In brief: Cruises drop Mazatlan stop
Mexico City – Some cruise ship companies are canceling stops in the Mexican Pacific port of Mazatlan and others are considering it due to crime against tourists.
Disney Wonder has dropped calls to Mazatlan from its seven-night Mexican Riviera tour and replaced them with an additional stop in Cabo San Lucas on the Baja California peninsula.
Holland America Line replaced a Jan. 26 Mazatlan port call with one in the Pacific port of Manzanillo.
“The revision to the itinerary was made in response to recent incidents of violence in Mazatlan,” the company said in a statement.
Carnival Cruise spokesman Tim Gallagher said the company is deciding whether its ship the Spirit will make a Feb. 2 stop in Mazatlan.
Palestinians held in fatal stabbing
Jerusalem – Israeli police arrested four Palestinian men Wednesday and charged them with a December stabbing that claimed the life of American tourist Kristine Luken.
Israeli police alleged that the men were part of a larger cell that planned and carried out several attacks on hikers in the hills around Jerusalem and the West Bank. Police said the motive was to avenge the assassination of a top Hamas militant, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, in Dubai last January.
In the most recent attack, Virginia resident Luken, 44, was stabbed to death while she was hiking in a forest outside Jerusalem. Her friend, Kaye Susan Wilson, 46, a British emigre to Israel, also was stabbed but managed to escape.
Karzai swears in new parliament
Kabul, Afghanistan – President Hamid Karzai criticized the international community Wednesday for meddling in Afghanistan’s elections as he reluctantly swore in a new parliament.
Having barely averted a standoff with lawmakers that threatened to turn into a constitutional crisis, Karzai reminded them that ongoing vote fraud investigations mean many of their seats are still uncertain.
Karzai has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the parliament since results were certified in November. Most notably, he backed a disputed tribunal that has renewed investigations into electoral misconduct long after an official anti-fraud panel backed by international advisers completed its own probe.