World briefs: Drug cartel leader nabbed by Mexican Marines

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MEXICO CITY -- Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, the notoriously brutal leader of the feared Zetas drug cartel, has been captured in the first major blow against an organized crime leader by a Mexican administration struggling to drive down persistently high levels of violence, a U.S. federal official confirmed.

Mr. Trevino Morales, known as "Z-40," was captured by Mexican Marines in Nuevo Laredo, the Mexican media reported. The U.S. official who confirmed the media reports was not authorized to speak to the press and asked not to be identified.

Trevino Morales' capture removes the leader of a corps of special forces defectors who splintered off into their own cartel and spread across Mexico, expanding from drug dealing into extortion and human trafficking.

Salvaging cruise ship

GIGLIO, Italy -- Salvage crews are working against time to remove the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship, which is slowly being crushed under its own weight on its perch of granite seabed off the Tuscan island of Giglio. Officials said Monday that if this attempt fails, there won't be a second chance.

Nick Sloane, the leader of the salvage operation, said the Concordia has compressed some 10 feet since it came to rest on its side on the rocky perch Jan. 13, 2012, after ramming a jagged reef when it skirted too close to the island during a publicity stunt allegedly ordered by the captain; 32 people were killed.

Mr. Sloane, an engineer for U.S.-owned company Titan Salvage, said experts would have one chance to pull the ship upright and float it away to the mainland for demolition. The attempt will probably take place in mid-September.

Mr. Sloane spoke on the eve of the trial of Capt. Francesco Schettino, who is charged with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all passengers had been evacuated.

The trial, which was supposed to get underway July 9, was postponed until Wednesday due to a lawyers' strike.

Canada's Cabinet shuffle

OTTAWA -- Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper is seeking to rejuvenate his government's fortunes with one of the largest Cabinet shuffles since taking power in 2006, as he battles slumping poll ratings and an economy struggling to build steam.

Mr. Harper added eight new ministers Monday, including four women, to his Cabinet in changes announced on the social media site Twitter. His main economic lineup remains intact with the exception of James Moore, previously heritage minister, who is replacing Christian Paradis as industry minister. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Trade Minister Ed Fast and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver remain in their posts.

Also in the world ...

Kenya's government has rejected accusations by Somalia that its forces breached their peacekeeping mandate and said Monday that the troops will remain there until the Horn of Africa country stabilizes. ... President Thein Sein of Myanmar declared Monday on a visit to London that all political prisoners will be released by year's end, that deals are in place to end all the country's ethnic wars and that a nationwide cease-fire is in sight. His website also announced the disbanding of a controversial border security unit. ... London Mayor Boris Johnson said he'll submit plans to close the capital's Heathrow airport on the grounds that it's too noisy and replace it with a four-runway hub in one of three locations east or north of the city.



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