MEXICO: Fatal shootings likely misguided
Confused hit men may have gone to the wrong party, the FBI said Tuesday about the slaying of three people with ties to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juárez. Gunmen chased two white sport utility vehicles from the birthday party of a consulate employee's child on Saturday and opened fire as horrified relatives screamed. According to one line of investigation, the assailants - believed aligned with the Juárez drug cartel - may have been ordered to attack a white SUV leaving a party and mistakenly went to a business that puts on children's parties. "We don't have any information that these folks were directly targeted because of their employment by the U.S. government or their U.S. citizenship," FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons told The Associated Press.
HAITI: Rape crimes rising in tent cities
Women and children as young as 2, already traumatized by the loss of homes and loved ones in Haiti's devastating earthquake on Jan. 12, are now falling victim to rapists in the sprawling tent cities that have become home to hundreds of thousands of people. With no lighting and no security, they are menacing places after sunset. Sexual assaults are daily occurrences in the biggest camps, aid workers say - and most attacks go unreported because of the shame, social stigma and fear of reprisals from attackers. A 21-year-old woman who was gang-raped said her family has received no food aid because the Haitian men handing out coupons for food distribution demand sexual favors. Investigators for Human Rights Watch reported the first three gang rapes in one tent camp home to about 47,000 people to UN officials. Then, two weeks later, on Feb. 27, the 21-year-old mother was gang-raped. Only a week later did UN police officers begin patrolling.
FIJI: Supplies for those hurt by cyclone
Australian and New Zealand air force planes began airlifting emergency supplies Wednesday to cyclone-battered Fiji, where a state of emergency has been declared and troops ordered to launch relief operations in northern regions hit by a cyclone that forced thousands to flee into shelters. Cyclone Tomas' onslaught was weakening Wednesday, but the destruction was not clear because communications were cut to outer island groups and to northern areas of Vanua Levu, the group's second-biggest island, that were hardest hit, officials said. One death has been reported, and a nationwide curfew was due to be lifted Wednesday. Packing winds of up to 130 mph at its center, and gusts of up to 175 mph, Cyclone Tomas continued to blast through the northern Lau and Lomaiviti island groups and the northern coast of Vanua Levu Tuesday, the nation's weather office said.