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In brief: Report: Poverty on rise in Mexico

Sat., July 30, 2011, midnight

Mexico City – Mexico received more bad economic news Friday with a report that shows poverty is steadily on the rise.

The number of Mexicans living in poverty grew to 52 million in 2010, up by more than 3 million people from two years earlier, the new report said. That means 46.2 percent of the population lives in poverty.

Within that group, 11.7 million people live in extreme poverty.

The report was produced by the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy, an autonomous but federally financed agency, and represents the state’s most comprehensive study of poverty to date.

Pakistani Taliban on embargo list

United Nations – The U.N. announced Friday it has added the Pakistani Taliban to its terrorism blacklist, subjecting it to an asset freeze and arms embargo in a move supported by the United States, Britain and the Pakistani government.

Pakistani Taliban militants have declared war against the Pakistani state and its security establishment and have often targeted government officials and security forces in their quest to topple the U.S.-allied government. The group also claimed responsibility for last year’s failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square.

The Pakistani Taliban is a loose federation of tribal and regional factions which maintains strongholds along the country’s northwestern tribal belt, where the militants are also believed to be providing safe havens for senior al-Qaida leaders. Its original leader, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in an Aug. 5, 2009, CIA missile strike in northwestern Pakistan and was replaced by his military chief, Hakimullah Mehsud.

Chavez courts middle class

Caracas, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made an abrupt political shift Friday, urging his socialist movement to reach out to the middle class and small-business owners.

Chavez, whose signature red shirts have long been a symbol of his radicalism, also suggested his allies ought to be more moderate in their wardrobes.

“Why do we have to go around all the time wearing a red shirt?” Chavez asked in a telephone call broadcast on state television.

The president, who in the past has scolded some aides for not wearing the red often associated with leftist movements, chose a yellow shirt when he addressed supporters at his 57th birthday party Thursday.

Chavez, who is undergoing cancer treatment, appeared to be taking a more moderate stance to try to expand his support ahead of the presidential election in late 2012.


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