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RUSSIA

Tajiks deported amid diplomatic row

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — Russia began deporting Tajik migrants on Tuesday, the first in a wave of expulsions in apparent retaliation for the jailing of a Russian pilot in the Central Asian nation, officials in Tajikistan said.

The spat threatens to imperil the livelihood of thousands of Tajik laborers and stir discontent in a country struggling to protect its border with Afghanistan.

The former Soviet republic’s economy relies heavily on the remittances provided by the many hundreds of thousands of Tajiks working in Russia.

Over the past year, Moscow has been attempting to strong-arm Tajikistan into permitting Russian border troops to resume patrols of the rugged 840-mile frontier with Afghanistan.

Tajik authorities have responded testily to such overtures, which they view as an attempt by the Kremlin to dilute their country’s sovereignty.

Russia, meanwhile, grumbles that Tajik troops are not up to stemming the huge flow of heroin streaming north from Afghanistan.

PHILIPPINES

Ex-president stopped from leaving Philippines

MANILA — The Philippine government blocked former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband from leaving the country on Tuesday and said it will appeal a Supreme Court order that gave permission for them to travel abroad for medical treatment of a bone disorder caused by hypoparathyroidism.

Accompanied by her husband and son, Mrs. Arroyo arrived at the Manila airport in an ambulance and was wheeled into a departure hall wearing a face mask and a neck brace.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the former first couple, being investigated for alleged corruption and electoral cheating, would be treated with dignity but “we will be firm in our decision not to allow them to leave the country.”

MEXICO

Authorities arrest drug cartel leader

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