Francisco Rafael Arellano Félix , the eldest of seven brothers of the Tijuana cartel.
Francisco Rafael Arellano Félix, the eldest brother in Mexico's once-dominant Tijuana drug cartel, was shot to death by gunmen disguised as clowns at a children's party on Friday.
The 63-year-old drug lord was also known by the nicknames "El Pelón" (the baldie) or Menso, ("stupid/crazy"). He was assassinated by a man in a clown suit during a family gathering at an upscale resort in Cabo San Lucas, a popular tourist destination on the Baja California peninsula, state special investigations prosecutor Isai Arias told Associated Press on Saturday:
An official of the Baja California Sur state prosecutor's office told the AP that the costumes included a wig and a round red nose.
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"A federal appeals court will not reconsider a decision compelling a journalist to identify a source who disclosed details of a secret CIA operation," reports the AP:
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A rep for Omidyar replies to the early Washington Post scoop I blogged yesterday
, and corrects the record: "The new venture will be backed by Pierre Omidyar, personally, not Omidyar Network. Here is a blog post by Pierre on the topic today
. Additionally, Honolulu Civil Beat is not funded by Omidyar Network, it is a separate entity." — Xeni
BBC current affairs shows have long been about their own adversarial tone, and there's something to be thankful in that: Britain's media culture forces politicians to subject themselves to grillings in a way that just doesn't happen much in America. But the fearless, no-nonsense style is often so affected that it relies upon the anxiety and obedience of interview subjects. When one comes along who knows what the deal is, the hosts are left to "yes, but" their way through trivial and poorly-prepared interview scripts.
A perfect example unfolded on BBC Newsnight yesterday, where The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald faced off against an interviewer, Kirsty Wark, so hopeless that she didn't even know the good questions to attack him with.
On the Today Show this morning, a psychologist said "postpartum depression has led mothers to kill their children." This is not true.
Yesterday, Miriam Carey died after being shot by police following a car chase between the White House and the US Capitol building. Carey is reported to have tried to ram through barricades at the White House, hitting at least one officer as well as a squad car. She then drove her vehicle into barriers in front of the Hart Senate Building before being fatally shot by law enforcement officers. She was unarmed. A child identified as her daughter — a little more than one year old — was in the car the whole time.
Today, news outlets are reporting that Carey had a history of traumatic brain injury and postpartum depression, the latter of which may have been severe enough to send her to the hospital at some point in the past year. Nobody knows what, if any, effect this may have had on what happened yesterday. But it's led to plenty of speculation, and the spread of bad information that stigmatizes women suffering from an incredibly common mental illness.
For instance, on NBC's Today Show this morning, psychologist Jennifer Hartstein declared that "postpartum depression has led mothers to kill their children" — a statement that conflates PPD with a different disorder AND overstates the risk that other disorder poses to kids.
Over the next few days, we're all likely to hear a lot of discussion about postpartum depression. As you absorb that news, keep the following facts in mind:
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The FBI released surveillance video of Aaron Alexis who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on September 16. According to an FBI spokesperson, Alexis was under the "delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by electro-magnetic waves." (CNN)
The rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student last December drew worldwide attention to India's struggles with tradition, women's rights, and street harassment. In a piece for the Wall Street Journal, Krishna Pokharel and Aditi Malhotra add another layer to that onion, following the story of Punita Devi, the wife of one of the convicted rapists
. She, too, is suffering from the fallout of her husband's choices — and in ways that come back to those issues of tradition and equality. Living in a rural area where widows lose both their honor and any viable means of financial support, Devi is facing a future where she expects to be turned out of her in-laws' home, cannot return to her parents, and is judged and punished ... not for being the wife of a rapist, but for being nobody's wife. — Maggie
Part of the problem with the Chelsea Manning situation is that it's spawned a lot of not-terribly-well-informed discussion about the roles and experiences of transgendered people in the military. There's a risk of this one big anecdote coming to represent the whole. Enter the Kinsey Institute — America's favorite source of sexuality science — which just got a grant to do actual research on the lives of transgender service members. — Maggie
A full day after the birth of her cub, panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a second, stillborn, cub. The first cub is still doing great
. But the second one had developmental abnormalities and wasn't ever really going to live. — Maggie
The American electric grid averages 90-214 minutes of blackout time per customer, per year. And that's not counting blackouts caused by natural disasters. Meanwhile, between 2000 and 2006, the electricity industry put less than 2/10 of 1% of revenues into research and development. (You can read more about this in a BoingBoing feature I wrote last year
.) Yesterday, the White House released a report
calling for increased spending to upgrade and overhaul this aging — but incredible important — infrastructure. — Maggie
Yesterday, Rob told you about the first public tasting of a burger that was grown in a laboratory
, from strips of flesh built up from muscle stem cells. I found a couple of great links today that build on that news. First: The secret ingredient in lab-grown meat
is fetal cow blood. (It's both a significant part of the high price of lab meat, and a reason why your vegan friend won't be eating lab meat anytime soon.) Also be sure to check out synthetic biologist Christina Agapakis' perspective
— she tones down some of the hype while making it clear why lab meat is still pretty impressive. — Maggie
Hopefully, Edward Snowden's sojourn in Russia will go better than most of the historic examples of Americans defecting
to that country. — Maggie
Begun in 1927 at The University of Queensland, Australia, the pitch-drop experiment
is an attempt to prove that pitch (a sticky, black, seemingly solid form of petroleum) is actually just a particularly viscous liquid. It takes years for a drop of pitch to form and, until this week, nobody had ever observed the drops in the act of, well, dropping. The catch: It wasn't the University of Queensland that finally succeeded. Instead, the documentary footage comes from a different (and less famous) pitch-drop experiment at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. You can watch the drop drip
in a video at their site. — Maggie
Astronaut Luca Parmitano had to cut short his spacewalk yesterday, after his helmet flooded with more than a liter of water. How's that happen? Initially, Parmitano suspected a leak in his 32 oz. drink bag, which is fitted into the front of the suit and connects to the helmet via a tube and built-in drinking valve, writes Thomas Jones at Popular Mechanics. But the actual culprit is likely to be the suit's cooling system
— a series of water-filled tubes that run all around the astronaut's body. — Maggie
Behind the unveiling of J.K. Rowling
as the author of a pseudonymously published detective novel lies a messy and not-terribly-precise science called "forensic stylistics". Using specially designed software — or, less often, just a trained eye — experts in the field try to match writing styles and discern the true authorship of disputed texts. But, even when they turn out to be right, as in the Rowling case, their findings are less than exact
. Linguist Ben Zimmer explores the field and its usefulness at The Wall Street Journal. — Maggie