Mexico captures alleged hit men for drug cartel

MEXICO CITY - Eleven alleged hit men for a powerful drug cartel were captured Tuesday at two Mexico City mansions stocked with grenades and automatic weapons - a day after Mexican authorities reported nabbing one of the cartel's reputed leaders.

Police said it was the first time they have found a safe house linked to the cartel in the capital city.

'Yes, the cartel is operating here in Mexico City,' said Edgar Millan, top commander of Mexico's national federal police, at a news conference following pre-dawn raids on two houses in southern Mexico City. Eight men were arrested in one raid and three in the other.

Rare reptiles die mysteriously in central India

LUCKNOW, India - Conservationists and scientists scrambled Tuesday to determine what has killed at least 50 critically endangered crocodile-like reptiles in recent weeks in a river sanctuary in central India.

Everything from parasites to pollution has been blamed for the deaths of the gharials - massive reptiles that look like their crocodile relatives, but with long slender snouts. The bodies, measuring between five and 10 feet long, have been found washed up on the banks of the Chambal River since early December, according to conservationists and officials.

First soldier dies in new heavily armored vehicle

WASHINGTON - A soldier killed over the weekend south of Baghdad was the first American casualty in a roadside bomb attack on a newly introduced, heavily armored vehicle, military officials said Tuesday.

The death, however, has not changed the Pentagon's mind about its plans to spend more than $22 billion to buy thousands of the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles, known by the acronym MRAP, for the Army and Marine Corps to use in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

Panel: Canada should stay in Afghanistan

TORONTO - An independent panel recommended Tuesday that Canada extend its military mission in Afghanistan only if another NATO country puts 1,000 soldiers in the dangerous southern province of Kandahar.

The report comes as the Conservative government is under pressure to withdraw about 2,500 troops from Kandahar province, the former Taliban stronghold, after the deaths of 77 soldiers and a diplomat. The mission is set to expire in 2009 without an extension by Canadian lawmakers.