In the World

Chinese police preparingto destroy illegal firearms in Yuxi city in Yunnan province on Tuesday.
Chinese police preparingto destroy illegal firearms in Yuxi city in Yunnan province on Tuesday. (Associated Press)
Posted: June 13, 2012

China: Gun ring is broken up

SHANGHAI, China - Chinese authorities said Tuesday that they had detained 23 suspects here and had broken up an international gun-trafficking ring that conspired with a U.S. soldier to smuggle firearms into China.

The Ministry of Public Security said more than 100 guns and gun parts, and about 50,000 bullets, had been seized in the case, being jointly investigated with U.S. authorities.

The announcement came weeks after U.S. officials arrested Staff Sgt. Joseph Debose, 29, a soldier with a Special Forces National Guard unit in North Carolina, on charges of illegal firearms trafficking.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, customs officers in Shanghai stumbled upon the smuggling ring in August after discovering a Beretta 9mm semiautomatic handgun and other firearms hidden inside a stereo speaker in a UPS package.

After contacting UPS in the United States, as well as the Department of Homeland Security, the authorities traced the package to two Chinese nationals in New York, using shipping documents and surveillance video from a UPS facility in Queens. The two men eventually led the authorities to Debose, who was acting as a gun dealer in North Carolina, prosecutors said.

- N.Y. Times News Service

Tweet has France in an uproar

PARIS - President Francois Hollande's girlfriend set the French political establishment aghast with a tweet seen as a dig against his ex-wife.

The tweet of support to Olivier Falorni, a politician in western France, was signed by Valerie Trierweiler and went viral on the Internet and dominated news shows.

It was seen as a dig at Segolene Royal, the mother of Hollande's four children. Royal, also a former Socialist presidential candidate, is running against Falorni in the Charente-Maritime region in Sunday's parliamentary elections final round.

The tweet starts: "Have courage, Olivier Falorni." But it is easily interpreted as a not-so-veiled dig at Royal.

The Socialist Party recently banished Falorni for failing to step aside in favor of Royal, so he is running as a dissident candidate.

The relationship between the two women is known to be tense, fueling a variety of explanations as to why she sent the tweet.

One such explanation suggested that Trierweiler is fearful of Royal again getting close to Hollande.

- AP

Tunisian capital beset by protests

TUNIS, Tunisia - A report says Tunisian authorities have placed the area around the capital under curfew after protests by radical Islamists, along with several areas in the North African country's interior.

The official TAP news agency said Tuesday that the curfew is in place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time.

Tunisian police fired warning shots earlier in the day in three suburbs of Tunis to disperse radical Islamist protesters after they set a security post ablaze and ransacked an art exhibit they called offensive to Islam. - AP

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