Cartel retaliates with massacre

MEXICO CITY - Gunmen mowed down the family of a Mexican marine just hours after the military honored him as a national hero for losing his life during a raid that killed powerful drug kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva.

The brazen retaliatory attack happened around midnight Monday at the home of fallen marine Melquisedet Angulo in the town of Paraiso in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco, police said.

Hit men linked to Beltran Leyva's cartel have a strong presence in the state and are believed to be behind the slayings of Angulo's mother, his two siblings and his aunt, federal officials said yesterday. Another woman was being treated at a hospital for unspecified wounds.

President Felipe Calderón called the attack "a cowardly act" and vowed to press forward with his nationwide drug fight involving more than 45,000 troops. - AP

Thou shalt not tell needy to steal

LONDON - A priest in northern England drew rebukes yesterday from fellow clergy, shop owners and police for telling his congregation that the commandment "Thou shalt not steal" isn't exactly written in stone.

The Rev. Tim Jones caused the uproar by telling his congregation Sunday it is sometimes acceptable for desperate people to shoplift - as long as they do it at large national chain stores, rather than small, family businesses, and are not greedy.

The remarks drew a summons from Archdeacon Richard Seed, who said on his Web site that "the Church of England does not advise anyone to shoplift, or break the law in any way."

Jones said his sermon at the Church of St. Lawrence in York was intended to highlight an underlying problem. "What I'm against is the way society has become ever more comfortable with the people at the very bottom, and blinded to their needs," he said. - AP

N.J. man gains in custody battle

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's chief justice yesterday ruled in favor of a Tinton Falls, N.J., man who has pursued a five-year court battle to gain custody of his son.

According to the court's Web site, Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes ruled that David Goldman's 9-year-old son must be delivered to him by the boy's Brazilian relatives, as a federal court ordered last week. A time frame for the handover was not clear.

The ruling put Goldman one step closer to finally being reunited with his son, Sean. The boy was taken by Goldman's now-deceased former wife to her native Brazil in 2004, where he has remained. Goldman has been fighting to get him back from the boy's stepfather.

A member of Goldman's team reached soon after the ruling said earlier court rulings ordering Sean's return were blocked and he was waiting to see if the latest ruling would stick. - AP

Elsewhere:

Eurostar scrambled to get thousands of passengers home for the holidays as it resumed service of high-speed trains under the English Channel yesterday, four days after a shutdown caused by a hallmark of Christmastime travel: snow.