World and Nation

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Kenyan officers killed in ambush

NDJAMENA, Chad — More than 10 Kenyan police officers, and possibly as many as 31, have been killed by cattle rustlers in an ambush in a remote part of northern Kenya known as death valley, Kenyan officials said Monday, in of one the more brazen cases in recent years in the war against livestock thieves.

According to Kenya’s internal security ministry, the officers were attacked around 4 a.m. Saturday in Samburu North, an arid, sparsely populated district several hours north of Nairobi, the capital. The ministry said the officers were trying to recover stolen livestock when they were waylaid by bandits from the Turkana ethnic group, one of the poorest, most marginalized groups in Kenya, with a reputation for being fierce pastoralists.

A wildlife specialist in the area, who works closely with the police and spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to imperil his relations with the police force, said officers had tracked the stolen animals to a valley called Lokorkor, which has only one way in and one way out. Herders in the area call it death valley.

“If the enemy gets there before you, then you are done,” the wildlife specialist said.

—Jeffrey Gettleman, The New York Times

‘Fat tax’ in Denmark is repealed after criticism

Citing a harmful effect on businesses and consumer buying power, lawmakers in Denmark have repealed the so-called fat tax, which was charged on foods high in saturated fats, after just one year.

In a related decision, the Danish tax ministry said it was canceling plans for a sugar tax. “The fat tax is one of the most criticized we had in a long time,” Mette Gjerskov, minister of food, agriculture and fisheries, said Saturday during a news conference in Copenhagen, the day the repeal was announced. “Now we have to try to improve public health by other means.”

The Danish decisions to end taxes aimed at curbing obesity point up the challenges that politicians face in grappling with what has become a major public health issue. The moves were announced just a few days after voters in California defeated ballot measures that would have imposed taxes on sugary drinks.

“I’m not surprised they had trouble with a fat tax,” said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington that has worked on food tax initiatives.

“It’s much easier to tax specific foods, say a tax on sugary sodas, than to tax at the nutrient level like a fat tax or a sugar tax.”

The Danish law put a surcharge on foods containing more than 2.3 percent fat.

—Stephanie Strom, The New York Times

Trial to open in $68 million insider trading case

NEW YORK — In the sharp-elbowed world of Wall Street, Anthony Chiasson and Todd Newman stood out as two of the good guys.

Both were hard-working, below-the-radar types who eschewed the flashy lifestyle embraced by many millionaire hedge fund traders. Chiasson’s mother told reporters that her son’s idea of a fun weekend was to return to his hometown Portland, Maine, to attend church. Newman, also originally from New England, worked out of Boston, where he is raising a family in the low-key suburb of Needham, Mass.

Yet federal prosecutors say Chiasson and Newman were criminals, operating “a tight-knit circle of greed” along with six others that trafficked in secret information about technology companies.

On Tuesday, Chiasson, 39, a co-founder of the now-defunct Level Global Investors, and Newman, 47, a former portfolio manager at Diamondback Capital Management, are set to stand trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Prosecutors say they were part of a conspiracy that made about $68 million illegally trading computer company Dell and chip maker Nvidia.

The other six traders have pleaded guilty. Some are expected to testify against Chiasson and Newman.

Chiasson’s and Newman’s trial is expected to shed light on the trading strategies and techniques of SAC Capital Advisors, based in Stamford, Conn., a hedge fund giant run by billionaire investor Steven A. Cohen.

—Peter Lattman, The New York Times

Turmoil spreads at BBC as two more executives step aside

LONDON — The BBC struggled Monday to contain a spreading crisis over its reporting of a decades-old sexual abuse scandal as two senior executives withdrew temporarily from their jobs following the resignation of the corporation’s director-general, a move that encapsulated the worst setback to the public broadcaster’s status, prestige and self-confidence for years.

The BBC’s website said its director of news, Helen Boaden, and her deputy, Stephen Mitchell, had “stepped aside,” the latest moves since a flagship current affairs program, “Newsnight,” wrongly implicated a former Conservative Party politician in accusations of sexual abuse at a children’s home in North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.

The BBC management said that neither Boaden nor Mitchell “had anything at all to do with the failed ‘N

The BBC said the two executives would step aside until the end of that investigation, which is being conducted by Nick Pollard, a former head of the rival Sky News. The BBC said its head of news gathering, Fran Unsworth, and Ceri Thomas, the editor of the current affairs radio program “Today,” would fill in for the executives who stepped aside.

—Alan Cowell and John F. Burns, The New York Times