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WORLD: Mexican cartel makes offer to dissolve

Mexican cartel makes offer to dissolve

MEXICO CITY — A letter allegedly signed by a major Mexican drug cartel offers to dissolve the gang if the government promises to protect citizens in the western state where it is based, authorities said Wednesday.

Prosecutors said they couldn’t immediately verify the letter’s authenticity — or the offer’s sincerity — but stressed the federal government does not negotiate with drug cartels.

The one-page letter allegedly signed by ‘‘La Familia Michoacana’’ drug cartel was dropped in the streets of some mountain towns in the western state of Michoacan on Tuesday, according to the Michoacan bureau of the federal Attorney General’s Office. It also showed up as a banner above an overpass and was sent as an e-mail to reporters.

The missive claims La Familia wants to protect Michoacan and its residents and says the group will disband if federal police promise to act honestly and fight to the death to defend the state.

Pink diamond could set record

GENEVA — A rare pink diamond goes on auction next week — and Sotheby’s says the gem could set a new world record if it sells for its estimated price of $27 million to $38 million.

The 24.78-carat gem, described as ‘‘fancy intense pink,’’ would top the previous record set by rival auctioneers Christie’s when they sold the blue 35.56-carat Wittelsbach-Graff diamond for $24.3 million in 2008.

‘‘This is undoubtedly one of the most important diamonds to appear at auction in recent years,’’ David Bennett, the head of Sotheby’s jewelry division, told reporters in Geneva, where the auction will be held.

Potential buyers have already taken a strong interest, he said. ‘‘It’s been very, very well viewed.’’

Two jailed in UK for honor killing

LONDON — Two Kurdish men have been jailed for life by a London court for murdering a relative because her family disapproved of her boyfriend.

Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain were found guilty of murdering 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod in January 2006. The woman was strangled, stuffed in a suitcase and buried in a back garden in Birmingham on her father’s orders for becoming involved with a man of whom he did not approve.

The two cousins, both 28, fled to Iraq after the murder but were extradited to Britain.