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April 19, 2012

US Secret Service agents face investigation for Colombian sex scandal

US Secret Service agents face investigation for Colombian sex scandal

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

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The beaches of Cartagena, Colombia with the Hotel Caribe in the background.
Image: FreddySampayo.

US Senator Susan Collins said Tuesday US Secret Service agents and US military personnel in Cartagena, Colombia engaged around 21 Colombian women in the prostitution sex scandal last week.

In addition to the eleven US Secret Service agents currently under investigation, the US military doubled the target of its review from five to ten of its own members, all of whom were at Hotel Caribe in Cartagena. The investigated Secret Service agents have had their security clearances suspended during the investigation period, and are on administrative leave. Mark Sullivan, director of the Secret Service agency, is in charge of the investigation.

Senator Collins said she was worried that the agents could have been compromised in ways that might have harmed the president’s security, such as being bugged.

The sex scandal has overshadowed President Barack Obama’s trip to Colombia last Friday where he went primarily to discuss trade issues at the Summit of the Americas, but the President expressed his confidence that the internal investigation would be “thorough” and “rigorous”.

Speaking for the military, Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Monday the military had been “embarrassed” and had not served the president well during the trip.

A manager at the Hotel Caribe first alerted the police after women had stayed in the Secret Service agents’ rooms past the hotel’s time limit for guests, according to US House of Representatives member Peter King. Guests are required to leave identification with the hotel while on the premises, and the policy of the hotel is that guests must leave by 7 in the morning. At least five military members missed their curfew and were at the same hotel where the incident with the agents took place.



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China, UN rebuke North Korea for rocket launch

China, UN rebuke North Korea for rocket launch

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

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The United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors Friday and issued tough statements right before North Korea’s holiday.
Video: Crtew & United Nations.

North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket ready to launch at Tangachai-ri space center on April 8.It was launched April 13.
Image: Sungwon Baik / VOA.

China has joined other members of the United Nations Security Council in openly warning North Korea against future provocations and took several diplomatic measures on Tuesday and Wednesday.

China’s foreign ministry released a statement Wednesday that urged a return to talks: “We believe that maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula is in the interest of all parties … Dialogue and negotiation is the only correct way out.”

The statement came after North Korea’s announcement Tuesday that it would no longer honor the testing agreements that have been made with the United States. The United States halted its food aid, which had been part of the agreements, after Friday’s failed launch.

Also on Tuesday, China delivered another stern warning to the nation through its party newspaper Global Times. In the statement, China expressed impatience with its neighbor and said China’s foreign policy toward North Korea would not be hijacked by North Korea’s leaders. Behind the scenes, China has ceased the repatriation of North Korean nationals on Chinese territory.

Diplomatic pressure on North Korea continued this week as the country remained defiant during its celebration Sunday. Kim Jong-un gave his first formal address on Sunday in the aftermath of Friday’s failed attempt to launch a multistage rocket into orbit and in honor of the anniversary of Kim Il-sung’s 100th birthday. North Korea publicly acknowledged that its rocket broke up in flight and over ocean waters before ever taking orbit Friday morning.

The United Nations criticized North Korea over the weekend for a satellite launch that member states saw as a “provocative” move, which followed shortly after the country’s launch. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the attempt “deplorable” and said it “threatens regional stability.” Corinne Momal-Vanian, UN spokesperson, said, “The Secretary-General urges the (North Korean government) not to undertake any further provocative actions that will heighten tension in the region.”

The UN Security Council met in a closed session Friday. Susan Rice, who is both the current UN Security Council president and US ambassador to the United Nations, said, “The United States’ view of this is quite clear, we have condemned the launch. We view it as a direct violation of resolution 1718 and 1874. We think it’s important that the Council respond credibly and we will be working in that direction.”

While China is being openly critical of North Korea, it has a veto right on the UN Security Council that has prevented further sanctions. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said China stood with other member nations of the Security Council in penalizing North Korea for future actions.

In a nation where speeches by leaders are rare, the young North Korean leader on Sunday said, “Superiority in military technology is no longer monopolized by imperialists.” The public event finished with the display of a new rocket and it further punctuated Kim Jong-un’s call for making the military the nation’s number one priority.



Related news

  • “Airlines modify flight routes amid North Korea rocket launch plans” — Wikinews, April 11, 2012
  • “Report: North Korea planning third nuclear bomb test” — Wikinews, April 8, 2012
  • “North Korea plans to launch long-range rocket” — Wikinews, March 18, 2012

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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