American Press: Your Best News And Advertising Source - World American Press: The Only Local Daily Newspaper In Southwest Louisiana. en-US Copyright (c) January, 2017 American Press. All rights reserved <![CDATA[Official: Nigeria mistakenly bombs camp, kills more than 100]]> By Haruna Umar and Bashir Adigun / Associated Press

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria -- A Nigerian air force fighter jet on a mission against Boko Haram extremists mistakenly bombed a refugee camp on Tuesday, killing more than 100 refugees and aid workers, a Borno state official said.

Military commander Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor confirmed an accidental bombardment in the northeastern town of Rann, near the border with Cameroon, saying "some" civilians were killed.

It was believed to be the first time Nigeria's military has admitted to making such a mistake in a region where villagers have in the past reported civilian casualties in the near-daily bombings targeting the Islamic militants.

The Borno state official, who was helping to coordinate the evacuation of wounded from the remote area by helicopters, said more than 100 refugees and aid workers were among the dead. He spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Doctors Without Borders said its team based in Rann counted 52 bodies and were treating 120 wounded.

"This large-scale attack on vulnerable people who have already fled from extreme violence is shocking and unacceptable," said Dr. Jean-Cl?ment Cabrol, the aid group's director of operations. "The safety of civilians must be respected."

The International Committee for the Red Cross said six workers with the Nigerian Red Cross were among the dead and 13 were wounded. "They were part of a team that had brought in desperately needed food for over 25,000 displaced persons," spokesman Jason Straziuso said in a statement from Nairobi, Kenya.

Two soldiers were also wounded, as well as Nigerians working for Doctors Without Borders, Irabor said, without giving a precise figure.

The general, who is the theater commander for counterinsurgency operations in northeast Nigeria, said he ordered the mission based on information that Boko Haram insurgents were gathering in the area, along with geographic coordinates.

It was too early to say if a tactical error was made, he said, adding that the bombing would be investigated.

Doctors Without Borders spokesman Etienne l'Hermitte in Geneva urged authorities to facilitate cross-border land and air evacuations.

"Our medical and surgical teams in Cameroon and Chad are ready to treat wounded patients. We are in close contact with our teams, who are in shock following the event," the statement said.

Villagers have in the past reported some civilian casualties in near-daily bombardments in northeastern Nigeria.

Some of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 and freed last year have said three of their classmates were killed by air force bombardments, according to the freed girls' parents. Of the nearly 300 schoolgirls who were abducted, 196 remain missing.

The bombings have helped drive Boko Haram out of many towns and villages and, according to Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, the insurgents' last stronghold in the Sambisa Forest last month.

Boko Haram's 7-year-old Islamic uprising has killed more than 20,000 people and forced 2.6 million from their homes, creating the continent's worst humanitarian crisis, with the United Nations warning some 5.1 million people face starvation.

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:31:46 CST 13578289 at
<![CDATA[Putin: Obama administration trying to undermine Trump]]> By Vladimir Isachnkov / Associated Press

MOSCOW -- President Vladimir Putin took a parting shot at the Obama administration Tuesday, accusing it of trying to undermine Donald Trump's legitimacy with fake allegations and "binding the president-elect hand and foot to prevent him from fulfilling his election promises."

In his first public remarks about an unsubstantiated dossier outlining unverified claims that Trump engaged in sexual activities with prostitutes at a Moscow hotel, Putin dismissed the material as "nonsense."

"People who order such fakes against the U.S. president-elect, fabricate them and use them in political struggle are worse than prostitutes," Putin said. "They have no moral restrictions whatsoever, and it highlights a significant degree of degradation of political elites in the West, including in the United States."

Separately, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the dossier, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, was a "rude provocation." The diplomat contemptuously called its author a "runaway swindler from MI6," Britain's foreign intelligence agency. Trump has rejected the sexual allegations as "fake news" and "phony stuff."

The statements by Putin and Lavrov reflected the Kremlin's deep anger at President Barack Obama's administration in a culmination of tensions that have built up over the crisis in Ukraine, the war in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

Putin said the allegations were part of efforts by the Obama administration to "undermine the legitimacy of the president-elect" despite his "convincing" victory.

Asked about Putin's remarks, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said it "was not the first time the intelligence community has had some uncomfortable things to say about Russia."

"These are the kind of things I'm sure the Russians would rather not to hear, but ultimately, and this is something that the next administration is going to have to decide, there's a pretty stark divide here," he added.

Putin voiced hope that "common sense will prevail" and Russia and the United States will be able to normalize relations once Trump takes office Friday.

"I don't know Mr. Trump," Putin said. "I have never met him and I don't know what he will do on the international arena. I have no reason whatsoever to assail him, criticize him for something, or defend him."

Putin ridiculed those behind the dossier for alleging Russian spy agencies collected compromising material on Trump when he visited Moscow in 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant.

"He wasn't a politician. We didn't even know about his political ambitions," Putin said at a news conference. "Do they think that our special services are hunting for every U.S. billionaire?"

Putin also sarcastically suggested that Trump, who met the world's most beautiful women at the pageant, had a better choice for female companionship than Moscow prostitutes, even though Putin claimed "they are also the best in the world."

He said Trump's foes are ready to go as far as to "stage a Maidan in Washington to prevent Trump from entering office" — a reference to the alleged U.S. role in organizing protests in the Ukrainian capital's main square, Maidan, that forced the nation's Russia-friendly president from power in 2014.

"People who are doing that are inflicting colossal damage to the interests of the United States," Putin said. "How can you do anything to improve U.S.-Russian relations when they launch such canards as hackers' interference in the election?"

At a separate news conference, Lavrov also said Moscow hopes for better relations with Washington once Trump takes office.

Russia and the United States can reach common ground on nuclear arms control and other issues if each country proceeds from its national interests and shows respect for the other side, Lavrov said.

He voiced hope that Trump's team will consist of pragmatic people "who will not engage in moralizing and will try to understand the interests of their partners just as they clearly uphold their own interests."

Lavrov denounced the foreign policy of the Obama administration and its allies as "messianic" attempts to impose Western values on the rest of the world, which has led to instability and conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere.

He said Moscow is inviting representatives of the Trump administration to talks Monday on Syria in Kazakhstan — discussions brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran. He voiced hope that Russian and U.S. experts could discuss fighting terrorism in Syria.

Asked about Trump's recent remarks in which he indicated he could end sanctions on Russia for its 2014 annexation of Crimea in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal, Lavrov said Moscow was ready to hold nuclear arms talks with Washington.

Lavrov noted he didn't see Trump's words as an offer to cut arms in exchange for canceling the sanctions, rather as an expression of readiness to look at reviewing the sanctions while engaging in negotiations on arms control, among other issues.

Like Putin, Lavrov rejected allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election as "absurdities" and "fakes" intended to hurt Trump.

He said U.S. intelligence agencies have failed to produce any evidence to back those claims, adding that officials who engaged in the effort "deserve to be fired, as they receive their salaries for nothing."

Lavrov described the allegations of Russian election meddling in the U.S. vote as the final "spasms of those who realize that their time is coming to an end."

"The time of foreign policy demagogues is over, and, feeling hurt, they fabricate all kinds of fakes," he said. "First, officials leak fakes to the media, then media start spinning them and, finally, officials comment on them as facts."

Lavrov also accused U.S. officials of repeated attempts to recruit Russian diplomats in the U.S. as spies, including a deputy chief of mission.

In her final speech as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power accused Russia of pursuing a policy of "deny and lie" to raise doubts about its actions in Syria and Ukraine, to undermine international institutions and, citing U.S. intelligence analysis, repeated allegations that Moscow used a well-crafted, multipronged attack to disrupt the U.S. election through hacking and misinformation.

"I know some have said that this focus on Russia is simply the party that lost the recent presidential election being 'sore losers,'" Power told the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank, "but it should worry every American that a foreign government interfered in our democratic process."

She said the U.S. must reassure its allies that Russia will pay a price for interfering in other nations' sovereign affairs, and that means maintaining sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine as well as meddling in U.S. politics.

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:37:20 CST 13578188 at
<![CDATA[2 soldiers killed as Ivory Coast unrest continues over pay]]> By Robbie Corey-Boulet and Alexis Adele / Associated Press

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast -- This month's unrest in Ivory Coast turned deadly for the first time Tuesday, as a witness said two soldiers were killed in clashes in the capital, Yamoussoukro. The deaths and gunfire by other security forces was a warning that the government had not yet calmed anger that began Jan. 6 with a mutiny.

The two soldiers were part of a group demanding hefty bonuses similar to those the government agreed to give mutineers in Bouake, the country's second-largest city, last week, said Charly Bagnon, a local radio journalist who confirmed the deaths at the morgue.

Earlier in the day the group of soldiers, wearing hoods over their faces, drove through Yamoussoukro's streets, firing into the air and forcing many businesses to close. They later exchanged fire with a group of soldiers brought in to put down the unrest, Bagnon said.

Also on Tuesday, military police opened fire in several cities, witnesses said. Their demands were not immediately clear.

The mutiny that began Jan. 6 was led by former rebels who had backed President Alassane Ouattara in a 2011 postelection conflict that claimed more than 3,000 lives. Among the mutineers' demands were bonuses of nearly $20,000 for more than 8,000 fighters.

On Friday, the mutineers said the government had agreed to pay them, and at least some soldiers in Bouake began receiving bank transfers Monday and Tuesday. The government has said only that a deal was reached, declining to confirm specifics.

The violence in Yamoussoukro began Monday night when soldiers raided an armory at a training academy, according to an expert on the Ivorian army, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to describe his conversations with the soldiers.

He said the soldiers behind the raid and subsequent shooting were former rebels who were not included in the deal reached Friday.

Augustin Thiam, the governor of Yamoussoukro, met with soldiers for several hours on Tuesday but did not say whether any conclusions had been reached.

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:23:14 CST 13578160 at
<![CDATA[Israel's Netanyahu mired in series of corruption allegations]]> By Aron Heller / Associated Press

JERUSALEM -- Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu might be upbeat these days: The economy is growing, his opposition is weak and the incoming Trump administration seems friendly, even to the much-maligned Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Instead, the long-serving leader is mired in a series of eye-popping corruption investigations in a country that has already jailed a prime minister and president.

Police have interrogated Netanyahu several times "under caution" over questionable ties to top executives in media, international business and Hollywood, whipping up a sense that he might actually be driven from office. The latest scandal, involving secret negotiations with the publisher of a critical newspaper, is proving especially embarrassing.

The transcripts of Netanyahu's taped negotiations with his supposed arch-nemesis, media mogul Arnon Mozes of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper group, have dominated the national agenda in recent weeks. Netanyahu allegedly promised to promote legislation that would weaken Yediot's main competitor in exchange for more favorable coverage.

It follows previous allegations that Netanyahu improperly accepted lavish gifts from wealthy supporters — including Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan — and that his personal attorney, who is also a cousin, represented a German firm involved in a controversial $1.5 billion sale of submarines to Israel.

These follow previous repeated claims that his wife Sara misused state funds for personal use, compounding a public image of Israel's first family as detached hedonists corrupted by years in power.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, portraying the accusations as a witch hunt against him and his family by a hostile media. Despite his impressive total of 11 years in office over two periods, Netanyahu has found himself at frequent loggerheads with much of the country's establishment, including lately the security leadership.

"In recent days, there is an unprecedented, orchestrated media campaign to topple the Likud government that I lead. This propaganda campaign is aimed at pressuring the attorney general and others in the state prosecution to indict me," he posted on Facebook.

Cabinet ministers must resign if indicted. But Israeli law is murkier when it comes to prime ministers, and Netanyahu has given no indication that he would step down in such a case.

The government of Netanyahu's predecessor, Ehud Olmert, fell apart before he was indicted and ultimately imprisoned on corruption charges. Former President Moshe Katsav, who just completed a five-year sentence for rape and other sex crimes, also was forced to step down before he was indicted.

Regardless of whether Netanyahu's actions prove criminal, opposition leader Isaac Herzog said they posed a "serious breach of trust between the government and its citizens."

Most of the attention has focused on Netanyahu's reported jockeying with Mozes in 2014 over how to rein in Israel Hayom — a free daily financed by Netanyahu's billionaire friend Sheldon Adelson that largely serves as Netanyahu's mouthpiece and has damaged Yediot financially.

The payoff, allegedly, would be Yediot flipping its editorial line in favor of Netanyahu. The talks ultimately led nowhere. This week, Netanyahu confirmed for the first time that he called an early election in 2015 to block legislation aimed at curtailing Israel Hayom's distribution by forcing it to charge a newsstand fee.

Netanyahu has since appointed himself communications minister, making him responsible for media regulation, and ordered coalition partners not to float any media-related bills without his approval.

The leaks have also raised questions about the journalistic integrity of Yediot, which has gone into damage control mode even as some of its own columnists have called on Mozes to step down. Mozes has been questioned several times by police and hasn't commented publicly.

It is not clear whether a crime was committed, and the other allegations may ultimately prove more serious.

The Netanyahus are said to have received more than $100,000 worth of cigars and liquor from Milchan. Packer has reportedly lavished Netanyahu's college-aged son, Yair, with gifts that included extended stays at luxury hotels in Tel Aviv, New York and Aspen, Colorado, as well as the use of his private jet and dozens of tickets for concerts by Packer's former fiancee, Mariah Carey.

On Tuesday night, Yair was reportedly being questioned by police.

Police are trying to determine whether these constitute bribes, since Packer is reportedly seeking Israeli residency status for tax purposes and Milchan reportedly asked Netanyahu to press the U.S. secretary of state in a visa matter. Israel's Interior Ministry would not comment on Packer's status, and a representative for Milchan did not respond to requests for comment.

None of Netanyahu's coalition partners have come out against him. Cabinet Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a close associate, said the Likud party was strongly behind its leader and no one was even considering making a run to replace him.

"It doesn't seem to me, in a superficial observation, to be something corrupt or criminal," he said.

But the saga has put a damper on Netanyahu's joy over the arrival of Donald Trump, after eight years of testy ties with President Barack Obama. In a possible sign of trouble, Netanyahu last week suddenly canceled a trip to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Aides say there are no plans to attend Trump's inauguration, despite reports that he was invited.

Trump looks to be a far more comfortable fit for Netanyahu and his nationalist coalition. He's appointed a Jewish-American lawyer with close ties to the settlement movement as his ambassador to Israel and vowed to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — fulfilling a longtime Israeli wish.

Appearing to take a page out of the Trump playbook, Netanyahu has increasingly been attacking the press and taking to social media.

Opposition lawmaker Erel Margalit, who has been leading the calls to investigate Netanyahu, said his conduct over time makes him unfit to serve.

"Netanyahu is finished. It may take several more months but we need to start preparing for the next generation," he said.

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 11:04:48 CST 13577991 at
<![CDATA[Northern Ireland unity government crumbles, faces March vote]]> By The Associated Press

DUBLIN -- Northern Ireland's shattered unity government will be dissolved next week to make way for an early election demanded by the coalition's main Irish Catholic party, the secretary of state for the British territory announced Monday.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire said the election to re-elect the Northern Ireland Assembly would be held March 2, six weeks after its dissolution.

Brokenshire's declaration became inevitable once the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein party refused hours earlier to fill its vacated top post in the nearly decade-old coalition with the major British Protestant party, the Democratic Unionists.

The warring parties face a potentially brutal election that could determine whether their unity government — centerpiece of Northern Ireland's peace accord — can ever be put back together again.

Brokenshire appealed to both camps not to make their relationship even worse with bitter accusations on the campaign trail.

"While it is inevitable that debate during an election period will be intense, I would strongly encourage the political parties to conduct this election with a view to the future of Northern Ireland and re-establishing a partnership government," Brokenshire told reporters at Stormont Castle, the center of power-sharing in Belfast.

At stake is the resurrection of cross-community government, a goal sought by generations of peacemakers as the most logical way to end a conflict that has claimed 3,700 lives since the late 1960s.

Against the odds of history, a government led jointly by the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein took office in 2007 and, until recent months, had governed the long-disputed corner of the United Kingdom with surprisingly few blow-ups.

Sinn Fein says it forced the government's collapse to protest the refusal of the Democratic Unionist leader, First Minister Arlene Foster, to step aside voluntarily.

As they left Stormont, Sinn Fein leaders accused the Democratic Unionists of poisoning their partnership by treating them abusively and refusing to be held accountable for the bungling of a "green energy" program overseen by Foster.

The program is expected to cost Northern Ireland, a land of barely 1.8 million citizens, 500 million pounds ($600 million) in ill-regulated and open-ended subsidies.

"There can be no return unless there's fundamental change in how the DUP approach power-sharing," Sinn Fein lawmaker Conor Murphy said.

Foster, who was forced from office when Sinn Fein counterpart Martin McGuinness resigned a week ago, accused Sinn Fein of pursuing another election barely 10 months after the last one to advance its own political ambitions.

"They have forced an election that risks Northern Ireland's future and its stability and suits nobody apart from themselves," said Foster, who became Northern Ireland's first female leader 12 months ago.

Analysts agree that Sinn Fein hopes to overtake the Democratic Unionists and become Northern Ireland's No. 1 party for the first time, gaining the symbolically potent right to hold the post Foster previously held.

Foster's party won 38 of the assembly's 108 seats in the May 2016 election, Sinn Fein 29.

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:36:40 CST 13575673 at
<![CDATA[Blast targeting police in southeast Turkey kills 4 officers]]> By The Associated Press

ISTANBUL -- A roadside bomb in a pre-dominantly Kurdish city in southeast Turkey on Monday killed four policemen and wounded two others, according to the state-run news agency.

Anadolu Agency said the explosion occurred near Dicle University in the Sur district of Diyarbakir province. The report blamed the attack on militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK.

The private Dogan news agency broadcast footage showing ambulances, a firetruck and security forces deployed at the scene of the blast.

The wounded were taken to Dicle University's Medical Faculty Hospital, Anadolu reported.

The office of Diyarbakir's governor gave the same death toll for the afternoon explosion. In a statement, it offered condolences to the families of the officers who died and said an investigation was underway to find those responsible.

Turkey's southeast has witnessed renewed conflict between state security forces and Kurdish militants that has left thousands dead in the last year.

The PKK has waged a decades-long insurgency and is considered a terror organization by Turkey and its allies, including the United States.

In the past year, Turkey has endured more than 30 major violent attacks linked to the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants.

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:45:53 CST 13575506 at
<![CDATA[Ethics watchdog investigating Canadian PM's vacation]]> By The Associated Press

OTTAWA, Ontario -- Canada's ethics commissioner said Monday she is launching an investigation into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's recent family holiday at the Aga Khan's private island in the Bahamas.

Ethics commissioner Mary Dawson said Trudeau may have violated the federal ethics code during his holiday with the Aga Khan, a family friend, philanthropist and hereditary spiritual leader to the world's approximately 15 million Ismaili Muslims. It's the first time the ethics commissioner has opted to investigate the actions of a sitting prime minister.

In a letter to opposition Conservative lawmaker Blaine Calkins, who was among those who filed formal complaints, Dawson said she is looking into both Trudeau's stay at the island and his use of the Aga Khan's private helicopter to get there.

The vacation included Trudeau, his family, Liberal lawmaker Seamus O'Regan and Liberal party president Anna Gainey, all of whom took part in the chopper flight from Nassau to get to the secluded island.

Both the Conflict of Interest Act and Trudeau's own ethics guidelines bar the use of sponsored travel in private aircraft, allowing it only for exceptional circumstances.

The guidelines also prohibit a minister or any member of their family from accepting gifts or "advantages" that could reasonably be seen as influencing government decisions. The only exception is if the person providing the gift is a friend.

Trudeau has repeatedly called the Aga Khan a longtime family friend who was a pallbearer at his father's funeral. Late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the Aga Khan were friends.

Trudeau has said he is ready to meet with Dawson about the trip.

"As the prime minister said last week, we are happy to engage with the commissioner and answer any questions she may have," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:45:49 CST 13575504 at
<![CDATA[EU nations react with surprise, defiance to Trump remarks]]> By The Associated Press

BRUSSELS -- European Union nations reacted with surprise and defiance Monday to Donald Trump's comments that he believed NATO was "obsolete" and that more member states would leave the 28-nation EU.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the U.S. president-elect's view on NATO and criticism that allied members weren't paying their fair share has "caused astonishment."

At a meeting of EU foreign ministers, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the best response to such an interview was simple — a united Europe.

In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that even though Trump's positions had been well known "I think we Europeans have our fate in our own hands."

"I'm personally going to wait until the American president takes office, and then we will naturally work with him on all levels," she told reporters.

Some EU officials fear Trump's frequent, often acerbic Twitter postings might be the prelude to a caustic presidency after Friday's inauguration.

"We are going to move away from, I guess, a kind of Twitter diplomacy, and then into a reality," said Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, adding that reality could be "perhaps more difficult than what is going on on Twitter."

Although Trump had made similar statements about NATO during his election campaign, his recent comments still came as a bit of a surprise since his choice for defense secretary, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, stressed his support for the NATO military alliance in his U.S. congressional confirmation hearing last week.

Trump's views, in an interview published Monday with German daily Bild and The Times of London, contradict Mattis, Steinmeier said.

There has even been fears the U.S. military commitment to Europe would wane under Trump. A German newspaper group reports that Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has urged Trump to continue meeting the U.S.'s financial obligations toward the alliance.

"Since World War II, the presence of U.S. troops has been a prerequisite for rebuilding the continent, safeguarding peace and ensuring security," she told the RND network of some 30 German papers.

"We expect continuity from the new U.S. administration. Trump must maintain this leadership role, to ensure security, stability and peace," she was quoted as saying.

Trump indicated he was indifferent to whether the EU stays together or not, a sharp break from the Obama administration, which encouraged British people to vote to remain in the EU in the June referendum.

"I believe others will leave ... I do think keeping it together is not gonna be as easy as a lot of people think," Trump said in the interview.

The British exit from the EU would "end up being a great thing," he said.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said it's "very good news that the United States of America wants to do a good free trade deal with us and wants to do it very fast."

Trump was less kind to German industry officials, saying car manufacturers including BMW could face tariffs of up to 35 percent if they set up plants in Mexico instead of in the U.S. and try to export the cars to the U.S.

Such tariffs would make "the American auto industry worse, weaker and more expensive," Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's economy minister, told Bild.

Gabriel suggested Europeans should exhibit more self-confidence in dealing with Trump. "We're not weak and inferior," he said.

Whatever his goal, Trump's comments were strong enough to make him the talk of the town in European capitals.

"It is clear that we are discussing this issue all the time," Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said at the EU meeting in Brussels.

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 10:11:43 CST 13575393 at
<![CDATA[Police: 5 killed in shooting at nightclub at Mexican resort]]> By The Associated Press

CANCUN, Mexico -- A shooting attack at an electronic music festival resulted in the deaths of at least five people and left 15 injured Monday at a nightclub at Mexico's Caribbean coast resort of Playa del Carmen, authorities said.

The shooting occurred about 2:30 a.m. outside the Blue Parrot nightclub, which was hosting an event that was part of the BPM electronic music festival.

The government of the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo, where Playa del Carmen is located, said four men were shot to death and one woman died in a fall during the confusion that ensued. It said in a statement that 15 people were wounded, and one of them was in very serious condition.

The state government said four people had been detained, but it was unclear if they included the shooter.

Rodolfo Del Angel, director of police in the state of Quintana Roo, told the Milenio TV station that he shooting was the result of "a disagreement between people inside" the nightclub and said security guards had come under fire when they tried to contain the dispute.

The BPM Festival posted a statement saying four people had been killed and 12 injured in an attack that involved "a lone shooter."

BPM wrote that "the violence began on 12th street in front of the club and three members of the BPM security team were among those whose lives were lost while trying to protect patrons inside the venue."

The Blue Parrot is one of the venues at the 10-day festival in Playa del Carmen, a tourist destination just south of the resort of Cancun that has largely been spared the violence that has hit other parts of Mexico.

Neither U.S. nor Canadian officials could immediately confirm if any of their citizens were among the victims in the shooting.

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 09:17:23 CST 13575311 at
<![CDATA[Paris officials charge first 3 suspects in Kardashian heist]]> By The Associated Press

PARIS -- French authorities have filed the first charges against three suspects in the armed jewelry heist of Kim Kardashian West, with more charges expected to follow, the Paris prosecutors' office said Thursday.

Robbers are believed to have forced their way into the private apartment where Kardashian West was staying during Paris Fashion Week in October, tied up the reality TV star and stolen more than $10 million worth of jewelry. Authorities are focusing on the possibility that the robbery was an inside job.

A 63-year-old suspect, named by the prosecutors only as Yunice A., was handed preliminary charges of armed robbery in an organized gang, kidnapping and criminal association.

Complicity charges in the alleged robbery and kidnapping, as well as a criminal association charge, were filed against 44-year-old Florus H., the prosecutors' office added.

The third suspect, 64-year-old Marceau B., faced preliminary charges of handling stolen goods and criminal association.

Prosecutors also requested that the suspects be kept in detention.

A fourth suspect, named as 27-year-old Gary M., was also appearing before a judge for possible charges.

Gary Madar, 27, is the brother of Kardashian West's Paris chauffeur, Michael Madar. Both worked for the same car service company but Michael Madar was freed earlier this week.

Six other people remained in custody and could face preliminary charges on Friday.

Earlier, French authorities released three men and a woman who were among 17 suspects detained Monday.

Kardashian West, meanwhile, used Instagram to reveal that she's jetting to Dubai for her first major public appearance since the Paris ordeal — headlining a Friday masterclass by her makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic.

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 13:32:35 CST 13567353 at