November 6, 2007 in Nation/World

Police arrest 92 in child abuse ring

The Spokesman-Review
 

Police from across Europe have arrested 92 suspects linked to an alleged network that produced and sold child abuse videos to 2,500 customers around the world, authorities said Monday.

The videos were sold to clients in 19 countries including teachers, doctors and lawyers, prosecutors said.

Authorities said at least 23 mainly Ukranian girls, ages 9 to 16, were duped into performing sex acts with promises of lucrative modeling careers.

The 15-month investigation was triggered by an Australian police discovery in July 2006 of a video depicting a Belgian father raping his daughters, ages 9 and 11, said Menno Hagemeijer of the pan-European police organization Europol.

As of Monday morning, 92 suspects had been arrested, most of them in coordinated raids last month, and nine remained in custody.

BAGHDAD

Displaced Iraqis reach 2.3 million

Iraq’s displaced population has grown to 2.3 million people, the Iraqi Red Crescent Society said Monday.

The Red Crescent report said an additional 67,000 families left their homes in September, continuing a pattern that has multiplied the number of displaced persons more than fivefold this year.

About two-thirds of the total are children under 12, the Red Crescent said.

In a related report, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said shelling of Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq along the Turkish and Iranian borders has driven refugees into nearby cities.

SEOUL, South Korea

Koreas plan joint hog farm

North Korea and South Korea have decided to start a jointly operated hog farm in the North’s capital to help alleviate the communist nation’s chronic food shortages, a South Korean official said today.

The agreement came as a follow-up to a wide range of accords reached by the leaders of the two Koreas last month.

The farm will run for a two-year trial period in Pyongyang and aim to breed 5,000 hogs, with the South providing the animals, feed, equipment and building materials, and the North providing the land, electricity, water and labor.

MEXICO CITY

Bush lauds leader for cocaine seizure

President Bush called his Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderon on Monday to congratulate him for what Mexican authorities are calling the biggest single cocaine seizure ever: more than 26 tons found aboard a boat arriving from Colombia.

Mexican customs officials at the Pacific coast port of Manzanillo noticed shipping containers listed an improbable mix of contents for a ship leaving Colombia.

On Oct. 30, port officials and police searched the shipping containers with a special gamma-ray scanner and detected suspicious shapes inside. When they opened the containers, they found 21,116 wrapped packages of cocaine.

From wire reports


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