Gangs blamed as riot kills 44 in prison in Mexico

MEXICO

Gangs blamed as riot kills 44 in prison

A riot in a northern Mexican prison left 44 people dead Sunday, providing yet another sign of the violence and crowding overwhelming Latin American prisons just days after a fire at a penitentiary in Honduras killed 359 people. The authorities in Mexico's Nuevo Leon state said a confrontation among inmates in two cell blocks broke out around 2 a.m. Sunday and lasted a few hours before the state and federal police could bring the prison, in Apodaca, under control. Jorge Domene, a spokesman for the state government, said it appeared that members of Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, two powerful criminal groups, started the fight as part of a power struggle.

South Korea

Drills held despite North Korea threat

South Korea today conducted live-fire military drills from five islands near its disputed sea boundary with North Korea, despite Pyongyang's threat to attack. South Korea reported no immediate action by North Korea following the drills, which ended after about two hours. The drills took place in an area of the Yellow Sea that was the target of a North Korean artillery attack in 2010 that killed four South Koreans and raised fears of a wider conflict.

China

Self-immolation by monk is reported

A young Tibetan Buddhist monk set himself on fire to protest Chinese rule, becoming at least the 21st to do so in the past year, and more than 1,000 people were trying to prevent police from taking his body, an overseas Tibet support group reported today. Eighteen-year-old Nangdrol self-immolated on Sunday outside his monastery in Aba county, where most of the immolations have occurred, the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet said. The group said he shouted slogans for Tibetan independence and for the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan leader exiled in India.

BOSTON

FDA to review inhalable caffeine

U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials plan to investigate whether inhalable caffeine sold in lipstick-sized canisters is safe for consumers and if its manufacturer was right to brand it as a dietary supplement. AeroShot went on the market last month in Massachusetts and New York. AeroShot didn't require FDA review before hitting the U.S. market because it's sold as a dietary supplement. But New York Sen. Charles Schumer said he met with FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and she agreed to review the safety and legality of AeroShot.

WESTFIELD, N.J.

Houston gets private burial

Whitney Houston was laid to rest Sunday at a brief private ceremony. Fans and onlookers gathered in several places along the route the motorcade took from the Newark funeral home to the cemetery about 20 miles away in Westfield, where Houston was buried next to her father, who died in 2003.

NEW YORK

'Colbert Report' to return today

A representative for Stephen Colbert says the Colbert Report will return today after a sudden break due to the ailing health of the star's mother. The Comedy Central show last week substituted repeats on Wednesday and Thursday.

Elsewhere

Italy: The first phase of fuel removal from the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia has been completed, officials said Sunday.

Times wires

Gangs blamed as riot kills 44 in prison in Mexico 02/19/12 [Last modified: Sunday, February 19, 2012 11:33pm]

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