Cancun Resort Massacre: 8 Killed In Attack On Cancun Resort Bar By Mexican Drug Cartel Hitman

Zetas

CANCUN, Mexico – At least eight people were killed when molotov cocktails were thrown into a bar in the Mexican town of Cancun, a resort area popular with U.S. tourists, officials said.

“The death of eight people is confirmed. Six on site — including four women — and two others in hospital, also women,” Quintana Roo prosecutor Francisco Alor Quezada told AFP by telephone.

According to witnesses, six men threw the molotov cocktails at the establishment which had reported two attempts at extortion, apparently by the Zeta drug cartel.

http://www.leaderpost.com/news/killed+attack+Cancun/3464275/story.html#ixzz0yCOzzxsz

CANCUN, Mexico (AFP) – At least eight people were killed when molotov cocktails were thrown into a bar in the Mexican town of Cancun, a resort area popular with US tourists, officials said Tuesday.

“The death of eight people is confirmed. Six on site — including four women — and two others in hospital, also women,” prosecutor Francisco Alor Quezada, from the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, told AFP by telephone.

According to witnesses, six men threw the molotov cocktails at the establishment which had reported two attempts at extortion, apparently by the Zetas drug cartel.

The attack set off a fire which destroyed the bar, in a residential area not frequented by tourists, officials said.

The brutal Zetas, first set up by former paramilitaries in the 1990s, have grown in force since splitting off from the powerful Gulf gang, whom they are now fighting for control of drug trafficking routes.

They are suspected in last week’s massacre of 72 migrants in northeast Mexico and many kidnapping, killing and extortion cases.

Cancun has seen sporadic attacks and gruesome discoveries of bodies in wells and graves as violence has escalated since President Felipe Calderon deployed tens of thousands of soldiers to take on organized crime gangs in 2006.

More than 28,000 have died in drug-related violence nationwide since then, according to official figures.

http://www.canada.com/news/killed+attack+Cancun/3464275/story.html

Climate Gate: IPCC – United Nations International Panel on Climate Change Harshly Rebuked By Investigating Panel of International Experts

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up 22 years ago to provide science advice to governments as they try to deal with global warming, needs to overhaul the way it runs itself, according to a report released Monday.

Among those needs: more transparency; a rigorous set of conflict-of-interest rules; wider representation of dissenting views among practicing climate scientists in its final reports; and a limit on the number of reports scientists can take a lead role in producing.

The review and its recommendations come from a panel made up of 12 experts from 10 countries. The members were selected by the InterAcademy Council, an organization representing 15 national academies of science in developed and developing countries.

The review panel, assembled in May at the request of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri, did not address the science of global warming itself. Instead, it focused on management issues raised in controversies that erupted during and after the IPCC issued it last set of climate reports in 2007.

Many of these controversies came to light within the past 10 months. Emails leaked from the University of East Anglia revealed a handful of influential climate scientists displaying a circle-the-wagons mentality as some analysts tried to gain access to their data and analysis methods. Critics alleged that the emails also held evidence of fudged results.

In addition, some global warming skeptics have identified mistakes in the 2007 volumes, including a claim that a warming climate could deprive the Himalayas of their glaciers by 2035. [a claim subsequently retracted by the IPCC – the IPCC was forced to admit that the claim was not supported by data but was, instead, based upon an interview]

Still, “there’s no question that the IPCC’s trust was somewhat dented by all these controversies,” said review-panel chairman Harold Shapiro, an economist and professor emeritus at Princeton University. Panel members “think that what we have recommended will help restore” trust in the IPCC’s work.

Among its 22 recommendations, the panel calls for the adoption of conflict-of-interest policies that cover everyone directly involved in producing the reports. It recommends limiting the IPCC chairman, as well as a handful of other top IPCC participants, to overseeing only one set of periodic climate reports, after which they would be replaced for the next set. And it seeks a more transparent, thorough discussion in IPCC reports of credible dissenting views on aspects of climate research and projections, along with a clearer, more consistent description of uncertainties surrounding conclusions the IPCC reports offer – particularly in the influential summaries for policymakers.

Taken as a whole, the report and its recommendations are “remarkably hard-hitting,” says Roger Pielke Jr., who specialized in science policy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “It’s not at all the rap on the knuckles that some commentators had expected.”

Assuming the recommendations are adopted as a package, and not picked over, “this could mark the moment when climate science joins the 21st century as far as science advice is concerned,” Dr. Pielke says. “It’s had some practices that were too ad hoc for its prominent role.”

The next step must come from the 194 governments that make up the IPCC. The first opportunity to discuss these recommendations as a group and perhaps act on them comes at the IPCC’s plenary session in Pusan, South Korea, in October.

The next set of IPCC reports is due out in 2013.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2010/0830/IPCC-climate-change-panel-needs-transparency-review-panel-finds

McAuley’s World Comments:

In a strange an obviously desperate act Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Rajendra Pachauri interjected his opinion on Monday, defended the science itself … stating that the science is “sound”. The  InterAcademy Council study and findings offered no such support for the IPCC. The InterAcademy Council did not replicate the studies, a number of research groups are doing that at present, the InterAcademy Council analyzed and criticized the IPCC”s failure to incorporate and follow basic elements of the “scientific method”.

From the InterAcademy Report (PDF LINK BELOW): “We found in the summary for policymakers that there were two kinds of errors that came up — one is the kind where they place high confidence in something where there is very little evidence. The other is the kind where you make a statement … with no substantive value, in our judgment.”Rajendra Pachauri, head of UN climate change body, under pressure to resign:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/30/rajendra-pachauri-un-climate-change-pressure-resign

IPCC report raises fresh questions over Dr Rajendra Pachauri’s leadership

The UN’s climate change panel must introduce a structure to prevent conflicts of interest, according to a report by the world’s top science group that raised fresh questions over the leadership of the body.

In response to accusations that Dr Rajendra Pachauri had compromised his position as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) because of his role in an environmental consultancy, the report described the claims as “troubling”.

The report exposed a number of procedural management failings, highlighting the role held by Dr Pachauri as needing particular scrutiny.

The Indian engineer has been chairman of the IPCC since 2002, renewing his initial six year term in 2008.

However there have been repeated calls for his resignation, most notably following the incorrect claim that the Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.

The questions over the IPCC led to a review of his organisation by the InterAcademy Council, a grouping of the world’s most prestigious science organisations.

“It was beyond our charge to review the conflict-of-interest controversies that have been reported in the press,” said Prof Harold T. Shapiro, chairman of the investigating committee, “but we did note that the lack of a conflict of interest policy was troubling to many of the stakeholders we heard from.

He added: “Operating under the public microscope the way IPCC does requires strong leadership, the continued and enthusiastic participation of distinguished scientists, an ability to adapt, and a commitment to openness if the value of these assessments to society is to be maintained.”

Following criticism that the position of chairman was too powerful, the report also suggested that no one should be allowed to serve more than one term. It did not comment on whether Dr Pachauri should be able to serve out his second term.

Dr Benny Peiser, Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said Dr Pachauri was now “damaged goods”.

“The criticism of the management process is quite severe,” he said. “It is an indirect call for Dr Pachauri to step down,” he said.

The role of chairman is a part time, unpaid role.

Dr Pachauri has been accused of a conflict of interest in the past because of his other role as leading The Energy Research Institute (Teri), a think tank promoting sustainable development. [and actively engegaed in the trading of “carbon credits” in Europe]

It was alleged that he could have vested interest in proving climate change by business dealings with carbon trading companies. However he was cleared on any financial wrongdoing recently by an independent review.

Dr Pachauri has always made clear that to the IPCC that he as another role as director of TERI.

Asked if he would consider resigning if requested to, he said he would abide by any decision the IPCC made.

Dr Pachauri has stood up in the past against what he called “ideologically driven” attacks on the IPCC.

“The IPCC will be strengthened by the IAC review and by others of its kind this year,” he said.

“We already have the highest confidence in the science behind our assessments.

“We’re now pleased to receive recommendations on how to further strengthen our own policies and procedures,” he added.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7972013/IPCC-report-raises-fresh-questions-over-Dr-Rajendra-Pachauris-leadership.html

ClimateGate Saga Continues – Climate Chief Hid Knowledge Of Bad Data Until After Copenhagen Summit

The Latest Global Warming Scandal – United Nations IPPC Chief Cashing In – $100′s of Millions Made By Putting 1700 Steel Workers Out of Work

A PDF of the InterAcademy Council Report: Climate Change Assessments: Review of the Processes and Procedures of the IPCC

In a related issue: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli continues his attempts to obtain what should be “public research data” from the University of Virginia. The Attorney General has been trying to complete an investigation into whether a prominent global warming proponent may have “doctored research data” to obatin Federal Research funds fraudulently … There is no reason for scienitific reason the “Climate Data” should be held in secret is there? … there is no proprietary interest that could be compromised by a public review and analysis of the data is there? … thew “scienitific methiod” would then dictate a release of the data for “peeer” or “State” review …. if the “data” wasn’t “cooked’ for personal or prefessional benefit, what would one have to fear?

Updated: Judge sides with UVa in climate case, dismissing Cuccinelli demands

An Albemarle County judge has dismissed Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s demand that the University of Virginia turn over documents related to the research of a prominent climate change expert.

Cuccinelli, a vocal climate change skeptic, had been investigating the possibility that climatology professor Michael Mann fraudulently obtained five taxpayer-funded research grants while employed at UVA between 1999 and 2005.

In an opinion issued this morning, Judge Paul M. Peatross Jr. ruled that Cuccinelli failed to show a sufficient “reason to believe” that UVA possessed any documents related to Mann that suggested a fraud occurred.

UVA fought Cuccinelli’s demand for documents, saying the attorney general’s investigation violates the principle of academic freedom and would have a chilling effect on scientific research of controversial subjects.

In his ruling, Peatross set aside Cuccinelli’s civil investigative demands “in their entirety, without prejudice to the Commonwealth to proceed according to the law.”

Cuccinelli did not show, Peatross wrote, any evidence that Mann’s work was “misleading, false or fraudulent in obtaining funds from the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Peatross added, however, that the attorney general is within his rights to issue CIDs — which carry the legal weight of subpoenas — to investigate taxpayer-funded research grants awarded to professors such as Mann.

Cuccinelli said in a statement that he will send a new CID to UVA to continue his hunt for proof that Mann defrauded Virginia’s taxpayers in obtaining grants that funded his climate change research.

“While this was not an outright ruling in our favor, I am pleased that the judge has agreed with my office on several key legal points and has given us a framework for issuing a new civil investigative demand to get the information necessary to continue our investigation into whether or not fraud has been committed against the commonwealth,” Cuccinelli said.

A UVA spokeswoman said a statement on Peatross’ ruling will be forthcoming.

Mann, who now works at Penn State, said he is “very pleased” the judge set aside Cuccinelli’s subpoenas.

“It is a victory not just for me and the university, but for all scientists who live in fear that they may be subject to a politically motivated witch hunt when their research findings prove inconvenient to powerful vested interests,” Mann said in an e-mail to The Daily Progress. “I’m looking forward now to trying to get back full time to the things I really care about: doing research and extending the forefront of our scientific understanding of the science of climate and climate change, advising students and postdoctoral scholars, and doing the best I can to communicate to the public important scientific findings.

http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2010/aug/30/11/judge-sides-uva-climate-case-dismissing-cuccinelli-ar-479678/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/30/judge-blocks-cuccinelli-investigation-into-mann/#more-24180

Reputed Mexican Cartel Boss Captured: Edgar Valdez Villarreal (the Barbie) Taken Into Custody

Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias "the Barbie", taken into custody

MEXICO CITY—Texas-born fugitive Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias “the Barbie,” is the third major suspected drug lord to fall in Mexico in the past 10 months and a coup for President Felipe Calderon in his embattled war on powerful cartels.

Valdez, who got his improbable nickname from his fair complexion, is wanted in the United States for allegedly smuggling tons of cocaine and inside Mexico is blamed for a brutal turf war that has included bodies hung from bridges, decapitations and shootouts as he and a rival fought for control of the divided Beltran Leyva Cartel.

Calderon called Valdez “one of the most-wanted criminals in Mexico and abroad” in a Tweet. He vowed that operations to bring down the rest of his gang will continue following his arrest Monday in Mexico State, an area that borders Mexico City.

The arrest was the culmination of a yearlong intelligence operation, the Public Safety Department said in a statement.

The statement offered no other details, but included a photograph of Valdez sporting stubble as he kneels on the ground, a police officer’s hand on his shoulder.

SEE: Mexican Drug Cartel Violence: Mexican Marines arrest presumed leader of Beltran Leyva Cartel – Sergio Villarreal Barragan taken into custody

Valdez was charged in May in U.S. District Court in Atlanta with distributing thousands of pounds of cocaine from Mexico to the eastern U.S. from 2004 to 2006.

U.S. authorities had offered a reward of up to $2 million for information leading to his capture, and the Mexican government offered a similar amount.

There was no word from Mexican authorities on any extradition plans.

Aturo Beltran Leyva

Mexican authorities say Valdez has been battling for control of the Beltran Leyva Cartel since its leader, Arturo Beltran Leyva, was killed in a December shootout with marines in Cuernavaca, a favorite weekend getaway south of the Mexican capital.

The fight against Hector Beltran Leyva — a brother of Arturo — has made a battleground of what was once a relatively peaceful pocket of the country and brought the drug war ever closer to Mexico City. Their fight has spread westward toward the resort city of Acapulco.

The U.S. State Department says Valdez headed a group of assassins for the Beltran Leyva gang. He “is the person most responsible for pushing the battle into central and southern Mexico,” the department says on its website.

Carlos Beltran Leyva

Valdez’s capture is the government’s latest victory against the crumbling Beltran Leyva Cartel. Two other Beltran Leyva brothers have been arrested under President Felipe Calderon, who in 2006 deployed thousands of federal police and soldiers to fight drug traffickers in their strongholds.

Drug-gang violence has surged since the offensive began, claiming an unprecedented 28,000 lives. But the crackdown has brought down several major traffickers.

Aside from the Beltran Leyvas, drug lord Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel was killed in a gunbattle last month when soldiers raided his home in Guadalajara. Coronel was the No. 3 in the Sinaloa cartel, one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking gangs.

Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel - The "King of Crystal"

Valdez, 37, was born in the border city of Laredo, Texas, and belonged to the Sinaloa cartel until its split from the Beltran Leyvas in 2008 — one of many divisions among Mexican cartels in recent years that have fueled the country’s gruesome gang violence.

Experts said Valdez’s capture could be especially valuable because of the intelligence he might provide on other top traffickers, including Sinaloa chief Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico’s most-wanted drug lord.

“Because they caught La Barbie alive, he will be a very important source of information against El Chapo,” said Raul Benitez, a professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico who studies the drug trade. “La Barbie was once the bodyguard of El Chapo Guzman.”

Much of the most recent violence in central Mexico has been directed at Valdez’s allies.

The decapitated bodies of four men were hung from a bridge in Cuernavaca last

Joaquin Guzman, El Chapo

week, along with a message threatening allies of “La Barbie” and signed by the gang led by Hector Beltran Leyva. Two more bodies were hung from bridges near Acapulco later in the week, although no gang claimed responsibility.

Benitez said the violence in the region could drop over time, as the government has disrupted Valdez’s crusade to create a new cartel from his split with the Beltran Leyvas. But it won’t initially, he added, because the lieutenants in the gang always fight for control immediately after a big boss is brought down.

And Mexico’s violence overall is not expected to drop because other, more powerful gangs are fighting in the border city of Ciudad Juarez and along the northeastern border with the U.S., where 72 migrants were found massacred last week in what is believed to be the deadliest drug cartel attack to date.

La Barbie’s “arrest will be a public relations coup for the Mexican government, even though it will do little to quell the violence in places like Juarez and Monterrey,” the U.S.-based security think tank Stratfor said in a report.

U.S. prosecutors say they used a federal wiretap of a related case in Atlanta in January 2008 to identify Valdez as the source of thousands of kilograms of cocaine that were imported into the U.S. from 2004 to 2006.

Cartel Beheadings in Baja

Gamaliel Aguirre Tavira

Witnesses said some truckloads traveling from Laredo to Atlanta carried more than 650 pounds of cocaine. The workers sent shipments of money, often containing several million dollars in cash, back to Mexico in tractor-trailer trucks, according to the court records.

Mexican authorities had been closing in on La Barbie’s allies in recent weeks. On July 10, marines raided a house in Acapulco and captured Gamaliel Aguirre Tavira, suspected regional chief of the Valdez faction.

http://www.boston.com/news/world/latinamerica/articles/2010/08/31/mexico_says_drug_lord_the_barbie_captured/?page=1

The War In Iraq: Obama Administration Politics – Few Iraqis Cheer US Departure

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, walks with Gen. Ray Odierno, right, after he arrived, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Aug. 30, 2010.: HOW DISRESPECTFUL - DON'T THE TROOPS IN IRAQ RATE A PAIR OF SLACKS AND SOCKS MR. BIDEN.

BAGHDAD – As Vice President Joe Biden presides over the formal end to U.S. combat operations in Iraq, few Iraqis are cheering the American exit.

Iraqis, who for years have railed against the U.S. occupation, are generally happy to see that the American presence won’t be endless. But there is also considerable trepidation about whether Iraq can go it alone.

“It’s not the right time,” said Johaina Mohammed, a 40-year-old teacher from Baghdad. “There is no government, the security is deteriorating, and there is no trust.”

Just under 50,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq — down from a peak of nearly 170,000 at the height of the military surge in 2007. Those troops will be focused on training and assisting the Iraqi military, and will no longer be allowed to go on combat missions unless requested and accompanied by Iraqi forces.

Underscoring the shift, Biden was making a new appeal to Iraqi leaders Tuesday, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, to end the political deadlock and seat a new government. March 7 parliamentary elections left Iraq without a clear winner, and insurgents have since exploited the uncertainty to hammer Iraqi security forces.

Iraqi forces are vastly improved and attacks have plummeted since the dark days of 2006 and 2007. But rarely a day goes by without some loss of life, and spectacular attacks such as the violence on Wednesday that killed 56 people still happen with disturbing regularity.

Biden and U.S. officials have downplayed suggestions they are abandoning Iraq at a crucial time. The vice-president Tuesday said militants’ attempts to again wreck havoc in Iraq have been unsuccessful.

Notwithstanding what the national press says about increased violence, the truth is, things are still very much different, things are much safer,” Biden said Tuesday in comments to al-Maliki before the two met privately.

But many Iraqis do not share his optimism.

The fear of political divisions, aggravated by the struggle for control of Iraq’s oil potential, is ever present. Some Iraqis worry that without the American soldiers, their country will revert to a dictatorship or split along religious and ethnic fault lines.

“They should go, but the security situation is too fragile for the Americans to withdraw now,” said Mohammed Hussein Abbas, a Shiite from the town of Hillah south of Baghdad. “They should wait for the government to be formed and then withdraw.”

U.S. military officials say the reduction in troop numbers doesn’t hinge on Iraq forming a new government, but on the ability of Iraqi forces to handle security on their own.

The decision to draw down to 50,000 troops was made by President Barack Obama, and is not part of the security agreement between Iraq and the U.S. Under that agreement, all American troops are to be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, a timeline Obama vowed during a weekend address to follow.

The dwindling U.S. military presence has deepened concerns that Iraq will be taken over by its neighbors — namely Iran — who many think is waiting to fill the power vacuum created by the departing Americans.

“The U.S. withdrawal will put Iraq into the lap of Iran,” said Ali Mussa, a 46-year-old engineer from eastern Baghdad. Iran and Iraq are both majority Shiite countries. And Iran has already capitalized on the U.S.-led overthrow of its arch enemy Saddam Hussein to secure greater leverage in Iraq, using centuries-old religious and cultural ties.

Even former Sunni insurgents in Fallujah, who supported armed resistance against two American assaults on the city in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, are dismayed at U.S. troops leaving after they joined forces and fought extremists together.

“Of course we were against the occupation, but in 2007 the Americans came up with a good plan for fighting al-Qaida, not Iraq,” said Col. Abdelsaad Abbas Mohammad, a Fallujah commander in the government-supported Sunni militia, known as the Awakening Councils. “Americans have committed many mistakes, but they did not go into houses and chop people’s heads off.”

The Sunni militias, also known as the Sons of Iraq, were a key element in turning the tide against Sunni-led terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, and the American military began paying the militias to fight on their side. That responsibility now lies with the Iraqi government, which is also supposed to incorporate many of them into government ministries. But many Sons of Iraq complain the government is turning its back on the militias, failing to pay them on time or find them good jobs.

In the three provinces that make up the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, the American military departure is also cause for concern. The Americans have often been perceived as the protectors of the minority Kurdish population, which was repressed under Saddam, but later carved out a relative oasis of stability in northern Iraq.

Othman Ahmed, 38, and a lawyer from the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, said Iraqi politicians would like to return Iraq to the strong centralized government of the former regime — meaning the Kurds’ hard-won autonomy could be at jeopardy. The friction between the Kurds and the central government is considered a potential flashpoint. Both claim a wide swath of territory stretching from the Syrian to the Iranian border, which includes the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Many Iraqis also had higher hopes for their quality of life after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, especially after years cut off from the rest of the world under Saddam. Now people have access to the Internet, satellite television and an assortment of consumer goods such as new cars, laptop computers, and mobile phones. But they struggle with constant shortages of electricity and water, the capital is crisscrossed with concrete barriers and parents worry about their children’s education after thousands of teachers fled the country.

Riyadh Hadi, a 47-year-old Shiite from the southern city of Basra, said the frustration over power shortages and unemployment has reached the boiling point.

“The U.S withdrawal will worsen the situation,” Hadi said. “Corruption is now clandestine, but after the American withdrawal it will be out in the open and widespread among Iraqi officials.”

To many Iraqis, the U.S. drawdown and emphasis on the end of combat operations looks to many Iraqis as if Obama is playing to domestic politics instead of assessing what is truly right for Iraq,

“The Americans should think about the door they’re walking out of,” said Sheik Ali Hatem Sulaiman al-Dulaimi, an influential tribal leader from Anbar province. “This is the destiny of a nation.”

http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2010/08/31/fearing_the_future_few_iraqis_cheer_us_departure/

A REPORT FROM CNN – IRAQI TROOP SURGE – TROOP WITHDRAWAL

Obama On The Surge

 

McAuley’s World Comment: Obama & Biden – The wrong policy, at the wrong time in the wrong place. A cheap domestic policy ploy that will one day have catastropihic consequences for the American and Iraqi peoples. 

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