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Anti-Drug Leader Slain in Honduras

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by Matt Carlson

Gen. Julian Gonzalez, director of the Office for Combatting Drug Trafficking was killed on Tuesday according to a national spokesman, reported by CNN.

The shooting took place in Honduras' capital, Tegucigalpa.  Gonzalez was traveling alone without a typical entourage of bodyguards to drop off his daughter at school, according to CNN.

He was shot six to nine times and died on the scene.  The shooters rode on one motorcycle and it seems they waited until his daughter was dropped off and took the first opportunity as Gonzalez stopped in traffic.

It's one of the highest murder rates in the region, according to the BBC.  Honduras is tangled in a political mess at the moment, but the shooting has been deemed unrelated to political tension, according to the CNN article.

Although others some say the shaky political situation could create an atmosphere can prosper, according to the CNN.


Russian Night Club Fire Claims Over 100


by Matt Carlson

A night club fire in Perm, Russia has killed at least 103 people late Friday, according to MSNBC.

The fire occurred at the popular Lame Horse night club where the club's eighth anniversary was being celebrated.  Besides the 109 dead, as reported by the Sunday Times, an additional 134 people were injured, many were in critical condition.

Fear of terror attacks were put out by Vladimir Markin, a Russian government spokesman, who said there was no suspicion of terrorist involvement.  According to MSNBC, Russia's Federal Security Service had found no evidence of a  bomb in the wreckage.

The terror fears stem from an attack on Russia's Nevsky Express passenger train which was bombed last week, killing 27 and injuring 100.  Chechen rebels have since claimed responsibility for that attack, according to MSNBC.

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has declared a day of mourning for the victims.  He also said the people responsible for the club fires should be severely punished.

According to the Times, a criminal investigation has begun in regard to safety violations made by the nightclub's owners.  One of the  owners has been arrested.

Death toll could rise to 50 in Italy mudslides

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by Matt Carlson

Mudslides in Sicily have killed 21 people so far, Italian Civil Protection said on Saturday.

The number of dead, however, could rise to at least 50 as 30 people are still unaccounted for after mudslides hit the area two day ago, according to CNN.

Officials acknowledged "that deforestation and unregulated development -- a widespread practice in Sicily and other parts of southern Italy -- had weakened the soil and contributed to the mudslides from Messina's surrounding hills and cliffs" in Italy's deadliest mudslide since 1998.  Italian newspapers said no improvements have been made to the area where landslides struck two years ago, injuring no one.

Searches continued Saturday to find the 30 some missing people, according to the Associated Press.

Turkey plans to acquire missiles, citing self-defense

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by Matt Carlson
Turkey is set on acquiring $1 billion worth of surface-to-air missiles for self-defense purposes including deals with the United States, others, CNN reports.

Although Turkey is situated next to Iran, an American considered hot-spot for nuclear activity, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the missile project is solely for Turkish homeland defense and not a reaction to any other country, according to China View news. 

There has been some confusion as to exactly how many missiles Turkey is looking to obtain, ranging from $1 billion to $7.8 billion worth. The US is the leading candidate to supply Turkey with Patriot missiles, however, Turkish officials deny any link between a US-backed missile defense program against Iran, according to CNN.

The Turkish government wishes to maintain neutrality, even though they are a part of NATO.  The acquisition of a missile defense system was said to be "part of a larger, long-term program to modernize the country's military," according to Turkish military officials.

The contract for Turkey's new missile defense program is open to military contractors until Oct. 13.

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