Elizabeth Dickinson is a freelance journalist and former assistant managing editor at Foreign Policy.
MEXICO CITY — On a quiet November day nearly two years ago, Luis Angel Leon Rodriguez called his mother, Araceli, to tell her he would be leaving town for a while. The 24-year-old federal police officer was being sent on a mission to Michoacán, one of Mexico's hottest states for organized crime. He would earn a bit more money in the danger zone, he explained. His mother implored him not to go; Luis Angel brushed off her fears.
Drivers in Moscow stopped in the middle of a 10-lane highway this week to pick up what looked like strewn money. It turns out, the road was not paved with rubles. Just bookmarks printed to look like a 1,000 ruble note.
With President Obama preparing to meet with congressional leaders from both major parties at the White House later this morning, there are a variety of reports about the outlines of what may — and we stress the word may -- be a deal on a multitrillion-dollar deficit-reduction plan.
Speakers for the 131st annual Fancy Farm picnic have been scheduled and organizers have confirmed candidates seeking statewide office and departing public officials will be in attendance. Time has even been set aside for any GOP presidential nominees running in 2012, but none are on the list—yet.
Minnesota's government has had been shutdown for nearly a week. There continues to be a standoff over taxes and spending between the Democratic governor and the Republicans who control the state's legislature. Hundreds of laid off state workers rallied at the steps of the state Capitol Wednesday.
With the August deadline on the debt ceiling looming, President Obama and Republicans say they have agreed on a set of spending cuts. The president is insisting that the package include some revenue. The debate seems to center on when is a tax increase not a tax increase. David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, talks to Renee Montagne about Thursday's deficit reduction talks at the White House.
In Texas Thursday, Humberto Leal Garcia is scheduled to be put to death. Leal was convicted of the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in 1994 — but he is a Mexican national and was not informed of his right to notify his embassy or consulate at the time of his arrest. President Obama, the United Nations and others have asked Texas to stay the execution, but the state has refused.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid "News Of The World" is facing new allegations in a phone hacking scandal that has set off a fire storm in Britain. Murdoch's top news executive at News International is under increasing pressure to resign.
Six years ago today, suicide bombers killed 52 people by targeting London's public transit system. There are allegations that British police collaborated with tabloid magazines to hack into the victims' voicemail messages left that day.