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Crack addicts rounded up after slum takeovers
RIO DE JANEIRO — Days after police stormed one of Rio de Janeiro’s most dangerous shantytowns to seize back territory long held by a powerful drug-dealing organization, city health and welfare workers are working to ease the despair and devastation left behind among hundreds of crack-cocaine addicts suddenly without drugs.
Since Sunday, when more than 2,000 heavily armed officers stormed into the Manguinhos and Jacarezinho complexes, crews working with police support by Wednesday had rounded up 231 crack users, and an additional 67 who had migrated elsewhere looking for the drug.
The area had been Rio’s biggest open-air crack market, where hundreds of users bought the drug, consumed it and lingered in shacks and on blankets, picking through trash for recyclables to sell so they could buy more.
Drug dealers tired of the hassle posed by the addicts and by incursions of city health and welfare workers earlier this year banned crack in Mandela, one of the slums.
Police now have taken over the entire complex housing about 70,000 people as part of a state program to make Rio safer before the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
Journalists strike over government controls
TUNIS — Tunisia’s journalists held a daylong strike on Wednesday to protest what they call government interference in the birthplace of last year’s Arab Spring protests.
Several hundred journalists gathered outside union headquarters in the capital of Tunis, chanting for freedom of the press. Newspapers did not appear, and television and radio news programs restricted themselves to the headlines.
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