Presidential guard in Mexico probe

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's drug corruption scandals reached into the presidential guard as authorities identified an officer as a possible spy for the country's violent drug cartels.

An official of the federal prosecutor's office identified Arturo Gonzalez Rodriguez yesterday as an army major who was assigned to the unit that guards the president. Prosecutors announced on Friday that Gonzalez Rodriguez had been placed under arrest for 40 days while he was investigated.

The prosecution official said there were allegations that the officer passed information to the Beltran Leyva drug cartel in exchange for payments of as much as $100,000.

More than a dozen high-ranking police and prosecution officials have been detained on similar allegations of spying for cartels in recent months, but none has been linked so closely to the president's office.

- AP

Activists lob butter at whalers

SYDNEY, Australia - A conservationist group said yesterday that it lobbed 25 bottles of rotten butter at Japanese whalers in the remote and icy Antarctic Ocean, but denied accusations it rammed their vessel in a violent attack.

Protesters aboard a boat operated by the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd threw the bottles - containing butyric acid, produced by rancid butter - Friday night at the Kaiko Maru whaling ship, which is conducting Japan's research whaling program.

The Japanese are allowed to harvest a quota of whales under a ruling by the International Whaling Commission, as long as the mammals are caught for research and not commercial purposes. Opponents say the research expeditions are simply a cover for commercial whaling, banned in 1986.

- AP

MP3 player's light helps save skiers

SAVOGNIN, Switzerland - Swiss rescue officials said yesterday that they found two missing skiers after spotting the light from their MP3 music player.

The Swiss air rescue association Rega said that it received a distress call from the 22-year-old French tourists late Friday but that the skiers' phone battery went dead before they could be reached.

Rega spokesman Gery Baumann said the two men were eventually found after midnight in steep, wooded terrain by a helicopter crew that spotted the light from their digital music player. Baumann said that the two men suffered only mild hypothermia despite enduring temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

- AP

Elsewhere:

A woman found bound

in the trunk of her own car may have been there for well over a week, police in Scotland said yesterday. Officers on Friday found nurse Magdeline Makola, 38, dehydrated and suffering from hypothermia after they heard her cries and broke into the vehicle in Airdrie, east of Glasgow.