Panama seizes North Korean ship carrying weapons

Vessel’s captain attempted suicide after it was stopped near the Panama Canal and undeclared weapons were found on board

Panama has detained a North Korean-flagged ship coming from Cuba as it approached the Panama Canal with undeclared weapons, President Ricardo Martinelli said.

The weapons, hidden in containers of brown sugar, were detected after Panamanian authorities stopped the ship, suspecting it was carrying drugs. The vessel was pulled over near the port of Manzanillo on the Atlantic side of the canal.

“We’re going to keep unloading the ship and figure out exactly what was inside,” Martinelli told Panamanian television late on Monday, without giving further details.

Zetas drug cartel leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales captured in Mexico car raid

Boss known as ‘Z-40′ heads cartel behind some of the worst atrocities of the Central American country’s drug war, leaving hundreds of bodies beheaded on roadsides or hanging from bridges

The notoriously brutal leader of the feared Zetas drug cartel has been captured in a dramatic dawn raid, in what is being heralded as the first major blow against an organized crime leader by a Mexican administration struggling to reduce high levels of violence, officials announced.

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales was apprehended by Mexican Marines who intercepted a pickup truck loaded with $2 million in cash outside the border city of Nuevo Laredo, which has long served as the Zetas’ base of operations. The truck was halted by a Marine helicopter and Trevino Morales was taken into custody along with a bodyguard, an accountant and eight guns, government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez told reporters.

Mariano Rajoy fights for political life as Spanish corruption allegations snowball

Prime minister denies accusations party got payments under the counter

Guy Hedgecoe

 Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has dismissed as malicious rumour corruption allegations that have snowballed in recent days and left him battling to save his political life.

Mr Rajoy’s conservative Partido Popular (PP) has been rocked by accusations that he and colleagues received under- the-table payments from a long-standing party fund that was financed by corporate donations. The content of notebooks belonging to former PP treasurer Luis Bárcenas that detail the alleged payments and donations have been published in national newspapers since January.

But in recent days new damaging evidence has been unveiled. And on Sunday El Mundopublished the content of text messages of support Mr Rajoy sent to Mr Bárcenas, who is currently in prison on fraud charges.

Justice for mother of child rape victim in China

July 16, 2013

Beijing: A Chinese court awarded damages to the mother of a rape victim after she was sent to a labour camp for demanding her daughter’s attackers be punished, a spokesman said on Monday.

Tang Hui, who became a figurehead for critics of the “re-education through labour” system after she was condemned to 18 months in a camp, won a total of 2641 yuan ($471) following an appeal, a court spokesman surnamed Zhang said.

The court in Changsha, the capital of the central province of Hunan, awarded compensation on the grounds that local authorities had violated Ms Tang’s personal freedom and caused her “psychological damage”, Mr Zhang said.

Ghana deports thousands of illegal Chinese miners

16 JUL 2013 07:34GUARDIAN REPORTER

Thousands of Chinese nationals have been deported from Ghana in a crackdown on the plunder of the country’s gold by illegal miners.

Immigration authorities say more than 4 500 Chinese nationals have been repatriated after a series of swoops on illegal goldmines.

The Guardian has learned that Ghana’s government, which depends heavily on China for billions of dollars in loans and as its major trading partner, believes Beijing may be retaliating, damaging relations between the two countries.

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“Of late we have seen a tightening of the visa regime at the Chinese embassy for Ghanaians.

We don’t know whether this is a manifestation of our actions to deport illegal Chinese goldminers,” said Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Ghana’s minister of lands and mines.

A different worry in the Mideast: ‘Have you seen my sheep?’

I could understand the toothless Bedu lady’s concern. Three lost sheep meant the ovine equivalent of up to $600 lost among the rocky crags of this central Lebanon wilderness.

By Correspondent

JABAL SANNINE, LEBANON

The Middle East may be roiled by civil wars, sectarian violence, revolutions, and counter-revolutions, but for some people there are more important developments to worry about.

“Have you seen my sheep?” an elderly toothless woman asked me while I was out hiking recently. “I’ve lost three of them,” she said, holding up three calloused fingers in emphasis.

This unexpected encounter occurred in the barren mountain wilderness of central Lebanon, a forbidding sun-scorched rocky terrain pitted with deep cone-shaped sink holes and broken outcrops of limestone. There was not another person for miles around. Then I spotted a tiny black speck moving against the sepia-hued landscape. As I drew near I realized that the figure in a voluminous black dress and headscarf was a Bedu woman.