Officer arrested in kidnapping
Mexico City’s police chief says a fourth officer has been arrested in the investigation into the kidnapping and killing of 12 young people who disappeared in May from an after-hours bar and later turned up in a mass grave. Security Chief Jesus Rodriguez Almeida says the four have been turned over to the prosecutors’ office and he has no evidence to conclude they were involved. The Mexico City prosecutor announced on Monday that two more police had been arrested in the case, putting the total at three officers. Rodriguez on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of the fourth officer. Eighteen people have been arrested so far in the case involving the after-hours bar, Heaven. The killings shook Mexico City’s image as a haven from drug-related, organized crime.
UN reports top coca grower
The nation was the world’s top coca grower last year, even though the area under cultivation shrank for the first time in seven years, a UN report said on Tuesday. The South American country had 60,400 hectares under coca cultivation last year, down from 62,500 the year before, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. However, it replaced Colombia as the world’s top coca producer because the amount of land under coca cultivation there dropped to 48,000 hectares. Coca leaves are the raw material of cocaine. “There has been an important turning point with a 3.4 percent reduction, coming after seven years of continuing increases in those crops,” said Flavio Mirella, the nation’s UN office’s representative. Peru produced 128,000 tonnes of coca leaf last year, almost all of it destined for the illegal cocaine trade, according to the UN study.
King faces hip operation
Surgeons gave 75-year-old King Juan Carlos a temporary hip replacement on Tuesday, but said he requires more surgery for a long-term fix, likely giving fuel to speculation of a history-making abdication. US hip specialist Miguel Cabanela led the surgery at a Madrid hospital to give the frail-looking monarch a new left hip after the previous artificial joint fitted in November last year became infected and painful, making it hard to walk. “Fortunately it has all gone well for his majesty, for us, for the country,” Cabanela told a news conference after the two-and-a-half-hour operation at the private Quiron Hospital in the western suburbs of Madrid. The temporary hip replacement was the king’s eighth operation in three years and news that more surgery must follow in two months or so will no doubt keep alive speculation of a possible abdication, despite palace denials. Cabanela said the king would require a new operation for a permanent prosthetic hip after a period of at least eight weeks fighting off an infection in surrounding tissue.
Bear obeys bartender
If only all unwelcome bar guests were this obliging.
A black bear walked into the bar at the Alaskan Hotel in downtown Juneau on Monday night. Bartender Ariel Svetlik-McCarthy says she freaked out and yelled: “No bear, get out. No, you can’t be in here.” The bear complied, leaving the bar within seconds. State biologist Ryan Scott says it is rare for black bears to go inside Juneau businesses, but they have wandered inside homes before. He said the staff did a great job, and it was good news the bear left. State wildlife officials have killed two nuisance bears in Juneau this summer.