Court authorizes Jerusalem wall
Jerusalem Israel’s Supreme Court has authorized the construction of the West Bank separation barrier through the yards of Palestinian homes in a crowded neighborhood on the edge of Jerusalem.
In its ruling Sunday, the court cited a “crucial security need” to build the barrier in the Dahiyat al-Barid neighborhood in northeastern Jerusalem.
Two previous decisions by the court ordered rerouting of other sections so the wall wouldn’t impose undue hardship on Palestinians or violate their human rights. The 425-mile barrier is 75 percent complete, and construction of about 10 percent of the remainder is under legal challenge.
Israel says the barrier, scheduled to be finished in 2006, is meant to keep out Palestinian attackers. But it also encompasses 8 percent of West Bank land, including major blocks of Jewish settlements, leading Palestinians to contend Israel is imposing a border.
In Mexico visit, Dean slams U.S. policy
Mexico City Howard Dean traveled south of the border to meet with Mexico’s presidential contenders Monday, and lashed out at the Bush administration’s policies on Mexico.
Dean, the Democratic National Committee chairman, claimed President Bush “turned his back on Mexico” after it refused to support the Iraq war.
The former Vermont governor told the Associated Press in an interview that “a strong Mexico and a strong Mexican economy fixes a lot of the problems between the two countries, particularly immigration and narcotics.”
“We ought to have a partnership with Mexico” Dean said. “President Bush has lost ground in the relationship.”
White House officials referred calls for comment to the Republican National Committee, which couldn’t immediately be reached.
Dutch arrest 45 in Hell’s Angels sweep
The Hague, Netherlands Police arrested 45 members of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang and seized an assortment of weapons during nationwide raids on the group’s clubhouses, prosecutors said Monday.
Pre-dawn raids were conducted simultaneously in six Dutch towns and cities and two sites across the border in Belgium following a yearlong investigation, prosecutors said.
Those arrested face charges of murder, extortion, intimidation and weapons and drug trafficking, prosecutors said. Among the items seized were a grenade launcher, a flame thrower, hand grenades, 20 handguns, a machine pistol and more than $80,000 in cash.
Prosecutors said the Hell’s Angels used violence, intimidation and extortion to prevent rival motorcycle clubs from opening clubhouses. Tattoo shop owners also have been threatened by the group, they said.
Some of the gang members were also accused of growing marijuana and trafficking in cocaine and Ecstasy.
Prosecutors said the investigation also dealt with the slaying of a drug dealer and the laundering of $400,000 in drug money last year.