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More violence in drug war

MEXICO CITY -- The bodies of 23 people were found hanging from a bridge or decapitated and dumped near city hall Friday in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, where drug cartels are fighting a bloody and escalating turf war.

Authorities found nine of the victims, including four women, hanging from an overpass leading to a main highway, said a Tamaulipas state official. Hours later, police found 14 human heads inside coolers outside city hall along with a threatening note.

The official didn't release the contents of the note. But the city across the border from Laredo, Texas has recently been torn by a renewed turf war between the Zetas cartel, a gang of former Mexican special-forces soldiers, and the powerful Sinaloa cartel, which has joined forces with the Gulf cartel, former allies of the Zetas.

New bid for oil pipeline

CALGARY -- TransCanada is taking another crack at winning a permit to build its controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline after the Obama administration nixed an earlier iteration -- a development that has opponents gearing up for another fight.

The Calgary-based company said Friday it has filed a new application with the U.S. State Department for a segment of pipe between the Canada-U.S. border and Steele City, Neb.

The proposal, loathed by environmentalists for the oilsands crude it would carry and the danger of a spill in the American heartland, has been dealt numerous setbacks since the process began around four years ago.

Soldier killed during Skype

HOUSTON -- The wife of a U.S. Army officer serving in Afghanistan witnessed her husband's death as the two video chatted via Skype, his family said Friday.

The circumstances of Capt. Bruce Kevin Clark's death were not immediately available. The Pentagon said it was under investigation.

"We are entrusting the military with investigating and with finding out what happened to Capt. Clark," his brother-in-law, Bradley Taber-Thomas, told The Associated Press.

Taber-Thomas said Clark, 43, died Monday while talking to his wife during one of their sessions. At the time of the incident, the family was hoping for a rescue and miracle, but later learned that it was not to be," he said.

Suicide attack kills 20

KHAR, Pakistan -- A teenager blew himself up near a Pakistani market close to the Afghan border Friday, killing 20 people, officials said. The suicide bombing came a day after the U.S. released letters seized from Osama bin Laden's compound that criticized Pakistani militants for killing too many civilians.

Five of the dead in the blast in the northwestern Bajur tribal area were local members of the security forces, including one who had received an award for bravery in fighting Islamist militants, government administrator Abdul Haseeb said. The others were passersby, including a woman and several schoolchildren.

9/11 trial returns to Gitmo

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba -- The man who once bragged about planning Sept. 11 "from A to Z" may mount a defence after all to charges that he orchestrated the worst terror attack in U.S. history, with families of the dead watching intently from the U.S. on closed-circuit TV.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, charged with four others with planning and helping to carry out the 2001 terror attack that sent hijacked jetliners into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, will be arraigned today at the U.S. military base in Cuba.

Mohammed had previously mocked the military tribunal and said he would welcome the death penalty. His co-defendant, Ramzi Binalshibh, also told the court he was proud of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Jim Harrington, Binalshibh's lawyer, said the defendants are expected to fight the charges.

Death spurs film renaming

LOS ANGELES -- Neighbourhood Watch will now be known as just The Watch.

Fox said Friday the name of the film starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn as neighbourhood watch volunteers who uncover an extraterrestrial plot was changed in light of the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Florida.

Fox previously pulled early promotional materials for the movie because of the Trayvon Martin case.

Martin was fatally shot by neighbourhood watch captain George Zimmerman on Feb. 26, causing a national controversy.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 5, 2012 A26

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