Fri, Apr 13, 2018 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

COLOMBIA

Blast kills eight officers

A blast killed at least eight police officers early on Wednesday in the northwestern town of San Pedro de Uraba, where armed drug smugglers are active, officials said. “The partial toll is eight policemen killed and a vehicle ... affected,” the police said in a statement. A team of police had been escorting officials tasked with handing back land to rural residents who were displaced by the nation’s half-century-long conflict between the government and Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels, which came to an end under a November 2016 peace deal. The area where the blast occurred has seen operations by the so-called Golfo Clan, the nation’s biggest drug-trafficking organization, the statement said. Security forces have kept up intense pressure on the group, which has attracted a number of former ultra-right-wing paramilitaries who had fought the FARC during the conflict. The Ministry of National Defense has previously said the clan had about 1,800 members, less than half its original strength following a major offensive by the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos. The government had talks with the leadership of the clan in September last year in a bid to get them to turn themselves in.

MEXICO

Troops evacuate 92 civilians

Soldiers and police in the troubled southern state of Guerrero have escorted a convoy of 92 people terrorized by drug cartels out of their mountain hamlet. Guerrero state security spokesman Roberto Alvarez on Wednesday said that the convoy of mostly the elderly, women and children left Laguna de Huayanalco in the township of Totolapan because they fear the drug gangs that operate in the area. Alvarez said in a statement on Wednesday that the residents loaded into 11 private vehicles and were escorted out of town. Photographs showed army Humvees leading the convoy. Last month, 13 people were evacuated from Totolapan, because they feared for their safety. Alvarez said that the convoy went to the town of Atoyac, across the state near the Pacific coast. It was not immediately clear why that destination was chosen. Also on Wednesday, the Green Party said that a female state assembly candidate was killed in the neighboring state of Michoacan. In February, two female state assembly candidates were slain in Guerrero. Violence threatens to mar local races that are being held simultaneously with the presidential election on July 1. Both Michoacan and Guerrero states have been plagued by drug gang violence.

UNITED STATES

‘Christmas’ house to expand

A Cleveland house known for its appearance in the holiday classic A Christmas Story is planning to expand. The owners of A Christmas Story house have purchased the home next door. WJW-TV reported that the next-door property was also featured in the film as the home of the Parker family’s neighbors, the Bumpuses. The A Christmas Story house bgan offering overnight rentals last year. By acquiring the Bumpus house, more people will be able to stay overnight, the report said. The 1983 film is based on childhood stories from radio and television personality Jean Shepherd. The founder of A Christmas Story house, Brian Jones, said he was “always striving to offer new ways to make visiting Ralphie’s house on Cleveland Street a unique and memorable experience.”

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