Mexico blasts U.S. official's comments

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government on Wednesday condemned comments by a top U.S. Defense Department official characterizing the drug gang violence here as a "form of insurgency" — remarks the official later apologized for and retracted.

Mexico's Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa regretted that "outdated visions" on drug trafficking continue to be used and urged U.S. officials to refrain from commenting on issues they are not fully informed about.

N. Korean military cuts off talks with S. Korea

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Thursday that it would not hold further military talks with South Korea, accusing Seoul of lacking serious intent to improve relations.

The announcement by the North's military, made in a statement carried by state media, came one day after its first military talks with South Korea in months ended with no agreement.

The discussions were aimed at laying the groundwork for higher-level defense talks.

British police notify potential spy targets

LONDON — British police revealed Wednesday that it would contact thousands of people whose cell phones may have been targeted by the News of The World tabloid, an indication of the scale of the scandal at the heart of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

Police have long insisted only a small number of people were believed to have been spied upon by the tabloid, which employed a private detective to break into the voice mail boxes of the paper's targets and eavesdrop on their private messages.

But that contention has been challenged by lawmakers, fellow journalists and former employees of the News of The World, who have claimed that the practice was widespread.