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Dec. 1, 2012 at 6:46 PM   |   0 comments

Protests greet Mexico's new president

MEXICO CITY, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Protesters clashed with police in Mexico City as Mexico's new president was sworn in Saturday.

Enrique Pena Nieto was officially inaugurated in Mexico City shortly after midnight and took the oath of office before the Mexican Congress later in the day.

Fox News said at least 60 people were arrested for smashing windows in hotels, buildings and restaurants in the city's center Saturday as Pena delivered a speech inside the National Palace. Protesters also sprayed graffiti on statues and monuments. Police used tear gas during several skirmishes with protesters who were throwing rocks

"We've never had a provocation like this in the city," Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said at a news conference. "We reject totally and absolutely these barbarous acts."

The New York Times reported Pena, 46, has cast his image as the face of a new version of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that would be more responsive to the public than when it governed Mexico for much of the 20th century. He campaigned on a platform that included continued cooperation with the United States on the economy and anti-narcotics programs.

But Pena received only 38 percent of the popular vote, which the Los Angeles Times said would likely make it tough to implement the government reforms he promised on the campaign trail.

In particular, Pena may have alienated powerful PRI governors and the labor unions that have provided the party with support over the years. The Los Angeles Times said his proposal to open up Mexico's nationalized oil industry to foreign investment was likely to face resistance from the oil workers unions.


Chiefs LB Belcher kills girlfriend, self

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher committed suicide at the team's practice facility Saturday after he allegedly killed his girlfriend, police said.

Belcher had a gun to his head in the parking lot when officers arrived and he pulled the trigger while walking away.

A Chiefs spokesman told NFL.com Belcher was talking to General Manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel when police arrived. Neither said they felt threatened by Belcher, who reportedly thanked them for everything they had done for him.

"The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today's events, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy," team chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a written statement.

Belcher, 25, turned the gun on himself not long after he allegedly shot Kasandra Perkins, described as his girlfriend and mother of his 3-month-old child. The 22-year-old woman was fatally wounded at a nearby residence and died at a hospital.

A police spokesman said the first shooting occurred around 7:50 a.m. CST. The call at Arrowhead Stadium was received at 8:10 a.m.

The Dallas Morning News said one of Perkins' family members in Austin, Texas, confirmed that she had lived recently in Dallas.

Belcher, a native of West Babylon, N.Y., joined the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent from the University of Maine in 2009. He earned a starting spot last in 2011 and this year started 10 of the 11 games he had played in, logging 38 tackles.

University of Maine football Coach Jack Cosgrove described the incident as an "indescribably horrible tragedy. At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with Jovan, Kasandra and their families."

Belcher was named the CAA Football Preseason Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2008, racking up 293 tackles, 44 tackles for loss and 18 sacks in 44 career games for the Black Bears.


North Korea plans rocket launch

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- North Korea says it is planning on launching a rocket carrying a satellite in mid-December.

The Unha-3 rocket will launch from the Sohae Space Center in North Phyongan Province between December 10 and 22, CNN reported.

The rocket will pull a "working satellite" into orbit, which will be used for "polar-orbiting earth observation," the Korean Committee for Space Technology said.

The launch comes just months after the North's failed launch attempt in April. Officials said they have analyzed the mistakes made in April, when the rocket broke apart shortly after takeoff, and have worked to improve the reliability and precision of the satellite and carrier rocket, the news agency reported.

South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade expressed "serious concern" over the upcoming launch.

"The launch is a severe provocation as it is ignoring the concern and warning from the international community and is a direct challenge to the international community as a whole," the South said.

The United States says the planned North Korean launch "would be a highly provocative act that threatens peace and security in the region."

The U.S. State Department issued a statement Saturday saying any North Korean launch using ballistic missile technology would be in direct violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874.

"Devoting scarce resources to the development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles will only further isolate and impoverish North Korea," the State Department said. "The path to security for North Korea lies in investing in its people and abiding by its commitments and international obligations."


Russia takes lead role in Group of 20

MOSCOW, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Russia assumed the chairmanship of the Group of 20 Saturday with President Vladimir Putin promising policies that will create jobs.

Putin said stimulating economic growth in the world's 20 largest economies and others is the primary task for the year Russia will head the organization, RIA Novosti reported. He said transparency and effective regulation are important to encourage investment and confidence in global markets.

"With these priorities in mind, we will discuss all the traditional G20 themes. Among them, the state of the world economy, and creation of an effective framework agreement to guarantee creditable and balanced growth, reform of the currency system and financial regulation and oversight, stability in global energy markets, strengthening of multilateral trade, and the fight against corruption," he said.

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