugu said on Tuesday.