- - Wednesday, March 9, 2011

MOROCCO

King announces constitutional reforms

RABAT | King Mohamed announced constitutional reforms Wednesday and appointed a committee to draw up proposals to be presented by June.

The king, in a televised address, said the reform would include plans for an independent judiciary, a stronger role for political parties and a program to give more powers to local officials.


The draft constitution will be submitted to a referendum, he added.

RUSSIA

Biden: Russia WTO bid is top priority

GORKY | Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has told Russia’s president that bringing the country into the World Trade Organization is a top priority for Washington.

Mr. Biden was meeting Wednesday with President Dmitry Medvedev on a trip focusing largely on economic issues.

The Obama administration regards integrating Russia into the world economy as key to its development and stability, and that has moved some traditional hot-button issues such as human rights to a lower priority.

MEXICO

Police arrest suspect linked to agent’s death

MEXICO CITY | Federal police arrested another drug cartel suspect linked to last month’s attack in Mexico that killed one U.S. agent and wounded another, authorities said Wednesday.

Mario Jimenez Perez, 41, alias “El Mayito,” oversaw finances for the Zetas cartel in the northern state of San Luis Potosi, the Public Safety Department said in a statement.

Police said he ran payroll for cartel assassins, managed income from drug sales and acquired properties and communications equipment for the gang.

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