Headlines from around the world: 4-30-12

The Secret Service is looking into a new report that a group of its agents partied at a strip club in El Salvador and hired prostitutes prior to a visit by president Barack Obama. The report is coming out after an agency scandal involving twelve Secret Service agents who hired prostitutes and took them back to their hotel rooms in Cartagena, Colombia. Eight of the agents were forced out, one is having his security clearance revoked, and the three others have been cleared of serious wrongdoing but face disciplinary actions. For this investigation, the strip club’s owner confirmed that Secret Service agents were at the club prior to Obama’s visit. He also mentioned that FBI agents, DEA agents, and U.S. Embassy employees in San Salvador frequent the club.

Riot police fired at least ten rounds of tear gas, as well as water cannons on Saturday at a crowd of 25,000 protesters in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. The protesters, who are demanding changes to the electoral system, are now fighting for their right to rally and are hoping to draw upwards of 100,000 to the protests. If the violence is found to be unjustified, Prime Minister Najib Razak may be forced to delay the elections.

A U.N. backed court convicted ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor of war crimes during the Sierra Leone and Liberia Civil war that left 50,000 dead. He was charged with murder, rape, conscripting child soldiers, and sexual slavery. The prosecution alleged that Taylor financed the Revolutionary United Front’s (RUF) war with the “blood diamonds” mined illegally in Sierra Leone through the enslaving of its people.

A woman in Connecticut was charged with a DUI last week after she drove into a liquor store. The woman, Sharon Brooks, 63, is blaming the incident on cough medicine (Nyquil) and Armor All, which she said caused her foot to slip off the brake pad. Employees at the store said that they had never seen anything like it and were simply shocked when a car came barreling into the store.

In Washington State’s Olympic National Park, a large dam built in 1927 is being removed to allow salmon to repopulate the once popular stream. Governor Christine Gregoire hailed the dam’s removal as a significant environmental milestone. Supporters say the benefits of removing the dam to the environment outweigh the loss of not having its power supply and see this as a symbol of a future that may find other dams being destroyed to restore the natural beauty of the rivers.

Home Plus and Lotte Mart, two major supermarket chains in South Korea halted sales of U.S. beef following the discovery of mad cow disease in a U.S. dairy cow. The new case of mad cow disease is the third in the U.S. and the first in six years, involving a California dairy cow. Health authorities stress that the animal was never intended to be slaughtered and as such was never a threat to the nation’s food supply.

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