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To fight drug cartels, Mexico restricts dollar transactions

MEXICO CITY

Dollar deals curbed to help war on drugs

Mexico announced some of the toughest restrictions in its history on dollar cash transactions Tuesday to fight money laundering that is fueling an increasingly bloody drug war. Tourists and Mexicans without bank accounts will be limited to exchanging a maximum of $1,500 per month, Finance Secretary Ernesto Cordero said. The measure is meant to help stem the flood of about $10 billion per year in suspicious cash flows.

Gunmen killed: A Mexican Defense Department official said 15 gunmen were killed in a shootout with soldiers in the tourist town of Taxco in south-central Mexico.

Baikonur, Kazakhstan

Crew blasts off for space station

A Russian rocket carrying a three-person U.S.-Russian crew to the International Space Station blasted off successfully from Kazakhstan early today. The Soyuz TMA-19 is carrying Americans Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker and Russia's Fyodor Yurchikhin to the space station for a mission lasting about six months. The trio will be on board the space station to see the shuttle Endeavour depart from its last planned mission to the lab in November before the fleet is retired. Once the shuttle is phased out, the Soyuz will take astronauts to and from the space station.

Dublin

Israeli Embassy official expelled

The Irish government Tuesday expelled an Israeli Embassy official in connection with the alleged use of false passports in the murder in January of a Hamas leader. Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin said investigations showed an Israeli government agency was responsible for the misuse and, most likely, the manufacture of the forged Irish passports associated with the murder of Hamas militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. In a statement, the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Zion Evrony, said: "Israel regrets this decision. We believe that it does not reflect the overall positive relations which exist between Ireland and Israel."

Geneva

Iran is criticized over human rights

Western nations rebuked Iran for its human rights record Tuesday after overcoming an attempt by Iran and its Muslim allies to block a statement from being read aloud in the U.N. Human Rights Council. The United States and Norway crafted the statement that won the backing of all 27 European Union nations and more than two dozen other countries. Pakistani Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking for the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, said it was unfair to single out one country in a discussion about a landmark human rights conference in Vienna in 1993.

Elsewhere

Jerusalem: The United Nations will take to Gaza tons of aid supplies languishing in an Israeli port for two weeks since they were seized in a bloody sea confrontation, the Israeli military said Tuesday.

Lima, Peru: Maximo Altez, the Peruvian defense attorney for murder suspect Joran van der Sloot, said Tuesday that he's quitting after receiving death threats.

Jamaica: A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of reputed drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke, who is at the center of a manhunt.

Times wires

To fight drug cartels, Mexico restricts dollar transactions 06/15/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 11:36pm]

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