Eleven suspected pirates were being flown to the United States Thursday to stand trial in alleged attacks on U.S. naval vessels off the coast of Africa, officials said. The suspects were expected to appear in court in Norfolk, Va., for indictment as early as Friday morning, two U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the cases publicly.
Somali pirates have seized a Liberian-owned cargo ship with 21 Filipino crew members on board in the Gulf of Aden. According to the European Union's anti-piracy force, the 47,183-ton Panamanian-flagged vessel was seized by four Somali pirates carrying AK-47s and a rocket-propelled grenade, about 200 miles (300 kilometers) outside the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) patrolled by the anti-piracy naval force.
At the time of the attack, the cargo ship was heading west from Ruwais, UAE, making for the eastern rendezvous point of the IRTC for onward transit through the Suez Canal, a Press TV correspondent reported late on Wednesday.
The vessel is owned by Middleburg Properties Ltd, Liberia, and operated by the Greek company Samartzis Maritime Enterprises.
Posted by: Steve White ||
04/22/2010 09:00 ||
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Pro'lly a response to the recent news item about librarians getting frisky in the stacks.
Were they found in a topless bar?
MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Five headless bodies have been found in a rebel-held area of Somalia's capital, and residents said Wednesday they suspect the Islamist militant group al-Shabab killed the men because they had helped construct the parliament building. "We suspect they were executed by al-Shabab militants because they had in the past received phone threats accusing them of helping to construct the former Somali parliament premise," said a resident who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears for his safety.
Yemen warned Shiite rebels on Thursday against violating a truce and taking up arms against the government again, after leaflets were distributed calling for jihad, the interior ministry said. The ministry expressed concern over the leaflets distributed by Zaidi rebels calling for holy war, the ministry website said without giving details.
The rebels, also known as Huthis, distributed the leaflets after leaders met in the small town of Bart al-Anan in the northern province of Al-Jawf near to their strongholds in Saada, the ministry said.
Security services in Al-Jawf warned the Huthis from "playing with fire" and called on to them to commit to the "six-point truce" that led to the February 12 ceasefire after six months of fighting. The security services also would hold them responsible for the the "results of any such actions aimed at undermining security and stability in the province and obstructing efforts of the committees assigned to achieve peace."
Military intelligence early this year alerted the Navy to the threat of "human torpedo" attacks from North Korea, which was pledging revenge for its defeat in a sea skirmish in November last year, it emerged Wednesday.
"Human torpedoes" are underwater suicide squads who operate torpedoes equipped with a mini motor or engine to sneak up to a target and blow it up.
"Military authorities detected several signs showing that the North was preparing for revenge for its defeat in the sea skirmish in November last year," a government official said. "The North intensively trained military units for various means of attack, in particular human torpedoes."
The North is reportedly operating a brigade of suicide attack squads each in its East Sea and West Sea fleets. But it is still unclear whether the Navy corvette Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean human torpedo on March 26.
Navy ships charged with defending the maritime frontline in the West Sea were ordered to keep at speeds faster than 12 knots to guard against any retaliatory attack from the North, but the Cheonan was traveling at only six knots before it sank, the official added. "Despite the possibility of retaliatory attacks, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had deployed Navy ships on duty at the West Sea frontline including Baeknyeong, Yeonpyeong and Socheong islands, closer to the frontline than in the past."
Posted by: Steve White ||
04/22/2010 00:00 ||
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IIUC Kimmie waited from 11/2009 until CHINA sent a potent task force on high seas "Show the Flag/Dragon's Teeth" to order a "human torpedo" suicide attack agz the Cheonan???
* WORLD NEWS > NORTH KOREA DEMANDS "NUCLEAR WEAPONS STATE" STATUS, which the USA = POTUS BAmmer has repor rejected.
* SAME > SEOUL REJECTS REDEPLOYMENT OF US NUCLEAR WEAPONS, in face of Cheonan incident + dev DPRK nuclear threats. READ, NUKE SUMMIT 2012.
* TOPIX > NORTH KOREA: WE WILL PRODUCE AS MANY NUCLEAR WEAPONS AS NEEDED, to defend agz the US-Allied threat.
Wherefore goes NORTH KOREA's NUKES, so goes IRAN'S NUCPROGS and vicey verseys.
At least a 65 year old concept from the Japanese WWII...longer if one considers some of the covert ops of the 1st gen subs trying to place a mine on wooden ships, even further depending on how loose one wants to get with the definition of suicide mission.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has reportedly warned of unrest among North Koreans in the wake of a botched currency reform that wiped out many people's savings. In an unofficial meeting recently, he urged military and party leaders to pacify the people, according to Open Radio for North Korea, a defector-run radio station in Seoul, on Wednesday.
I think he means pacified the way Nicolae Ceauşescu wanted people pacified in late 1989. Soon after that he was the late Nicolae Ceauşescu. That's how pacification sometimes works.
Stalin was into pacification, too. I don't think Mao was, but Mao was not a subtle man.
At a meeting on Feb. 2 in which he received a briefing on the progress in the North's project to earn dollars, Kim said, "If the most important thing is single-minded unity under current circumstances, public sentiment is the very basis of such a unity," the radio quoted a high-level North Korean source as saying. "If this problem is solved, it will not be as difficult to earn foreign exchange as now," he reportedly added.
His remarks suggested he, in fact, admitted that he has difficulty raising his own funds and that the North Korean people are agitated. After he made the remarks in early February, rumors began circulating in North Korean markets that the food shortage would ease, it reported.
Food rationing resumed across the nation on Feb. 16. Security and administrative agencies have since overlooked all transactions in the markets. Probably due to this measure, rice price fell rapidly after hitting 1,300 won per kg on March 8. As of Monday it had dropped to 350 won.
Sources say the lives of North Koreans have stabilized "significantly," the radio station added.
Posted by: Steve White ||
04/22/2010 00:00 ||
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Pfft. Mao would have recruited the unrest by sending out student-cadres to organize public self-criticism rallies in which mid and low-level officials would have been forced to eat their own fingers. Then the remnants would have been put into communal cooking pots to up the protein content in the peasantry's diet.
Mao didn't screw around when it came to savagery.
Posted by: Mitch H. ||
04/22/2010 12:17 Comments ||
U.S. federal agents detained a passenger Thursday on a New York-bound jet from West Africa, with the jet's captain telling passengers the man was on a 'no-fly' list and ineligible for international travel for undisclosed security reasons.
Customs and Border Protection agents detained the man while the Delta Air Lines jet stopped to refuel in San Juan, Puerto Rico after an overnight trip from Dakar, Senegal. The flight originated in Nigeria, the native country of a man accused of boarding a Detroit-bound airplane from Amsterdam in December with a bomb hidden in his underwear.
Story's up now (9:50) on CNN:
(CNN) -- The first of three Navy SEALs accused of mishandling a suspect in the high-profile killings of contractors in Iraq was found not guilty at a court-martial Thursday.
A military jury cleared U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas of all charges, a military spokesman said.
Huertas and two other Navy SEALs -- Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe and Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe -- have been facing charges in connection with the assault of Iraqi detainee Ahmed Hashim Abed.
U.S. authorities accuse Abed of being the mastermind in the slayings and mutilation of four U.S. contractors in Falluja in 2004, one of the Iraq war's most notorious crimes against Americans.
During Huertas' court-martial, Abed testified Wednesday that he was handcuffed, blindfolded and beaten.
Huertas and Keefe had been charged with dereliction of duty, based on the allegation that they failed to safeguard the detainee, according to the military. Huertas also was charged with impeding an investigation by attempting to influence the testimony of another sailor.
Keefe's court-martial was supposed to have opened Monday, but it was delayed after defense attorneys were stuck in Europe because of flight delays due to ash from the Icelandic volcano. That court-martial is expected to begin Friday morning.
McCabe, who is charged with assault, will be tried May 3 in Norfolk, Virginia.
The case against the SEALs has sparked outrage that the sailors are being tried at all for handling a suspect in the contractors' killings. A Facebook page called "Support The Navy SEALs who Captured Ahmed Hashim Abed" has almost 120,000 members.
After the contractors for the security firm Blackwater were killed with hand grenades and rifles, their bodies were set on fire and dragged through the streets. Two of them were hung from a bridge in Falluja, an image that was broadcast around the world.
Four days later, U.S. Marines launched a major offensive inside Falluja in part to help find the killers.
I concur. However, it is one of the 'rights' under the American UCMJ to refuse lesser punishment, but career ending, and demand an open trial. While the system may still engage in unethical 'payback', payback will probably be played just as much upon those who pressed the issue to this point as well.
Good to see that some in the military know who are the bad guys (and who are the food ones). Hopefully. the SEALs can salvage the careers of these good men after this moronic mess is over. BTW I would add that while Obama CAN put a stop to this, it would taint military justice with politics. He is right to let it run it's course and afterward correct any injustice. /end barracks lawyer comments.
Even Bambi could have done little without risking undue command influence over the process once it started. Had there been a conviction, he could have pardoned, unlikely as that might have been. But the system has worked so far and I hope those who caused this monstrosity now get their time in the tank.
Reuters' journalist travelled to Pakistan's northwest on the border with Afghanistan to find that some of the Kiplingesque images of xenophobic Pasthuns and ungovernable lands may be a bit off the mark, especially now when the Pakistani army has taken the battle to the Islamist militants.
WASHINGTON: US interrogators, allowed direct access by Pakistan to question Mullah Baradar, the Afghan Taliban's No 2, have starting to produce useful intelligence on the group and its operations against US forces across the Pakistani border, American officials said on Tuesday. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was captured in Karachi in late January in a joint operation by the CIA and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Wring him dry like a tube of toothpaste and then bury him quietly somewhere ...
Direct US access to Baradar, who is in Pakistani custody, was minimal at first, but US officials said the ISI has eased restrictions and American investigators have been participating regularly and directly in interrogation sessions for at least the past month. Perhaps because the ISI has now had time to move all their most important assets ...
Some of the information given by Baradar, the Afghan Taliban's long time military commander, has been verified and has been useful to US commanders' intelligence officers and analysts in both Afghanistan and Washington, three US officials involved in the matter said. They said Pakistan was taking the lead.
These things take time,' one US military official said of interrogating Baradar. It takes time to get the information and it takes time to check out that information.'
Baradar's arrest was hailed by the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen Stanley McChrystal, as a potential game-changing development after eight years of war, although some US officials had initially played down the value of the information he gave Pakistani interrogators.
Posted by: Steve White ||
04/22/2010 00:00 ||
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I just want to know who he thinks who's going home next week on Dancing with the Stars. Then you can kill him.
A rocket has exploded near the southern Jordanian city of Aqaba, damaging a warehouse but causing no casualties.
The rocket was one of two fired early on Thursday which landed in Jordanian territory - the other fell into the Red Sea.
There are conflicting reports as to where the rockets were launched. Egyptian officials denied Israeli reports they had come from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Jordan's PM said they had not been launched from his country.
"We are 100% sure that the rocket which hit a warehouse in Aqaba was not fired from Jordanian territory, but from beyond our borders," Prime Minister Samir Rifai told AFP news agency.
He added that the missile had been a Russian-designed Grad. Earlier police said they had found the remains of a Katyusha rocket. Your guess is as good as mine.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain ||
04/22/2010 12:25 ||
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It's the Universe's way of telling the little king to zip up.
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Israel deported a Palestinian prisoner to the Gaza Strip instead of releasing him to his West Bank home, the man and Palestinian officials said, charging Israel with using controversial new military orders. "Out you go, Shorty! And don't come back!" So, Ahmad, wanna be a wise ass, huh? Wanna mouth off and throw shit at us, huh?
The prisoner, Ahmad Sabah, 40, was refusing to leave the Palestinian side of the main crossing between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Any man who backsass, get sent to Gaza. Any man loud talking, get sent to Gaza. Any man playing grab ass, get sent to Gaza. Any man...
Unless he's Gazan, in which case he gets sent to the West Bank. Fair and balanced, donchaknow.
"It is inhumane what they are doing. He has no connection to Gaza, no relatives there, nothing," said Issa Qaraqi, the minister of prisoner affairs in the government of the Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. Do the crime, do the time ...
He won't have connections to get a job, or a flat... but no doubt the UN Refugee thingy will take care of him, just as they would have in the West Bank. So Mr. Sabah won't starve or freeze at night under a bridge.
Qaraqi claimed Israel was implementing a new set of military orders that critics fear could lead to mass deportations from the occupied West Bank. In a normal world that would lead to modifications of Paleo behavior. But this is bizarro world so we can count on the Paleos to be stupid ...
Actually, it came out that this is an old set of Israeli military orders. It was just new to Ha'aretz, oh-so-clever stupids that they are.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment. Did they need to? Well, let's just say Ahmad didn't get his mind right...
Israel denies it plans to carry out mass expulsions, saying the new orders that came into effect last week concern only people staying in the West Bank illegally and that the changes will allow oversight of deportation orders.
Family members said Sabah was born in Jordan and since returning to the West Bank had lived in the town of Tulkarem with his wife and family. However, his ID document was issed in Gaza. That makes him a Gazook ...
They said they were waiting for him to be released on Wednesday at a West Bank crossing, when other prisoners said he had been sent to Gaza.
Sabah was refusing to leave the Erez crossing into Gaza. "It is my right to return to my wife and family," he told AFP. "And to blow up stuff! And kill Jooozs!" he added.
That's juices, according to the latest parlance. I've no idea why -- it's not any more clever than the previous usage, Hinjoos.
Posted by: Steve White ||
04/22/2010 00:00 ||
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WORLD NEWS > ["New Yorker" Magz]SOCIAL SCIENTISTS: DEFEAT TERRORISM BY WITHDRAWING FRM THE MIDDLE EAST; + US LAWMAKER: PALESTINIAN STATE ONLY WAY TO STOP SCUDS.
Suspected Islamic terrorists militants have shot and killed three Muslim civilians in Thailand's restive south, a day after deadly twin blasts hit the region, police said Thursday.
A 21-year-old Muslim man was shot dead at his karaoke lounge early Thursday in Narathiwat province. In another part of Narathiwat, a 20-year-old Muslim man was shot dead Wednesday at his home, and shortly afterwards a 56-year-old deputy village headman was shot dead in nearby Pattani province as he left his house for guard duty at a school.
On Wednesday, a grenade attack and a car bomb in Pattani city killed a policeman and injured dozens more police and civilians.
The Obama administrations top diplomat for the Middle East says the United States has warned Syria numerous times in recent weeks that transferring ballistic missiles to Lebanons Hizbullah could lead to war in the region.
Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said Wednesday giving such weapons to Hizbullah would be "an incendiary, provocative action."
"But only if we choose to notice what has gone on under our noses. Photos from Israeli spy satellites do not count, thank goodness, and our people know better than to show us what they've seen."
He would not confirm reports that Syria has sent Scud missiles to Hizbullah, but he said the administration viewed the matter with the gravest concern. Feltman told a congressional committee that Syrias leaders need to understand the risks of arming Hizbullah, which he said "could affect war and peace in the region." Israel, which regards Hizbullah as a major threat, has accused Syria of providing the group with Scuds.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri had reiterated in comments published on Wednesday that Syria has not provided Hizbullah with long-range Scud missiles, following comments from the US State department that arms transfers were "provocative and counterproductive." "These accusations are reminiscent of the weapons of mass destruction allegations against Saddam Hussein; they were never found, they did not exist," Hariri told Italys La Stampa newspaper following meetings with his Italian counterpart.
Continued on Page 49
E.G. former Top Mil Generals say INDIA repor needs approxi 400 NUC WARHEADS, iff not more, to efffec counter or deter CHINA + PAKISTAN, which INDJUH is not likely to want to reduce:
(1) In the absence of an Indian-specific or US-India joint National-Regional TMDS,
(2) de facto Agreements, + REDUX = NO GROWTH? in CHINA + PAK'S ARSENAL VEE INDIA'S.
(3) Redux or elimination of any NUCLEAR-WMDS TERROR THREAT(S) TO ITS NATIONAl, GEOPOL SECURITY.
HIZB SCUDS > iff true, IMO THE REAL THREAT STEMS NOTSOMUCH FROM THE SCUDS OR LARGER BUT FROM "SEA CHANGES" IN THE SMALLER ROCKET, GUIDED BM, + TUBE/MORTAR ARTY SYS USED BY HIZBOLLAH + OTHER LOCAL MILITANT GROUPS, + SUICIDE + IEDS BOMB TECHS.
Today SCUDS, tomorrow "DUAL-USE" NBC MORTAR + LIGHT TUBE/GUN ARTY, as well as VEHICLE/TUBE-LAUNCHED "DIRTY" TACNUKES???
Come on guys! The solution proposed to GB is very reasonable. You should see what would happen if you were posting interesting stories on Rantburg from the National Enquirer. I mean I've just had to get used to the fact that Rantburg is not the place to go for updates about where Elvis is now living and when he'll come back, or what's up with Bat-Boy. And GB's not even being chastised for putting the links in the "WoT Operations" section? Really, no need for those favoring the links to go get bent out of shape over this. Perhaps the links apply to WoT Operations because it serves to remind some of the active duty what they're fighting for -- public consumption of that stuff is just not allowed in the Ummah; you've got to earn or pay for the right to view that and more in the privacy of your mansion playhouse. Perhaps the links apply to WoT Operations because they're not publicly allowed in the Ummah. Perhaps the links apply to WoT Operations because . . . just because Fred is letting it be that way.
This is Fred's site. He built it with blood, sweat and tears over the years, and it is very well done. It is very well done because of how he structures and maintains it. Part of that maintenance developed into the moderators. So be it -- like it or leave it.
Those who are a bit ruffled (or more) by the links being there at all will have to deal with it just like GB will have to deal with the request made (rather nicely, I thought) to tone it down. I mean, really, there are those who might be offended by the links because of a perception of immorality, and there are those who might be offended by the links because they present women as objects for misogynistic consumption, and there are those who might be offended by the links because they see them as tacky and lacking in artistic merit, and [the list goes on].
lotp, Foxtrot Oscar and what cheese do you want with that whine
Don't do that again.
You're not telling lotp to fuck off, you're telling all the mods to fuck off.
I personally don't like being told to fuck off. It ruffles my feathers.
I'm getting to the Burg today after a long one in the office seeing patients. This is not what I want to be dealing with. I'd prefer to spend my time on the Burg posting, reading intelligent comments, and learning from people.
I'll go into this more in a mod note tonight. You pro'ly won't like it.
AlmostAnon, tell me about whine when you've volunteered thousands of hours over the past several years, a good part of it dealing with the crap that the mods filter out every day so that Rantburg can function well,
Only to have a bunch of allegedly grown men go into their own megawhine over a polite request that pics be linked and that sarcasm thrown at us be toned down.
And then to be told to FO (and yes, I got it).
The sarcasm may not be old to commenters. It's old to the mods who deal with a lot of crap on this site every day, some of which you all never see. We don't need more from regulars.
Rantburg welcomes regulars.
Regulars are a great part of Rantburg.
Regulars don't own the site.
Regulars who descend to being PITAs become one more type of crap for the mods to deal with.
A sense of belonging here is welcome. A sense of entitlement, expressed in a series of tantrums, is not.
Im amused by all the bickering, lets all just drop this, go to the club and I'll buy a round of Jack for everyone but TW, she get anything she wants but no alcohol. GB your a bad boy, in the spirit of Betty's birthday you get 50 lashes from your mod of choice! Except Steve, he is in a bad mood....
I do have one question, LOTP what is A PETA?? No joke, I dont know.
Posted by: 49 Pan ||
04/22/2010 21:54 Comments ||
And I would like to thank all the mods for keeping this site in order.
And to remind you what it looks like from a regular's point of view, too.
The regulars put in a fair amount of their own lives, just like the mods.
No mods, no RB. No Regulars, no RB. And in the way that rough treatment of one mod is the same as rough treatment of all mods, should it be construed that rough treatment of one regular is the same as rough treatment of all?
Occasionally, something is going to flare-up or come to a head like it did with apparent rough treatment of GB's post.
From my perspective, GB's regular post was working fine with the tacit approval of all the mods. Then it appeared that one mod comes in, accuses the post of sullying RB's image and usefulness, and decides to clean house. Apparently without the other mods being on board. But maybe not. I don't know.
So GB complied, but with his trademark of another "badge of dispproval" in the form of permanent additional warnings. Which is sort of how this responsibility-averse society is developing, but that is another story, too. It is a reminder to the regulars of how far he feels he has had to defer to people who are too PC and/or sensitive to deal with reality. And he wants you to feel it. And you do. And for some reason you don't like it and want the reminder to go away.
The log that broke this camel's back was when his post mysteriously got singled out for disappearance with no explanation. Just this one post and none of the dozens others. And no decision being passed down beforehand on how "modest" his posts should be. It just vanished without a trace.
What is a rational regular supposed to think?
What is s/he supposed to think when all the mods clam up at the same time about what really happened? And, hand-in-hand with that, what does this indicate about the future? Has it been usurped, much like the country I live in and am no longer so proud of or optimistic for? Folks here are very sensitive to these things. That's one of the reasons they are here. It's in their bones.
In my opinion, lots of regulars, including myself, are of the opinion that this post was intentionally removed. They may not talk about it, but it is there. And if this is true, that the custom of frank communications was being abandoned in favor of something that was more along the lines of petty office politics where "communication" suddenly comes in the form of finding oneself immersed in man-caused bad situations rather than words.
I don't mean to offend, but that is what I saw. I can't change it, and I choose not to lie about it in the form of not voicing it.
At least one of the mods could have stepped in to relieve fears, but not even one did. What is a regular to think?
I'm aware that I have no entitlements here, but in a civil community, I feel that when there are flare-ups an explanation is due, even if it's not one I want to hear. I want to know what is going on between everyone's ears. I need to be reassured that the mods are in synch and are moderating each other and/or in agreement. I need to know that they are being fair to each and to each regular and all regulars. I need to know what kind of forces are moderating RB. I need these reassurances, and I need them now.
And I know very well and hope that my suspicions are wrong. Or if I am right, that things will get fixed.
The less I like something, The more likely I am to leave it to its own devices to self-destruct.
So, with all due respect and humility, I relay my thoughts about something I do care about in hope that it it will be uplifting, to folks I believe will take these remarks as I intend them to be taken, despite my often too-poor choice of words.
Frank communications here. PITA = Pain In The Ass
Posted by: Frank G ||
04/22/2010 22:22 Comments ||
Be nice you guys. Exchange your flashy babe trading cards privately or linked, etc. The front page "Good Morning" promotes the same general idea/interest with class instead of going all ape. No one is threatening your sexuality. But it IS kind of like blowing your nose. Maybe better done in private so we don't all have to get your particular viewpoint on the matter. The mods are here to prevent everything from going stupid. Thanks. PS I miss the good o' days with Aris and all... but because Obots probably peruse this site, I'm outta here. Good luck all.
While I have no problem with GB's ladies, I think there are a whole lot of sites one can go to if they want that kind of stuff. It seems as though it is both creating at least some tension and probably eating a bit more of Fred's bandwidth.
Personally, I think we have the distraction we need in the WOT and Seedy Politicians sections. Regardless of what happens going forward, thanks to the mods for their hard work and to Fred for his provision of this wonder.
His usual daily post for yesterday. I saw it shortly after it came out. It had a pic of Robin Meade, and the linked pic showed that she had a tat! Of course, I had to look carefully to see it. But that's another story.
It may have been a coincidence, but it's on the improbable side, and I'd be very skeptical.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.