Good morning! "A truck carrying 'extremely dangerous' radioactive material has been stolen in Mexico, authorities said Wednesday. The vehicle was transporting the radioactive isotope cobalt-60 from a hospital where it was being used for radiotherapy, the International Atomic Energy Agency said. Experts said that if the material gets into the wrong hands it could be turned into a 'dirty bomb' and potentially spread cancer-causing radiation across a wide area."
Unrealistic beauty expectations are nothing new: Julia Pastrana was known in life as the "world's ugliest woman," and her husband made money from this by taking her around to circuses and theaters as a curiosity. He even bought advertising in the New York Times calling his spouse a "link between mankind and the ourang-outang." After Julia Pastrana's death in 1860, he carted her corpse around the world for years, so people could see why he called the "bear woman." Her remains were eventually abandoned in Norway.
"Mexico's state electricity company on Wednesday started supplying electricity to Texas, where cold weather and power shortages forced rolling blackouts across the state. Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission issued a statement saying it 'was determined to support Texas with electrical energy' as its neighbor to the north scrambled to deal with its power woes."
El Diario de Juarez's front-page op-ed yesterday is a frank plea to the real rulers of Mexico: the drug cartels. "The state as protector of the rights of citizens, and thus, of the media, has been absent," they write-so, in light of the murder of reporters in Mexico, and the inability of the government to do anything about it, the paper wonders: would the leaders of the cartels like the paper to cease reporting? "Even in war there are rules. And in any conflagration there protocols or guarantees to the warring sides, to safeguard the integrity of the journalists covering them. So we reiterate, gentlemen of the [...]
So not long ago now, the cosmetics manufacturer MÂ·AÂ·C and fashion label Rodarte teamed up to… no, really. Sell cosmetics, I was going to say. And then I was going to add their own phrase, "inspired by." But then I just had to stop for a second, because it ain't easy to complete this sentence, because what the sisters Mulleavy of Rodarte were allegedly "inspired by" is the border city of JuÃ¡rez, Mexico. As Style.com's Nicole Phelps explained back in February about the Rodarte Fall/Winter 2010 collection, "[T]hey became interested in the troubled border town of Ciudad JuÃ¡rez; the hazy, dreamlike quality of the landscape there; [...]
"Frederick Loos was cussing like a sailor the other night, which was surprising given that he is a Roman Catholic priest and his foul-mouthed discourse was delivered from the pulpit to hundreds of faithful gathered before him. He spoke of God, the need to serve him and how he can transform lives. But interspersed in his sermon was the most colorful of street Spanish, which brought smiles to the faces of many of the gang members, addicts and other young people pressed in tight to listen." -In case you were too distracted or disgusted by yesterday's national sports emergency to catch it, you should now read Marc [...]
Hello, would you like to buy something weird? Hammer Time is our guide to things that are for sale at auction: fantastic, consequential and freakishly grotesque archival treasures that appear in public for just a brief moment, most likely never to be seen again.
If novelist Carsten Stroud has $53 or so to his name, we hope he hurried over to Heritage Auction house for their most-recent sale of books and autographs. Under the hammer: a British first edition of Ambrose Bierce’s In the Midst of Life: Tales of Soldiers and Civilians, which contains "An Occurrence at Owl Creek," a short story Stroud recently listed as one [...]
Have you been on a vacation lately? As your Travel Advisor, I recommend you should go on one right away while we still have a pre-cliff Economy and stuff. I'm not kidding, you don't know what Our Government is gonna do to us next, so go and get some plane tickets to someplace right away and have a Vacation.
Based on my own recent experiences, I suggest you Vacate to the country of Mexico, and I'm not here talking about going to the places in Mexico where the Drug Wars are going on, people behaving like that with guns, nor am I talking about going to some beach-resort place [...]
Last week, 50-some people were murdered in the torching of a building in Mexico, in Monterrey. (People were trapped in the casino after gunmen stormed the building; they were ordered out but many panicked and ran to the second floor.) Here's a look at the amount of front-page web real estate given to the event by English-speaking news organizations, as expressed in the formula of pixel-per-victim. (What the analysis doesn't take into account is the depth or complexity of coverage, and also the amount of play, as measured in time, of that coverage.) For instance, the Times gave up 0.27% of its digital "front page," though it should be [...]
Here's where the OMG MEXICAN SPY PLANE ATTACKED THE UNITED STATES. It landed in El Paso—in a backyard a couple thousand feet, at most, from the Cesar E. Chavez Border Highway. INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT!
As the violence in Mexico rages on, with murder totals recently surpassing 28,000 since the start of 2007, it's easy for anyone watching or keeping up with the news to become desensitized. Daily stories of kidnappings and murder scenes, complete with photos of dismembered bodies piled in the backs of pickup trucks or lying bloody in the street, can make the whole scenario overwhelming and extremely hard to wrap your head around. Statistics, death counts, unsolved murders; all with seemingly no end, no beginning, and no point.
In a luxury suburb of Guadalajara last Thursday afternoon, one of the key leaders of the Sinaloa cartel, Ignacio 'Nacho' Coronel, was shot dead during a brief gunfight with Mexican Army special forces. Drawing on intelligence gathered over the past few weeks, the Army staged a raid on a home they believed was linked to drug trafficking; Coronel was inside. Witnesses reported hearing loud explosions and plenty of gunfire as helicopters and more than 150 men closed in on the drug baron. According to reports, Nacho got off enough shots with an assault rifle to kill one soldier before being killed.
In immediate terms, the raid was [...]
With gubernatorial elections coming to twelve Mexican states this Sunday, a definitive test for Mexico is taking place. By most accounts, the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, the PRI, is riding a big wave of momentum, capitalizing on the public perception that the cataclysmic violence of the past few years is the fault of Mexican President Felipe Calderon's war on the Mexican cartels. But more than for the parties themselves, the elections have become a symbol of whether or not Mexico can still hold its basic institutions together in the face of the threat posed by the rampant and insidious drug cartels.
Dublin was busy with construction and slick with rain. I tried to recognize landmarks through the taxi windows—mossy stone gate here, mossy stone church there—while the cab driver told me how the Irish were all getting rich and he had finally been able to move back home from the impossible hell of Scotland. It was the end of 1999, I had just flown from Washington to interview for a magazine called International Living, the new hotel-pub where I was staying was owned by someone from the band U2, in 24 hours I would be back at the airport, and life felt like a Thomas Friedman column.
The registration desk [...]
"Even with the support of the United States, they cannot stop us, because here the Zetas rule. The government must make a pact with us because if not we will have to overthrow it and take power by force." —A sign hung rom a bridge this past February in the city Monterrey, in Northeast Mexico, where, as Reuters reports, the drug war is really not going well.
OMG everything the right has been telling us about how Mexico wants to reclaim our land is totally true! "On Tuesday, the Mexican Army accidentally 'invaded' the United States when thirty-three of its soldiers mistakenly crossed the border into Texas in Humvees; the soldiers were driving in a convoy consisting of four Humvees when they realized they had started driving on a bridge over the Rio Grande where they could not turn their vehicles around until they entered the United States."
"Texas has 8,000 gun dealers, and in the city of Houston there are 1,500. The pattern we’re seeing is that they’ll go to the shows to buy ammo and supplies, combat gear, and so on, and go to the dealers to get their weapons, using straw buyers for $50 per gun, on up. They come, and they just keep coming back. It’s simple because we make it simple. There’s no black market in the U.S. The guns are not being stolen—it’s all legal.” —Dewey Webb, special agent in charge, Houston division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Last week in Ciudad Juarez, the Federal Police received an emergency call from a payphone explaining that a police officer had been shot and was lying wounded on the Avenue 16 de Septiembre, a street named for the day of Mexican independence from the Spanish. Several federal police officers and an emergency team of paramedics arrived to tend to the injured officer. A TV crew arrived on the scene around the same time. As the officers and doctors gathered around the body to assess the damage, nearby members of the Juarez cartel used a cell phone to detonate a bomb hidden in a parked car at the intersection. The blast [...]