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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Alleged drug cartel leader arrested in Mexico

From Wire Reports

MEXICO CITY – Military special forces grabbed alleged cartel leader Hector Beltran Leyva during a lightning raid at a restaurant Wednesday.

Officials said the purported head of the Beltran Leyva drug gang was captured inside a seafood eatery in the city of San Miguel de Allende, a popular enclave for foreigners and artists in the central state of Guanajuato.

No shots were fired in the brief operation, which culminated an 11-month investigation, federal criminal investigations chief Tomas Zeron said at an evening news conference.

Mexican authorities said Hector Beltran Leyva, 49, assumed leadership of the Beltran Leyva cartel after his brother Arturo was killed by Mexican troops in a shootout in late 2009.

Pro-Russian rebels advance on airport

DONETSK, Ukraine – Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine advanced Wednesday on the government-held airport in Donetsk, pressing to seize the key transportation hub even as the two sides bargained over a troop pullout under a much-violated truce.

Fighting for the airport has raged for months as the insurgents have tried to dislodge the government forces using it to shell rebel positions in Donetsk, the largest rebel-held city. At least nine people were killed in the crossfire Wednesday in residential areas near the airport.

While the Donetsk airport building has been gutted by shelling, its long runway would let the rebels handle heavy cargo planes carrying supplies, instead of relying solely on truck convoys from Russia.

Sunken ship ID’d as HMS Erebus

TORONTO – Experts identified a shipwreck uncovered last month in the Arctic as the HMS Erebus, the ship British Rear Adm. Sir John Franklin was likely sailing on when it vanished along with another vessel 170 years ago, Canada’s prime minister announced Wednesday.

Experts believed the shipwreck was either the HMS Erebus or the HMS Terror, both of which sailed under the command of Franklin on an unsuccessful search for the Northwest Passage.

Stephen Harper said in Parliament that experts have identified the wreck as the HMS Erebus, which Franklin was believed to have been aboard and perhaps died on.

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