Obama administration-backed Mexican troops opened fire this week on a group of civilians seeking to keep their weapons and rein in ruthless government-linked drug cartels, which have terrorized their communities in the state of Michoacán. The attack sparked an international outcry for the citizens, who have suffered non-stop brutality at the hands of both government officials and criminal syndicates. News reports, some of which conflict with each other, suggest that around a dozen people were shot and at least four were killed in the massacre, including an 11-year-old girl. A Mexican paper reported that a dozen civilians died in the clash.

 

 

For over a decade, under multiple administrations, the U.S. government had a secret agreement with the ruthless Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed it to operate with impunity, an in-depth investigation by a leading Mexican newspaper confirmed this week. In exchange for information and assistance in quashing competing criminal syndicates, the Bush and Obama administrations let the Sinaloa cartel import tons of drugs into the United States while wiping out Sinaloa competitors and ensuring that its leaders would not be prosecuted for their long list of major crimes. Other revelations also point strongly to massive but clandestine U.S. government involvement in drug trafficking.    

Former Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon, who died on January 11 after spending eight years in a coma following a major stroke in 2006, was laid to rest on January 13. Sharon’s funeral ceremonies began Monday morning with an official ceremony at the Knesset, where the late prime minister’s body lay in state on Sunday. Among those delivering speeches at the ceremony were Israel’s  President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Israel’s housing ministry published plans on January 10 to build 1,400 new housing units in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In response to the announcement, Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said, “Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sent a message to Mr. Kerry today, and the message reads: Do not continue your peace efforts.... They know very well that this destroys the peace process.”

Communist veterans in Croatia — as throughout much of Eastern Europe — continue to rule the newest member of the European Union, belying the claims that communism has collapsed and died. 

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