McDonald, Mark 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2024
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1 Afghanistan: Afghan Heroin Threatens NeighborsSun, 23 May 2004
Source:St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN) Author:Mcdonald, Mark Area:Afghanistan Lines:117 Added:05/28/2004

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- Heroin producers in Afghanistan, some of the principal financiers of al-Qaida and other terrorists, have never before been so brazen or so wealthy.

With a bumper crop of opium poppies under cultivation, Afghan narco-barons have begun stamping their brand names on the 2.2-pound bags of heroin they smuggle out of Central Asia to buyers in Moscow, Amsterdam, London and New York.

Sacks of high-quality Afghan heroin seized in April in Tajikistan carried the trademarks "Super Power" and "555." Some of the sacks, which were hidden inside foil-lined containers of instant cappuccino mix, even included the addresses of the labs in Afghanistan where the heroin had been refined.

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2 Afghanistan: Heroin Trade Booms In AfghanistanSun, 09 May 2004
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:McDonald, Mark Area:Afghanistan Lines:115 Added:05/11/2004

New Wealth Helps Terrorists Rebuild, Threatens Neighbors

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan - Heroin producers in Afghanistan, some of the principal financiers of Al-Qaida and other terrorists, have never before been so brazen or so wealthy.

With a bumper crop of opium poppies under cultivation, Afghan narco-barons have begun stamping their brand names on the 2.2-pound bags of heroin they smuggle out of Central Asia to buyers in Moscow, Amsterdam, London and New York.

Sacks of high-quality Afghan heroin seized this month in Tajikistan carried the trademarks "Super Power" and "555." Some of the sacks, which were hidden inside foil-lined containers of instant cappuccino mix, even included the addresses of the labs in Afghanistan where the heroin had been refined.

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3 Russia: Georgia Spat Grabs US InterestTue, 08 Oct 2002
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:McDonald, Mark Area:Russia Lines:121 Added:10/08/2002

White House Rejects Attack Threat By Russia, Trains Georgia Officers

PANKISI GORGE, Georgia - They call it a gorge, but the newest front on the war on terrorism looks more like a wide and verdant valley, with cornfields and grape arbors down low on the gentle slopes, and sheep, goats and terrorists above.

The Pankisi Gorge, barely seven miles long, is home to five villages, 10,000 peasants and various covens of kidnappers, spies, thieves, drug lords and arms dealers -- plus several hundred Chechen guerrilla fighters, Al-Qaida commanders and Islamist holy warriors. U.S. intelligence officials say they have tracked several Al-Qaida leaders to the gorge, and the regional governor calls the Pankisi "a terrorist enclave."

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4Vietnam: Vietnam Capital Wages War On Drugs, ProstitutionSun, 14 Oct 2001
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:McDonald, Mark Area:Vietnam Lines:Excerpt Added:10/15/2001

Drug Raves, Orgies Shock Officials

HANOI, Vietnam - Late on a Thursday night, a prostitute on a rickety bicycle wears white plastic sandals and green-and-yellow striped pajamas. She pedals up to two American men standing outside the old "Hanoi Hilton" prison, sniffes and says, "You want boom-boom?"

The men agree and pay the woman $40, which includes a bribe for the night watchman, then they duck into the prison - now a museum - to have sex in a room where U.S. pilots were held and tortured during the Vietnam War.

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5 Vietnam: Vietnam Waging War On ViceSun, 02 Sep 2001
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:McDonald, Mark Area:Vietnam Lines:144 Added:09/08/2001

Cases Of HIV And AIDS Rising With Trade In Sex And Drugs

HANOI -- It was late on a Thursday night, and the prostitute on the rickety bicycle was wearing white plastic sandals and green-and-yellow striped pajamas. She pedaled up to two American men standing outside the old "Hanoi Hilton" prison, smiled and said, "You want boom-boom?"

The men agreed. They paid the woman $40, which included a bribe for the night watchman, then ducked into the prison -- which now houses a museum -- to have sex in a room where U.S. pilots were held and tortured during the Vietnam War.

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6US CA: Life, Death of Vietnamese AIDS PatientTue, 02 Nov 1999
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:McDonald, Mark Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/03/1999

(Ho Chi Minh City)--His life, so bleak and so nearly over, was written in the blue tattoo on his right arm, in the old wound on his left shin, in the new rattle inside his chest.

He was the sole surviving member of the first group of AIDS patients to be diagnosed in Vietnam. There were 73 of them in June 1993, and then there was just Mac Van Rong.

``They were my friends and they've all died,'' Rong, 46, said, weakly, sadly. ``I'm very sick now, too. My tongue is hot and the disease has bloomed inside me. I know I'm dying.''

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7 Vietnam: Vietnam's Deepening AddictionSun, 11 Apr 1999
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:McDonald, Mark Area:Vietnam Lines:139 Added:04/11/1999

Government Toughens Penalties To Fight Surging Drug Use

MUONG XEN, Vietnam -- These are the spare and daily facts of Luc Van Thanh's young life -- a frantic mother, a brother on death row, a pair of plastic sandals, some soiled pajamas, and the sweats and shivers of a heroin addict in a detox center.

Just down the muddy mountain road, a village leader has an addiction of his own, an addiction with an undertow so powerful that by late morning, when Hoc Thanh Son has smoked up all of his cheap Sea Bird cigarettes, he takes out a sticky black ball of opium, places it expertly into a bamboo pipe, and smokes it right in front of some visiting government officials.

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8 Vietnam: Reform's Harvest: Planting Rice, Corn Instead OfSun, 11 Apr 1999
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:McDonald, Mark Area:Vietnam Lines:150 Added:04/11/1999

MUONG XEN, Vietnam -- Up, way up, tucked into the wild green yonder of Vietnam, that's where the opium grows best.

Ethnic Hmong farmers have been growing opium poppies in these limestone mountains for hundreds of years, making medicinal opium for themselves, then selling or bartering the rest. Normally the farmers would have just finished the spring harvest about now, clearing an acre of poppies here, a half-acre there.

Officials claim success

But this year -- if you believe the government -- there was not a single poppy grown here along the border with Laos. Police and drug-control officials give the credit to a vigorous campaign of eradication and crop replacement in the upper reaches and rocky ramparts of Nghe An province.

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9 Mayor says drug woes not so vialFri, 14 Mar 1997
         Author:McDonald, Mark Area:Pennsylvania Lines:136 Added:03/14/1997

Mayor says drug woes not so vial Challenges Street view, sees no need for state help

by Mark McDonald Daily News Staff Writer

Mayor Rendell thinks Philadelphia's drug problem is ``slightly better'' than before, a sharp contrast to City Council President John Street's characterization of the drug plague as ``out of control.''

As Philadelphians continue to complain that their neighborhoods are awash in dope peddling, the city's two top elected officials have now staked out dramatically different views of how the war on drugs has been going.

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