In brief: Honduran president orders main prison militarized
Tegucigalpa, Honduras – Honduran President Porfirio Lobo ordered the militarization of the country’s main prison on Saturday after a clash there left at least three gang members dead and 12 people injured, including three guards.
The aim of the measure, which involves putting soldiers in charge of the prison’s security, is to “end the reign of criminals in our prison system, which has done so much damage to our society,” Lobo said in a statement.
Police spokesman Miguel Martinez said members of the “Barrio 18” gang fought with other inmates in Honduras’ National Penitentiary, which houses 3,351 inmates.
A police official said the fighting began when an inmate aimed a gun at a gang member from his cell. This caused other gang members to pull out guns, including at least two AK-47s.
Rome bans cars, motor scooters on street leading to Colosseum
Rome – In a bid to protect its ancient glories from modern perils, Rome is banning cars and motor scooters from the boulevard that slices through the city’s ancient forums toward the Colosseum.
Traffic police started enforcing the new restrictions at dawn Saturday, diverting private cars and motor scooters to side streets, so they will no longer clog the Via dei Fori Imperiali. Only buses, taxis, bicycles and pedestrians will be allowed on that boulevard.
Mayor Ignazio Marino announced the ban shortly after his election in May. He says the ban will stop the Colosseum from being a traffic “roundabout” and reduce pollution.
Costa Rica plans to close both of the country’s public zoos
San Jose, Costa Rica – Costa Rican officials say they plan to close both of the country’s public zoos next year so that animals can be freed from their cages. But the foundation that runs the animal parks said Saturday it is trying to keep them operating.
Environment Minister Rene Castro announced in recent days that the 97-year-old Simon Bolivar zoo in central San Jose will become a botanical park next year. Another zoo west of the city, the Santa Ana Conservation Center, also would close. Together they hold 400 animals of 60 species, including a lion, crocodiles, monkeys and a tapir.
The Environment Ministry said the animals would be released into the wild or sent to rescue centers.