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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bus Drivers Refuse Work Fearing ‘Huntress’

Roughly half of the bus drivers on Route 4A, or Yellow Line, in Ciudad Juarez are refusing to work, in light of an email sent to a number of media outlets claiming to be from Diana la Cazadora de Choferes, or Diana the Bus Diver Huntress. “I myself and other women have suffered in silence but we can’t stay quiet anymore,” the e-mail said. “We were victims of sexual violence by the drivers on the night shift on the routes to the maquilas,” factories along the border between Juarez and El Paso, TX.

The email takes credit for two bus driver killings in the past week. A woman boarded a bus last Wednesday, took out a pistol, and shot the driver in the head before stepping off the bus. A day later, the same thing happened, with one witness overhearing the assassin telling the driver, “You guys think you’re real bad, don’t you?”

Over the last 23 years, hundreds of women have been kidnapped, raped, and murdered along the Yellow Line, with little to no investigation. Two bus drivers were arrested, but one died in custody, and the case against the other fell apart under strong suggestion that his confession was beaten out of him. Earlier this summer, a number of women from Juarez marched on the nation’s capital, asking Mexico’s President to release the results of police investigations into the crimes. Diana’s email ended citing a dissatisfaction with the government’s inability, or disinclination, to protect the women riding the bus, saying finally “I am the instrument of vengeance for several women.”

Russia Warns Citizens About U.S.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a bulletin cautioning its citizens to avoid traveling to the United States, as well as countries engaged in extradition treaties with the United States. “Recently, detentions of Russian citizens in various countries, at the request of American law enforcement, have become more frequent — with the goal of extradition and legal prosecution in the United States,” said the ministry yesterday. While Edward Snowden’s asylum in Russia has piqued tensions between Russia and the U.S., extradition and international prosecutions have been a long extant point of contention between the erstwhile adversaries.

Just this July, Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova issued a stern protest of the arrest and extradition of Aleksandr Panin from the Dominican Republic. “We have repeatedly told the U.S. that if there are demands for our citizens, it is necessary to send relevant requests to the Russian law enforcement authorities on the basis of the 1999-bilateral agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal cases. However, this is still not being done.” The U.S. has made a regular habit of not informing the Russian Foreign Ministry of its plans to arrest Russian nationals. Zakharova said her country considers such arrests “a vicious trend, absolutely unacceptable and inadmissible.” The Russo-American Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) usually only covers crimes that are illegal in both countries and does not necessarily pertain to third countries or crimes that are illegal in just one country.

Anarchists Take Aim At Greek Judicial Apparatus

Greek anarcho-individualist cadre, Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire (SPF), has claimed responsibility for a letter bomb which exploded harmlessly after it was sent to state prosecutor Dimitris Mokkas. The SPF, most notable for their explosive 2008 debut which saw 11 firebombings of banks and luxury car dealerships in Athens and Thessaloniki, is opposed to the Euro-Troika imposed Greek austerity and the prosecution or imprisonment of protestors.

In 2010, Greek officials stopped international mail for 48 hours after a series of parcel bombs targeting European officials were discovered or exploded around the continent. The attacks prompted a number of security agreements between various European countries and the United States. The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security at the time demanded enhanced screening of all air cargo in a meeting with United Parcel Service, FedEx, and other companies. The U.S. designated the group a Terrorist Organization in 2011.

Egyptian Court Quiets Critical Media

Egyptian officials continued their crackdown against foreign media companies with today’s court edict ordering Al-Jazeera’s Egyptian affiliate, Mubasher Misr, and three other local stations to cease broadcasting. The court ruling said the stations “broadcast lies to the Egyptian people, defamed the armed forces, violated the professional code of conduct, and incited foreign countries against Egypt.”

Committee to Protect Journalists Middle East and North Africa coordinator Shaimaa Abu ElKhir notes that the Egyptian government is using incitement allegations to prosecute media outlets, but there is no legal definition as to what constitutes incitement. She says the government’s intent is “to stifle journalists.” Since the Egyptian Pronunciamento, five journalists have been killed and over 80 have been arbitrarily detained or arrested, according to a report released by Reporters Without Borders yesterday. At least seven of those remain in detention, including a number of foreign and western journalists.

House Science Committee At Odds with EPA

Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space, and Technology Committee Lamar Smith issued a sternly worded reprimand to the Environmental Protection Agency today, regarding overdue information requested by a Democrat-opposed subpoena of decades of raw air pollution data. Smith and others in the Republican-controlled Committee wish to subject the Six Cities Study data to independent analysis. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has ardently resisted turning over the raw data to the Committee, citing concerns about the confidentiality of study participants. Smith waved away such concerns and set a deadline of September 16th for compliance, saying in his statement, “If EPA continues to default on its subpoena obligations, I will not hesitate to pursue all other means available to compel production of the relevant data.”

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