BY Wire reports
Friday, February 01, 2013
2/01/13 at 2:55 AM
Mexico City : Vigilantes against drug cartels promise charges
Vigilantes who have taken up arms against drug cartel violence and common crime in southern Mexico announced Thursday they will bring charges ranging from organized crime to kidnapping and extortion against 50 men and three women who they have been holding prisoner at improvised jails.
Armed villagers set up armed patrols and roadblocks in the township of Ayutla a month ago to defend their communities against crime, saying authorities have failed to bring peace and safety to the Pacific coast state of Guerrero. So far, the state government has tolerated but not formally recognized the self-defense squads.
Vienna : Iran says it will speed up its nuclear program
In a defiant move ahead of nuclear talks, Iran has announced plans to vastly increase its pace of uranium enrichment, which can make both reactor fuel and the fissile core of warheads. Eager to avoid scuttling those negotiations, world powers are keeping their response low-key.
Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency of its intentions last week, and the IAEA informed member nations in an internal note seen by The Associated Press on Thursday.
It gave no timeframe. A senior diplomat familiar with the issue said work had not started, adding that it would take weeks, if not months, to have the new machines running once technicians started putting them in. He demanded anonymity because he was not authorized to divulge confidential information.
Caracas, Venezuela : Group: Deaths at 591 in Venezuela prisons
Venezuela's latest bloody prison clash came after a year in which 591 inmates were killed in the country's troubled prisons, the deadliest toll yet during President Hugo Chavez's 14-year government, a watchdog group said Thursday.
The Venezuelan Prisons Observatory released last year's death toll nearly a week after violence erupted at Uribana prison in the western city of Barquisimeto. The government said 58 people were killed on Friday when armed inmates clashed with National Guard troops who were attempting to carry out an inspection. Nearly all of those killed were prisoners.
The number of deaths in prison riots and other violence in 2012 was up about 5 percent from the previous year, and up about 24 percent over the number killed in 2010.
Brussels : Protecting Europe bees causes stinging dissent
An attempt to protect Europe's bee population has kicked up a hornets' nest.
On Thursday, the EU's commissioner for health and consumer policy, Tonio Borg, proposed to restrict the use of three pesticides - called neonicotinoids - to crops to which bees are not attracted.
The three pesticides were clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam; the crops from which they would be banned include sunflowers, rapeseed, cotton and maize. The policy would take effect July 1 for the EU's 27 nations and be reviewed after two years.
But while environmentalists welcomed Borg's proposal as an important first step, Borg's spokesman, Frederic Vincent, confirmed that some countries reacted unenthusiastically, preferring further study to immediate action.
Beekeepers have reported an unusual decline in bees over the past decade, particularly in Western Europe, the European Food Safety Authority says. Bees are critically important to the environment, sustaining biodiversity by providing pollination for a wide range of crops and wild plants - including most of the food crops in Europe, it says.
Reykjavik, Iceland : What's in a name reaches resolution in Iceland
A 15-year-old Icelandic girl has been granted the right to legally use the name given to her by her mother, despite the opposition of authorities and Iceland's strict law on names.
Reykjavik District Court ruled Thursday that the name "Blaer" can be used. It means "light breeze."
The decision overturns an earlier rejection by Icelandic authorities who declared it was not a proper feminine name. Until now, Blaer Bjarkardottir had been identified simply as "Girl" in communications with officials.
"I'm very happy," she said after the ruling. "I'm glad this is over. Finally I'll have the name Blaer in my passport."
Masked members of the community of Ayutla escort a detained person to a community assembly in the town of El Meson, Mexico, on Thursday. CHRISTIAN PALMA/Associated Press