April 1, 2014 in Nation/World

In brief: Mexico: Drug cartel leader killed in battle

From Wire Reports
 

MEXICO CITY – Mexican officials say a leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel has been killed.

The officials said Enrique Plancarte died Monday in a clash with marines in the central state of Queretaro, but they wouldn’t give other details. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Plancarte was considered one of four leaders of the Knights Templar cartel, which is based in Michoacan state. The gang has been chased out of many Michoacan towns by vigilante groups that have demanded authorities go after the gang’s leaders.

In recent weeks, Mexican security forces have killed the gang’s top capo, Nazario Moreno, and arrested Plancarte’s uncle and Templar’s leader Dionisio Plancarte. Another leader, Servando Gomez, known as “La Tuta,” remains at large.

Ex-premier convicted in bribery scandal

JERUSALEM – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was convicted Monday of accepting bribes in a case called one of the nation’s largest corruption scandals, ending an intense two-year trial and most likely his political career.

Tel Aviv District Court convicted Olmert and nine other defendants of accepting or taking bribes. Three other people were acquitted.

Olmert was acquitted of two counts of bribery but convicted of two others, one involving approximately $140,000 in a series of postdated checks given to his financially distressed brother, Yossi Olmert, by a third person who turned into a state witness and later died during the trial.

Ehud Olmert is the first prime minister to be convicted and quite probably face jail time, although he joins the growing list of former Israeli politicians convicted of crimes that include financial corruption and rape.

‘Unprecedented’ Ebola epidemic looms

CONAKRY, Guinea – Health authorities in Guinea are facing an “unprecedented epidemic” of Ebola, an international aid group warned Monday as the death toll from the disease that causes severe bleeding reached 78.

The Ebola outbreak is the first of its kind in West Africa in two decades. Authorities in neighboring Senegal have closed the land border with Guinea. Liberia, another neighboring country, has confirmed two cases, one of them fatal.

The emergence of Ebola in Guinea poses challenges never seen in previous outbreaks that involved “more remote locations as opposed to urban areas,” Doctors Without Borders said. Ebola has struck down people in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, as well as in its rural south.


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