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MONTERREY — The Nuevo Leon state governor said he is investigating possible corruption by the Monterrey mayor’s brother, who was videotaped receiving wads of cash inside a gambling hall days before a casino fire killed 52 people.

Gov. Rodrigo Medina said the images released by the newspaper Reforma are “overwhelming.”

He announced the investigation Wednesday along with proposals to prevent new casinos in the northern Mexico state and to better regulate existing ones.

Gunmen entered the Casino Royale in Monterrey on Thursday, spread gasoline and set the building on fire, trapping and asphyxiating dozens in what’s believed to be a case of extortion.

The five arrested so far confessed to being part of the Zetas drug cartel.

SYRIA

Security forces carry out raids, arrests

BEIRUT — Syrian security forces searching for anti-government protesters raided houses in central Syria and made arrests, activists and residents said Wednesday.

The troops, backed by tanks and military vehicles, entered districts in Homs and Hama as part of efforts to crush five months of street protests against President Bashar Assad.

Wednesday’s raids come a day after security forces killed seven people as thousands of protesters poured out of mosques and marched through cemeteries at the start of Eid al-Fitr, a holiday when Muslims traditionally visit graves and pray for the dead.

AUSTRALIA

Court voids refugee deal with Malaysia

CANBERRA — Australia’s highest court Wednesday voided a transfer of asylum seekers to Malaysia, ruling the government’s attempt to stem an influx of boat people from poor, war-torn countries could not assure their legal rights would be protected.

The High Court ruled 6-1 to make permanent an injunction that has prevented Australia from transferring 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia in return for Malaysia sending 4,000 registered refugees for resettlement. The ruling cannot be appealed, but the government said it was considering its options.

Government lawyers had argued in court that Australia could lawfully declare Malaysia a safe third country to process refugee claims even though it had no domestic or international legal obligations to protect refugees.

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