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In effort to clean up ranks, Mexico fires 3,200 police officers

Mexico City

Mexico sacks thousands of police officers

About 3,200 Mexican federal police officers, nearly a tenth of the force, have been fired under new rules designed to weed out crooked cops and modernize law enforcement, officials said Monday. The housecleaning is part of President Felipe Calderon's crackdown on drug cartels, which includes overhauling the 34,500-strong federal police force. An additional 465 federal officers were charged with breaking the law, and 1,020 others face disciplinary actions after failing screening tests, officials said. The new police standards, which took effect in May, are aimed at cleaning Mexico's graft-plagued police through lie-detector tests, financial disclosure statements and drug testing. The government has sought to improve the caliber of federal officers by boosting wages and requiring that recruits have college degrees.

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia

Seven are killed in attack on Roma

A gunman went on a rampage in Slovakia's capital on Monday, killing seven people and wounding 15, then committed suicide, officials said. Four women and one man killed were members of a family of Roma, also known as Gypsies, who lived in an apartment where the man began his attack with a machine gun and two pistols, said Interior Minister Daniel Lipsic. A man was shot and killed outside the building, and a woman was shot as she walked to the balcony of her apartment when she heard the gunfire. The gunman, who opened fire on bystanders, wounding 15 of them, later shot himself.

BANGKOK

Teacher fired for caning students

Secretly recorded cell phone footage has exposed a teacher at a Catholic boarding school in northeastern Thailand who whacked dozens of students on the buttocks with a cane wrapped with electrical wire. Art teacher Somchai Limthanmaporn was fired after he was exposed hitting at least 40 students, according to Nongkran Prathumtri, an administrator at St. Mary's School in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima. She said the school would not defend him. The footage of last week's canings was aired Monday on Thai television. The beatings were to punish students who failed to clean their living quarters.

BRUSSELS

Cardinal admits coverup lapse

The former head of Belgium's Roman Catholic Church acknowledged Monday that he was wrong to have urged a sexual abuse victim to stay quiet until after the bishop who repeatedly molested him over a span of 13 years could retire. The statement by Cardinal Godfried Danneels came after secret tapes of a meeting between him and the 42-year-old victim were published over the weekend in two newspapers, causing an outcry in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.

Times wires

In effort to clean up ranks, Mexico fires 3,200 police officers 08/30/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 30, 2010 11:17pm]
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