The week at a glance...Americas
Toronto Bomb plot thwarted: A tip from a concerned imam at a Toronto mosque led Canadian police to thwart an alleged al Qaida plot to bomb a U.S.-bound train. Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, a Tunisian, and Raed Jaser, 35, a permanent resident of Canada of Palestinian origin, have been charged with planning to bomb a Toronto–New York passenger train. Authorities said the two had been communicating with al Qaida members who operate from Iran. The Toronto imam, who remains anonymous, alerted police more than a year ago about Jaser, saying the suspect was an extremist who seemed to be trying to recruit others. Esseghaier, a doctoral student in biotechnology, has a profile on the social media site LinkedIn that is illustrated with the black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group of Iraqi insurgent groups affiliated with al Qaida. Canadian police followed the suspects for months.
Guantánamo Bay, Cuba Hunger strike spreads: More than half the inmates at Guantánamo Bay are now on a hunger strike to protest poor treatment and continued detention without trial. Sixteen of the 84 inmates refusing food are being force-fed through tubes. The strike began in February, after prisoners said guards had mishandled their Qurans and seized photos and other personal belongings during a cell search. “Really what is behind all this is the president abandoned his promise to close Guantánamo,” said Carlos Warner, a public defender representing some of the prisoners. “The men are desperate, and they’ve hit a breaking point.”
Esteli, Nicaragua U.S. fugitive nabbed: Nicaraguan police have arrested one of the FBI’s most wanted criminals: Eric Justin Toth, a former elementary school teacher wanted for evading arrest on child pornography charges. Toth, 31, taught at Beauvoir, an exclusive private school in Washington, D.C., and is accused of secretly videotaping his third-grade students in the bathroom. In 2008, a fellow teacher found images of a young boy on a school camera in Toth’s possession, and Toth fled after being escorted off school property. The FBI said the arrest was “the result of an exhaustive and well-coordinated investigation” involving special agents at the U.S. Embassy in Managua.
Asunción, Paraguay Return of the Right: Paraguayans have elected one of their country’s richest men, tobacco magnate Horacio Cartes, as president, returning power to the conservative Colorado Party that ruled the country for 61 years. The presidency was left vacant after the impeachment last year of Fernando Lugo, a former Catholic bishop with a string of love children. Lugo, the first leftist elected in decades, tried to enact land reforms but was ousted in what his supporters called a coup by moneyed interests. Cartes, who owns banks and a sports team, has been dogged by allegations of corruption and tax evasion, and the U.S. has accused him of drug trafficking. He was jailed for a year for fraud but later exonerated.