Russia's most famous prisoner, Kremlin critic and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, began life as a free man in Germany on Saturday after his surprise pardon by President Vladimir Putin. After spending more than 10 years behind bars, Russia's former richest man was quitely escorted from his prison in northwestern Russia on Friday and boarded a plane to Berlin in an operation worked out behind the scenes with the German government. The lightning speed of his release led some observers to suggest that Khodorkovsky might have flown into forced exile but Putin's spokesman dismissed such suggestions.
President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a controversial law that opens Mexico's oil industry to foreign investment for the first time in 75 years. The bill, which modifies three articles of Mexico's constitution, is aimed at attracting foreign investment with profit and production sharing contracts. The measure breaks a monopoly that the state oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), has held since 1938. This is "one of the most transcendent bills in the past half-century," Pena Nieto said, arguing that it has the potential to lead to fast economic growth and create jobs for Mexican engineers and technicians.