- - Thursday, April 7, 2011

MEXICO

Cops checking abductions find grave with 59 bodies

MEXICO CITY | Mexican security forces searching for abducted bus passengers in a violent northern state bordering Texas have stumbled on a collection of pits holding a total of 59 bodies. Authorities said the first victims to be identified are Mexicans, not migrants from other countries headed to the U.S.

Investigators made the grisly find early Wednesday near the ranch where drug cartel gunmen less than a year ago massacred 72 migrants from Central and South America.

Tamaulipas state investigators and federal authorities went to the site about 80 miles south of the border at Brownsville, Texas, to investigate reports that gunmen had begun stopping buses and pulling off some passengers in the area.



The first report came March 25 from a woman in the border city of Matamoros whose husband failed to arrive from the northern state of San Luis Potosi, said Tamaulipas state Interior Secretary Morelos Canseco. There were reports of at least two other buses stopped since then, he said.

LEBANON

Retiring premier slams Iran for ‘intervention’

BEIRUT | Outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Thursday criticized what he called Iran’s “flagrant intervention” in internal Lebanese and Arab affairs.

Mr. Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, delivered his harshest criticism yet of Shiite-majority Iran, which backs Mr. Hariri’s rival, Shiite Hezbollah terrorists.

Hezbollah and its allies toppled Mr. Hariri’s Western-backed government in January when their ministers walked out. They then gained enough support in parliament to name their own candidate as prime minister-designate.

SPAIN

Cuban sends political prisoners to Madrid

MADRID | Thirty-seven former Cuban political prisoners and some 200 of their relatives are being brought to Madrid, the largest group yet to arrive since the two countries agreed to such transfers, a Foreign Ministry official said Thursday.

A plane from Havana chartered by Spain will arrive Friday in the Spanish capital with political prisoners who were freed this week.

Under an agreement between Cuban President Raul Castro and Havana Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Cuba has gradually released a group of 75 dissidents rounded up in 2003. So far, Spain has accepted 40 of those dissidents.

BRAZIL

Gunman kills 13 at elementary school

RIO DE JANEIRO | A gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, leaving at least 13 people dead, including the shooter.

It was not clear whether the gunman, who is believed to be a former student at the school, shot himself or was killed by police.

At least 20 people, including children, were wounded in the shooting at the school for students ages 10 to 15, an official said.

AUSTRIA

Baker apologizes for swastika cakes

VIENNA | Austrian pastry shop owner apologized Thursday for baking cakes decorated with swastikas and other Nazi symbols but insisted he was not glorifying Hitler.

Manfred Klaschka came under fire Tuesday when a Holocaust awareness group, the Mauthausen Committee, urged authorities to prosecute him.

Mr. Klaschka told the Kurier newspaper that he has nothing to do with Hitler. He said he is “absolutely not” a racist and is currently working on a cake for Turkish clients.

Police said they are investigating the case.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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