In brief: Missile plans bring threat from Russia
MOSCOW – Russia may consider a pre-emptive strike on a missile defense system in Europe if the U.S.-led NATO project continues as planned, a top official said Thursday.
Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov, in a sign of the tension between Russia and the United States over the missile defense plans, said during an international conference that a strike by his country might be possible.
“A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Makarov said.
Alexander Vershbow, NATO’s deputy secretary-general and a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, said there was no desire to disturb global strategic stability with the planned missile defense system.
“Quite the contrary: NATO missile defense will be capable of intercepting only a small number of relatively unsophisticated ballistic missiles,” Vershbow said.
MEXICO CITY – Three photojournalists who covered the perilous crime beat in the violence-torn eastern Mexico state of Veracruz were found slain and dumped in plastic bags in a canal on Thursday, less than a week after a reporter for a newsmagazine was beaten and strangled in her home in the same state, officials said.
Press freedom groups said all three photographers had temporarily fled the state after receiving threats last year. The organizations called for immediate government action to halt a wave of attacks that has killed at least seven current and former journalists in Veracruz over the last 18 months.