terça-feira, 2 de novembro de 2010
Police in Colombia have raided the offices of the government body which controls assets seized from drug traffickers.
Officials said serious anomalies had emerged in the agency's book-keeping.
The government has taken control of the National Narcotics Office while the allegations are being investigated.
Police became suspicious after drug traffickers were found to be in possession of properties which had officially been seized by the agency.
Colombian Minister of Justice German Vargas Lleras said he had ordered the intervention after "hundreds of irregularities and many serious anomalies" had surfaced at the National Narcotics Office.
The government announced the contracts of 100 employees would not be renewed, and all remaining employees would come under close scrutiny.'Not in order'
National Narcotics Office director Juan Carlos Restrepo said he would turn the agency "into a goldfish bowl with total accountability".
Mr Restrepo took over the leadership of the agency in September.
His predecessor, Omar Figueroa, was asked to resign from his post after it was found that the person put in charge of managing the property seized from an infamous drug dealer had links to the dealer's cartel.
Mr Restrepo said that the officers who raided the National Narcotics Office had found evidence that its accounting system had been tampered with.
"There are indications that lead me to believe that the agency's inventory is not in order," he said.
But, he said, Tuesday's raid would be the start of a new era for the agency, which in future would become known for its transparency and accountability.
By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
San Francisco's board of supervisors has voted, by a veto-proof margin, to ban most of McDonald's Happy Meals as they are now served in the restaurants.
The measure will make San Francisco the first major city in the country to forbid restaurants from offering a free toy with meals that contain more than set levels of calories, sugar and fat.
The ordinance would also require restaurants to provide fruits and vegetables with all meals for children that come with toys.
"We're part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice," said Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the measure. "From San Francisco to New York City, the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country is making our kids sick, particularly kids from low income neighborhoods, at an alarming rate. It's a survival issue and a day-to-day issue".
Just after the vote, McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said, "We are extremely disappointed with today's decision. It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for".
The ban, already enacted in a similar measure by Santa Clara County, was opposed by San FranciscoMayor Gavin Newsom, who was vying to be lieutenant governor in Tuesday's election. But because the measure was passed by eight votes — one more than needed to override a veto — his opposition doesn't matter unless one of the supervisors changes his or her mind after the promised veto.
Under the ordinance, scheduled to take effect in December 2011, restaurants may include a toy with a meal if the food and drink combined contain fewer than 600 calories, and if less than 35% of the calories come from fat.
Over the last few weeks, the proposed ban caused a stir online and on cable television, with supporters arguing that it would help protect children from obesity, and opponents seeing it as the latest example of the nanny state gone wild.
Supervisor Bevan Dufty, whose swing vote provided the veto-proof majority, said critics should not dismiss the legislation as a nutty effort by San Franciscans. "I do believe the industry is going to take note of this. I don't care how much they say, 'It's San Francisco, they're wacked out there'".
Proud, the McDonald's spokeswoman, said the city was out of step with the mainstream on the issue.
Los Angeles Times
The citizens of Gabrovo, a hard-luck but endearing Bulgarian town at the foot of the central Balkans, where the father of Brazil newly elected president Dilma Rousseff was born, say her victory inspires them to change their lives for the better.
"In these times of crisis, it is very important that we seek occasions to take pride in, cheer up and find inspiration to change the world around us. Dilma Rousseff victory in the presidential race is just such an occasion," mayor Nikolay Sirakov said as he opened a photo exhibition, revealing details of the Bulgarian genealogy of Dilma Rousseff.
Rousseff's Bulgarian relatives say they hope she will visit Gabrovo as President of one of the world's greatest nations, and "recover her roots".
Peter Rousev was born in 1900 in the town of Gabrovo, but left Bulgaria for both economic and political reasons (he was a communist), looking for a better job and a brighter future.
A century later the small town in central Bulgaria has been caught up in the excitement of the presidential run-off in far-away Brazil, which Dilma Rousseff won.
True to their inventive and funny nature, the citizens of Gabrovo are already planning how to profit from Rousseff's link to the town, saying Brazilian investors may learn a lot from them about crisis management. The mayor has even suggested cooperation between Gabrovo spring carnival of humor and the carnival in Rio.