In brief: Authorities nab alleged Colombian drug lord
Buenos Aires, Argentina – Colombia’s most-wanted reputed drug trafficker was arrested outside a restaurant in suburban Buenos Aires after Colombian police spent months chasing him around South America.
Carrying false passports from five countries and posing as a Venezuelan businessman, Henry de Jesus Lopez, aka “Mi Sangre,” or “My Blood,” was finally captured Tuesday night. He is accused of shipping tons of cocaine to the United States through Central America.
Lopez, 41, ran the “Urabenos” gang based in northern Colombia after rising through the ranks of right-wing paramilitary groups that doubled as drug trafficking operations, authorities said.
Clinton lays out plan to aid Syrian opposition fighters
Washington – The Obama administration and allies have begun a new effort to reshape the Syrian opposition to give a bigger role to frontline fighters, a smaller one to Syrian exiles, and to exclude entirely the Islamist radicals who have flocked to the war against the government of President Bashar Assad, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters in Croatia, Clinton said the U.S. and allies hope to take a major step in forming a future leadership of Syria at an Arab League-sponsored meeting in Qatar next week that will include a range of Syrian representatives, as well as U.S., European and Arab officials.
The new opposition leadership must include “a representation of those who are on the front lines, fighting and dying today to obtain their freedom,” she said in an appearance with Croatian President Ivo Josipovic.
“This cannot be an opposition represented by people who have many good attributes but have, in many instances, not been inside Syria for 20, 30 or 40 years,” she said in a reference to the Paris-based Syrian National Council.
Chinese think tank suggests ending one-child policy
Beijing – A government think tank is urging Chinese leaders to start phasing out China’s one-child policy immediately and allow two children for every family by 2015, a daring proposal to do away with the unpopular policy.
Some demographers see the timeline put forward by the China Development Research Foundation as a bold move by the body close to the central leadership. Others warn that the gradual approach, if implemented, would still be insufficient to help correct the problems that China’s strict birth limits have created.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the foundation recommends a two-child policy in some provinces from this year and a nationwide two-child policy by 2015. It proposes all birth limits be dropped by 2020, Xinhua reported.
But it remains unclear whether Chinese leaders are ready to take up the recommendations. China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission had no immediate comment on the report Wednesday.