Nation/world briefs

  • Updated: September 19, 2013 - 8:54 PM

Mexico

97 dead and many missing after storms

President Enrique Peña Nieto is canceling his trip to New York for the annual U.N. General Assembly because of his country’s storm emergency. Twin weekend tropical storms struck Mexico, creating floods and landslides across the nation and killing at least 97 people as of Thursday — not counting 68 people missing in the remote mountain village of La Pintada. Some 35,000 homes across the country were damaged or destroyed nationwide.

Mali

Hollande says war on Islamic extremists won

French President Francois Hollande declared that the war against Islamic extremists had been won in Mali, though he vowed to keep French forces in the West African country as long as the threat exists. Hollande spoke before more than a dozen heads of state at inauguration festivities for Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who overwhelmingly won the election that France urged Mali to hold only months after the radical jihadists had been largely ousted from power in northern Mali.

Washington

Obama orders new step on drug penalties

The Obama administration expanded its effort to curtail severe penalties for low-level federal drug offenses, ordering prosecutors to refile charges against defendants in pending cases and strip out any references to specific quantities of illicit substances that would trigger mandatory minimum sentencing laws. The move, announced by Attorney General Eric Holder, builds on a policy change he unveiled last month. It applies to defendants who meet four criteria: their offense did not involve violence, the use of a weapon, or selling drugs to minors; they are not leaders of a criminal organization; they have no significant ties to large-scale gangs or drug trafficking organizations; and they have no significant criminal histories.

Colorado

Flood evacuees get first view of aftermath

Residents displaced by last week’s flooding were allowed past National Guard roadblocks to find a scene of tangled power lines, downed utility poles, mud-caked homes and vehicles. Crews were furiously trying to restore power, water and sewer service. Under tight security, hundreds of Lyons evacuees were given just two hours to check on their homes and leave.

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