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World in brief: Cartel hitmen post help-wanted signs

Hitmen tied to Mexico’s Gulf cartel appear to be boldly seeking recruits by posting help-wanted signs in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, including a giant banner hung across a thoroughfare, a federal anti-drug enforcement official said Monday.

The banner appeared over the weekend in Nuevo Laredo near the border with Texas: “Operative group ‘The Zetas’ wants you, soldier or ex-soldier. We offer a good salary, food and benefits for your family. Don’t suffer anymore mistreatment and don’t go hungry.”

The Zetas is the enforcement arm of the Gulf cartel and is made up of former Mexican soldiers. Photos of the banner were displayed prominently in Mexico’s national media on Monday.

An official of the federal attorney general’s office told the Associated Press that authorities believe the banner is authentic.


Party role would boost Putin’s power

Vladimir Putin looks likely to accept the leadership of the dominant United Russia party today – a post that could further strengthen his position after he leaves the Kremlin to become prime minister.

Putin’s decision will be laced with potential repercussions for his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, whose authority could be undermined.

The possibility that Putin will lead United Russia evokes memories of the Soviet era, when the Communist Party chief held the real power and the formal head of state was little more than a figurehead.

Putin was barred from seeking a third straight presidential term.


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Iran says if U.S. exits deal, it likely will too

new  Iran’s top diplomat warned the Trump administration on Tuesday that a U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal would undermine talks with North Korea by proving that America reneges on its promises, telling the Associated Press that Iran would “most likely” abandon the deal as well.