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In brief: New claim made in consulate killing

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico – Mexican authorities said Friday that the leader of a street gang had confessed to ordering the killing of an American employee of the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez because she was allegedly providing visas to his rivals.

In a statement Friday, officials from Mexico’s public security office in Mexico City said Jesus Ernesto Chavez “ordered the homicide of the people associated with the U.S. Consulate” and “was in charge of logistics and providing weapons for the group of hitmen.”

But U.S. authorities expressed doubts about the claim, and the victims’ family members in El Paso, Texas, said they stand by what they’ve said from the beginning: They have no reason to believe that the consulate employee and her husband were targeted because of their work.

U.S. officials insisted their ongoing investigation into the March killing of Lesley A. Enriquez, 35, and her husband, Arthur H. Redelfs, indicates it was a case of mistaken identity.

Previously, U.S. Embassy officials have said that Enriquez was never in a position to provide visas and worked in a section that provided basic services to U.S. citizens in Mexico.

Russian craft misses space dock

Moscow – An unmanned Russian space capsule carrying supplies to the International Space Station failed in a docking attempt, Russian Mission Control and NASA said Friday.

The Progress space capsule is carrying more than 2 tons of food, water and other supplies for the orbiting laboratory. Three Russian and three U.S. astronauts compose the current crew.

None of the supplies was deemed necessary for the station’s immediate survival and the outpost is well supplied, said NASA flight commentator Rob Navias.

The spokesman for Russian Mission Control outside Moscow, Valery Lyndin, said only that the failure was due to an unspecified technical problem.

NASA said the failure was due to an antenna problem.

NASA spokeswoman Brandi Dean said the unmanned cargo ship is still in control. It missed the station by about 1.9 miles; an hour later the cargo ship was four miles ahead of the space station but in the same orbit, she said.

Another docking attempt was likely to be tried Sunday, said Vitaly Davydov, deputy director of the Russian space agency.


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