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U.S. Consulate issues warning over highway travel in Mexican state

MEXICO

U.S. Consulate warns about highway travel

U.S. officials are warning Americans about the dangers of inter-city bus travel in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas following the discovery of graves with 72 bodies, some apparently of people pulled off buses by gangs. The U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros said between late March and early April it received three reports from U.S. citizens or their families regarding buses being boarded by criminals. It also said there are potential hazards with highway travel in private vehicles in the region, which is being disputed by cartels. The consulate warning Friday was the third one about highway travel in Tamaulipas in the past five months. Investigators uncovered the 72 bodies around San Fernando, where same number of migrants were massacred last August.

CHESTER, Pa.

Two shot dead at teen party

Shots rang out in a suburban Philadelphia social hall where a teenage party was being held, killing two people and sending eight others to hospitals, authorities said Saturday. Police in Chester, where a state of emergency was declared last summer because of crime concerns, said a suspect was taken into custody after officers were called to the Minaret Temple No. 174 around 11:30 p.m. Friday and found "numerous victims." Police said nine people were transported to Crozer Chester Medical Center, where a spokesman said one died soon afterward and another died Saturday afternoon. Four other victims remained in stable condition, and three had been discharged, the spokesman said. Police were investigating the cause of the shooting and declined to release further information.

FRANCE

Dozens arrested over veil protest

Police in Paris said authorities arrested 61 people — including 19 women — in connection with their attempt to hold an illegal demonstration at Place de la Nation in eastern Paris against France's upcoming ban on face-covering Islamic veils. Nicolas Lerner, an official with the city's police chief, said the arrests Saturday came after demonstrators refused to comply with the protest ban, which he said was ordered because organizers' call for the protest was "clearly an incitation to violence and racial hatred" and that counter-demonstrations had been planned — raising the prospect of public disorder. France is set to enact a ban of face-covering Muslim veils on Monday.

Elsewhere

Norway: A gas leak on an oil platform off Norway's west coast forced the evacuation of 63 workers Saturday, but no injuries were reported. Rig operator Statoil said the leak at the Visund platform was stopped five hours after the company was first informed of the incident.

Britain: Lt. Cmdr. Ian Molyneux, 36, a Royal Navy officer in charge of the weapons on the nuclear-powered submarine HMS Astute, was shot dead by a junior sailor who opened fire with an assault rifle aboard the vessel on Friday, Britain's Defense Ministry said Saturday.

Spain: Tens of thousands of people marched in Madrid on Saturday to protest the Basque separatist group ETA and urge the government to bar anyone linked to it from running in regional and local elections.

Texas: A wildfire that has burned more than 61,000 acres in West Texas remains out of control, the Texas Forest Service said Saturday.

Times wires

U.S. Consulate issues warning over highway travel in Mexican state 04/09/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 9, 2011 10:31pm]
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