Marine’s release sought
A California congressman is seeking the release of a former combat marine jailed in Tijuana after he drove into Mexico with three legally owned guns in his vehicle. Republican Representative Duncan Hunter sent a letter on Friday to Secretary of State John Kerry asking him to secure former marine Andrew Tahmooressi’s release. Department of State officials said they do not comment on arrests of private individuals without the person’s permission.
Oldest woman tells secret
A 116-year-old woman living in extreme poverty in the heart of the Andes is in the running to become the oldest person in the world. Born on Dec. 20, 1897, Filomena Taipe Mendoza is only three months older than Japanese Misao Okawa, who is the world’s oldest person according to Guinness World Records and the US-based Gerontology Research Group. The Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion says Taipe Mendoza’s identity card shows the date she was born. “I am not of the past century, young man, but the other one... I am very old,” she told an official accompanying her to cash the first check of a retirement program for seniors living in extreme poverty. “My secret to longevity is a natural diet: I always ate potatoes, goat meat, sheep milk, goat cheese and beans,” said the wizened Taipe Mendoza, who has never left her dirt-poor village in Huancavelica. “Everything I cook comes from my garden. I never had canned soft drinks. I had a very hard life, I was very a young widow with nine dependent children and I worked hard to raise them. Only three of them are alive,” the ministry quoted her as saying. “I wish I still had teeth,” she added of her one wish.
The government said on Friday that it has arrested 58 foreigners, including an American, on suspicion of inciting violent street protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres denounced what he called a plot to promote unrest aimed at overthrowing the government and said that among those detained was a man identified as Todd Michael Leininger, who he said had with him two pistols, two assault rifles, military uniforms and a US passport. “What was this man doing with those armaments at a guarimba [barricade] in San Cristobal,” said Rodriguez Torres about Leininger, 32. Among the other foreigners arrested were Colombians, a Spaniard and an Arab, Rodriguez Torres said. Rodriguez Torres said that an official at the US Embassy in Caracas had been in contact with an opponent of the government allegedly involved in the plot and helped the person get a US visa.
Journalist to win award
An Egyptian-Canadian journalist behind bars in Cairo is receiving the annual World Press Freedom Award. The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom has named Mohamed Fahmy, a producer with al-Jazeera English, as the 16th recipient of the award. Fahmy was arrested with two colleagues in December last year and has been in jail ever since. The three face terrorism-related charges based on the Egyptian authorities’ accusations that they provided a platform to the Muslim Brotherhood group of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, which the government has declared a terrorist organization.