India mobilizes for terror threat

NEW DELHI - India increased security in major cities Tuesday after receiving information that a Pakistan-based extremist group was planning an attack over New Year's weekend.

More police were deployed to city streets, including in India's financial capital, Mumbai, which was attacked in 2008. Airports and railway stations and the popular resort state of Goa tightened security following intelligence reports that the banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba was planning to target these places, an official with the Home Ministry said. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

India has taken even minor terror threats seriously since a three-day terrorist siege killed 166 people in Mumbai, though there has been no major attack there since. Security has been high in Mumbai since Friday, when police began searching for four men who authorities believe entered the city to carry out a terrorist attack. Computer-aided photographs of the four suspects were released.

On Tuesday, police made house-to-house searches in some parts of the city and tightened security checks at bus and train stations, churches, and markets. - AP

Town's last officer has disappeared

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - The last remaining police officer in the Mexican border town of Guadalupe has disappeared, and prosecutors in northern Chihuahua state said Tuesday they had started a search for her.

Ericka Gandara, 28, held out despite the desertions and resignations that left her as the only officer in the Juarez Valley town, which was served by eight police a year ago. But Gandara hasn't been seen since Thursday. The same day she disappeared, assailants set fire to the home of a Guadalupe town councilwoman.

While some local media have reported Gandara was kidnapped, prosecutors' spokesman Arturo Sandoval said her relatives have not filed a kidnap complaint. Sandoval said the search was started Monday as a missing-person case. - AP

Scientists: Save forensics center

LONDON - More than 30 leading international scientists Tuesday warned the British government that the planned closure of its high-profile forensics science center would hurt Britain's crime-fighting capacity.

The scientists also said that Britain could lose its status as a world leader in groundbreaking DNA research if the government goes ahead with plans to close the money-losing Forensic Science Service by 2012. The planned closure was announced several weeks ago as part of a series of government cutbacks.

The scientists, who published a letter in the Times newspaper urging the government to reconsider, say the Birmingham-based Forensic Science Service provides an invaluable tool in the battle against international crime and has been instrumental in the formation of national DNA databases in about 40 countries. - AP