Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Russia says U.S. may be aiming to quit nuclear test ban treaty

Russia says U.S. may be aiming to quit nuclear test ban treatyThe United States may be planning to blame Russian non-compliance as a pretext to pull out of the Comprehensive nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), a Russian diplomat told the Conference on Disarmament, the world's main arms talks forum, on Tuesday. "It would appear that through propaganda around false claims about Russia’s compliance there are attempts to prepare international opinion for a U.S. exit from the CTBT and then to blame Russia again for everything," the Russian diplomat said.




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IS threat hovers over Syria camp, rattling authorities

IS threat hovers over Syria camp, rattling authoritiesAL-HOL CAMP (Syria) (AFP) - Stabbing guards, stoning aid workers and flying the Islamic State group's black flag in plain sight: the wives and children of the 'caliphate' are sticking by the jihadists in a desperate Syrian camp. Months after the defeat of the jihadist proto-state, families of IS fighters are among 70,000 people crammed into the Kurdish-run Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria. Umm Suhaib, the widowed wife of a jihadist, admits that IS supporters have attacked Kurdish security forces guarding the camp.




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North Korea Fires Multiple Unidentified Projectiles, South Korean Media Reports

North Korea Fires Multiple Unidentified Projectiles, South Korean Media ReportsNorth Korea fired multiple unidentified projectiles early Wednesday morning local time, according to South Korean media reports.The objects were shot from the Hodo Peninsula in South Hamgyong province, which is on the North's east coast, stated South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, who added that they are monitoring the situation and maintaining a readiness posture."We are aware of reports of a missile launch from North Korea and we will continue to monitor the situation," a senior Trump administration official said.After negotiations between the Trump administration and North Korea broke down at a summit between the two leaders in Vietnam in February, the North in April said it had begun testing weapons again, including a "powerful warhead."In May, the dictatorship tested “two short-range missiles" as well as other projectiles, conducting two weapons tests in less than a week, according to South Korea's military.Those missiles were the first the North has tested since November, 2017, after which the country ceased tests during the months leading up to the historic first summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Trump.Then last week, six days before Wednesday's launches, the North launched another two short-range ballistic missiles.Those missiles traveled about 267 miles and reached an altitude of 31 miles, eventually landing in the Sea of Japan.The U.S. has levied crippling sanctions on North Korea in the meantime, demanding that the country retire its nuclear weapons development program in exchange for economic relief.Last month, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Singapore summit, North Korea demanded the U.S. “withdraw its hostile policy” toward the state or face the disintegration of an agreement reached at the summit to work towards denuclearization.




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Trump 'rodent' tweets ring true at Kushner-owned apartments

Trump 'rodent' tweets ring true at Kushner-owned apartmentsDavon Jones doesn't have to look far to see the irony in President Donald Trump's tweets that Baltimore is a "rat and rodent infested mess." His apartment owned by the president's son-in-law has been invaded by mice since he moved in a year ago. Jared Kushner's family real estate firm owns thousands of apartments and townhomes in the Baltimore area, and some have been criticized for the same kind of disrepair and neglect that the president has accused local leaders of failing to address. James says he sees a massive contradiction in Trump's much-publicized tweets laying the blame for Baltimore's poverty, crime and rodent problems on frequent antagonist Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings.




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Inmates behind Brazil deadly prison riot transferred: official

Inmates behind Brazil deadly prison riot transferred: officialForty-six inmates involved in one of Brazil's deadliest prison riots were being transferred to other jails Tuesday, an official said. At least 57 people were killed on Monday when fighting broke out between rival drug gang factions in the Altamira Regional Recovery Centre in the northern state of Para. Sixteen were decapitated in the hours-long battle, but most died in a fire that engulfed part of the overcrowded facility that used converted shipping containers to house some of the inmates.




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How to Stop Iran’s Maritime Misadventures

How to Stop Iran’s Maritime Misadventures(Bloomberg Opinion) -- European nations, alarmed by Iran’s capture of a British oil tanker, are mounting a response to protect their commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf. The Royal Navy has started to escort British ships, and a plan for a European naval mission has been endorsed by Denmark, France and Italy.It’s a promising start. But effectively curbing Iran’s misbehavior and safeguarding ships in the region will require a more ambitious —and truly international — effort. Most important, it needs to involve the U.S. Navy.The Europeans are wary of combining their fleets with a nearby American operation for fear of being identified with President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. France’s foreign minister says a separate effort is needed to reduce tensions and “create the conditions for inclusive regional talks on maritime security.”This is both naïve and shortsighted. A disjointed naval effort increases the likelihood of accidents and miscalculations. It might leave open gaps that could be exploited by the marauding speedboats of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. And it creates unnecessary quandaries for ship captains: If, say, an American tanker with British nationals aboard were attacked while under U.S. Navy protection, would the HMS Duncan not respond to a call for assistance, for fear its intentions might be misconstrued by the Iranian regime?QuicktakeThe World’s Oil FlashpointFar better to present a united front. By fully joining their resources, the Americans and Europeans would be better able to police sea lanes and respond to provocations. In fact, they should be working together to recruit other countries — India, for instance — into a unified coalition, akin to the multinational task force formed to counter Somali pirates a decade ago. That effort, first headed by the U.S., drastically reduced attacks, helped strengthen local navies and coast guards, and safeguarded commercial traffic and humanitarian missions.Mounting such a response in the Gulf may sound politically difficult. But Europe should remember that the capture of the British ship, the Stena Impero, had essentially nothing to do with the nuclear deal: It was retaliation for the British Navy’s seizure of a vessel carrying Iranian crude to Syria, in contravention of European Union sanctions. Iran should’ve contested the seizure through legal processes. Instead, it’s holding the British ship hostage and demanding as ransom the release of its own tanker — and the freedom to keep sending oil to Syria, in support of the dictator Bashar al-Assad.It’s yet another reminder of how Iran’s misconduct threatens the entire region, and part of a disturbing pattern. In recent weeks, the regime has attacked ships and oil installations, shot down an American drone, restarted its uranium enrichment program, and even test-fired a ballistic missile, all while refusing good-faith efforts at mediation. It’s lashing out in the hopes that it can intimidate the world into doing what it wants.The U.S. and Europe shouldn’t give in to this kind of aggression. They should instead be united in opposing it. The waters of the Persian Gulf would be a good place to start.—Editors: Bobby Ghosh, Timothy Lavin.To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg Opinion’s editorials: David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net, .Editorials are written by the Bloomberg Opinion editorial board.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




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'Passive aggression. It's a lifestyle': Ocasio-Cortez responds to a GOP congressional critic

'Passive aggression. It's a lifestyle': Ocasio-Cortez responds to a GOP congressional criticRep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., accused Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of having "deliberately misled the American people" about the treatment of migrants in detention.




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Motive for slayings at California festival still unclear two days later

Motive for slayings at California festival still unclear two days laterCalifornia police on Tuesday were still trying to determine why a teenager went on a shooting rampage over the weekend at a popular food festival south of San Jose, killing a 6-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and a man in his 20s. The police have since obtained search warrants for a home in Gilroy associated with the suspect and the car they believe he drove to the festival, a decades-old annual event celebrating the produce farmed in the countryside of California's Santa Clara Valley.




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Pelosi, Schumer Stand Firm in Opposing Impeachment

Pelosi, Schumer Stand Firm in Opposing ImpeachmentSenator Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that he stands with House speaker Nancy Pelosi in opposition to impeachment proceedings despite pressure from the caucus to move forward.“I believe that . . . Speaker Pelosi is handling this appropriately,” Schumer said in reference to Pelosi's strategy of encouraging Democratic House committee chairmen to continue their probes into President Trump and his campaign but hold off on impeachment.After former special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony to Congress last week, Pelosi stated that the House does not yet have the evidence necessary to open an impeachment inquiry. “We will proceed when we have what we need to proceed,” she said. “Not one day sooner.”Meanwhile, two members of Senate Democratic leadership have come out in favor of proceeding with impeachment. Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray of Washington called for an impeachment inquiry “to determine whether the president’s actions necessitate impeachment,” and Senator Debbie Stabenow, the chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, on Monday said she agreed.Minorities of the Democratic caucuses in both chambers support spearheading the impeachment process. Only twelve Democratic senators say they back impeachment, while over 100 but still fewer than half of the 235 Democratic House members agree.Despite consistent demands to begin the impeachment process against Trump among some Democratic lawmakers and voters, the movement has been largely kept at bay thanks to Pelosi.“I’m not for impeachment,” the speaker said in March. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country."




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Water meant for Puerto Rican hurricane victims dumped on farmland

Water meant for Puerto Rican hurricane victims dumped on farmlandTens of thousands of water bottles destined for desperate Puerto Ricans after devastating back-to-back hurricanes slammed into the US island territory remain unopened on farmland almost two years later, emergency aid officials confirmed Monday. Aerial images captured by AFP show a sea of water bottles, packaged into massive bundles, heaped on what appears to be a private estate in the Higuillar neighborhood in Dorado, 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of San Juan. A spokesman for the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed it had provided the water bottles as part of relief efforts for Hurricane Maria, which occurred in September 2017.




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A 33-year-old woman who used to work for Amazon is the suspect in the massive Capital One hack — meet Paige Thompson

A 33-year-old woman who used to work for Amazon is the suspect in the massive Capital One hack — meet Paige ThompsonThompson is accused of stealing data from millions of Capital One customers, including Social Security numbers and linked bank accounts.




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Whither Evangelical Purity Culture? Thoughts on the Legacy of a Lost Pastor

Whither Evangelical Purity Culture? Thoughts on the Legacy of a Lost PastorIf you don’t live in Evangelical-world, you probably missed this news. An influential Evangelical author and pastor named Joshua Harris announced on Saturday that he was in the process of “deconstruction.” His statement was clear. “By all the measurements I have for defining a Christian,” he said, “I am not a Christian.” He apologized to the LGBT community for not affirming gay marriage and for the ways that his writing and speaking “contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry.”For Christians, it’s a sad statement, but it’s also full of real integrity. Rather than try to jam Christianity into his evolving worldview, he respects orthodoxy by opting out.Harris burst into prominence as a young Christian with every author’s dream: a giant, influential first-book bestseller. It was called I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and it sold almost a million copies. If anything, however, the sales numbers understated its influence. It was part of the foundation of Evangelical “purity culture,” and it revolutionized parenting and dating for countless Christian parents and families.I remember it well. I was a youth pastor for a few memorable months at the height of the courtship craze. The year was 1998, I was a youth volunteer at a small church in Georgetown, Ky., when our youth pastor left. Until we could find a new youth pastor, I was in charge. I preached the youth service every week, I led the youth Sunday school, and I led the youth prayer groups. I was also a commercial litigator in a big law firm, and suddenly I had two full-time jobs. It was one of the best times of my life.But we also had a problem. The youth ministry had gone all-in on purity culture. The previous youth pastor had even declared “no date ’98,” placing a moratorium on every kid in the youth group: not even a single date for the entire year. When it came to relationships, it would be “courtship” (tersely defined as parental-supervised visits and outings) or nothing.This wasn’t wanton repression or cruelty. Many parents had entered adulthood wounded by past broken relationships. They regretted the mistakes of their youth and desperately wanted their kids to avoid similar heartbreak. Also — and this is crucial for understanding purity culture — they fervently believed in a specific earthly reward for their child’s youthful obedience. Courtship represented the best method of ensuring a healthy, sexually vibrant marriage to a faithful spouse.This is what writer Katelyn Beaty called the “sexual prosperity gospel,” an “if/then” transactional relationship with God that manufactures a series of promises from scripture and then creates a form of Christian entitlement and expectation. “I did what you asked, Lord, now may I see my reward?”Beaty’s critique is well taken, and it’s certainly true that purity culture built a series of (often wildly unrealistic) expectations about the marriage relationship that awaited kids who courted. But I think it did something even darker — in its effect (if not its intent), it reversed the gospel message, teaching Christian kids that they risked being defined by their sins, not by Christ.It worked like this — sexual sin stained young persons, even if Christ forgave them. They would walk into marriage diminished in some crucial ways. The white dress, fundamentally, was a lie. And the message wasn’t confined to sexuality. Did you drink? Did you smoke a joint? Each one of those things altered a person’s self-definition. They were no longer “pure.” They could never be “pure” again.All too many times, I saw the despair. A young person would come to me and say, “I screwed up.” They would really mean, “I’m ruined.” Their storybook dreams were dead. A 17-year-old with (God willing) 70 years of life ahead of him would approach me carrying the awful burden of thinking that he had defined his life forever. He was no longer — and never would be — the person he wanted to be.Sometimes the despair would trigger wild rebellion. If they’re “ruined,” then why should they care about obedience? There are two states of being — virgin or not, teetotaler or not — and if you’re not, then you might as well indulge yourself. Other times the despair would trigger constant, nagging guilt and regret. A girl would walk down the aisle to marry a man who loved God and loved her, and she’d feel a shadow on her soul.In point of fact, the gospel message rests first on bad news, then on indescribably good news. The bad news is simple: You were never “pure.” It’s not as if sex or drink or drugs represent the demarcation line between righteous and unrighteous. They are not and were never the “special” sins that created particularly acute separation from God. Yes, they could have profound earthly consequences, but they did not create unique spiritual separation.The indescribably good news is that from the moment of the confession of faith, believers are not defined by their sin. They’re not defined even by their own meager virtues. They’re defined by Christ. Moreover, they find that “for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” This does not by any stretch mean that past sin wasn’t sin — one of my best friends is an eleven-years-sober addict who did dreadful things during his worst days — but it does mean that their past now gives them a unique ability to reach suffering people. Their terrible stories and past pain have been redeemed, transformed into instruments of grace and mercy.One of my first acts as youth pastor was to lift the ban on dating. Ending legalism is not the same thing as sanctioning sin, and I have no idea if there was more or less extramarital sex as a result of the dating ban or the purity rings. But it was incumbent upon me — in the limited time that I had in leadership — to tell the truth, and the truth was that legalism is its own kind of sin. To create burdens where Christ did not is an act of arrogance. It’s deeply harmful. And, sadly, it’s a way of life in all too many Christian churches.Harris has famously repented of his past legalism, and that makes his departure from the faith particularly poignant. He helped define young people by their sin, and then he left. He separated from his wife, and he rejected Christianity itself. He is like an inadvertent arsonist, who flees the burning house rather than helping fight the fire he helped ignite. I’m sad to see him go. I’m sadder still to see the pain he caused when he was present.




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Maryland man reels in record-breaking mahi mahi

A Maryland fisherman said his rod "went crazy" Tuesday as he reeled in a record-breaking Mahi Mahi, ousting another fish that had held the spot for over three decades. 

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California has strict gun laws. Here's how the Gilroy gunman evaded them

California has strict gun laws. Here's how the Gilroy gunman evaded themUS lawmakers renew calls for federal gun reform after shooter purchased weapon legally in NevadaPolice officers escort people from Christmas Hill Park following the shooting. Photograph: Noah Berger/APCalifornia has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country, including a ban on the type of rifle that a shooter used to kill three and wound 15 at the garlic food festival in Gilroy on Sunday.But the gunman had legally purchased the “assault-type rifle”, in the style of an AK-47, from the neighboring state Nevada on 9 July before carrying it illegally over state lines into California, highlighting what some gun control advocates say is a loophole in the way laws operate, state by state.The suspect, 19, opened fire in the last hours of the three-day garlic festival, a beloved annual tradition that draws thousands of attendees of all ages. He injured 15 people and killed three – a six-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and a man in his 20s – before being shot dead by police officers, who rushed him within a minute of bullets being heard.> Just days ago, a California judge upheld that state’s assault weapons ban. > > Yesterday, a murderer who acquired an assault weapon legally in Nevada shot more than a dozen people in Gilroy in less than one minute. THIS is why we need a national ban. NoRAhttps://t.co/CCVonmecqL> > — NoRA (@NoRA4USA) July 29, 2019The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranks California first in the nation for having the strongest gun laws.California raised the minimum age to purchase a rifle to 21 in 2018. And last week, a federal judge upheld California’s ban on owning, manufacturing or selling semiautomatic rifles and so-called “bullet buttons”, rifle attachments that allow shooters to reload more quickly. The state has banned semi-automatic weapons for 20 years. The bullet button ban dates from 2016.Nevada, on the other hand, is ranked 25th in the Giffords Center’s ranking.Big Mikes Gun and Ammo, the Nevada store where the gunman bought his weapon, said in a statement on its Facebook page that the shooter had bought the rifle off of the store’s internet page.“The reach of the California law ends at our border,” California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “and so we cannot control what other states do, and that’s what makes it so tough. We may have progressive gun laws, but if other states don’t match us, we have to rely on the ability to catch” the person.Several lawmakers have pointed at Sunday’s shooting to once again call for a federal law that would close this cross-state loophole.“The gun used by the Gilroy shooter was an AK-47 type assault rifle. This weapon is illegal to buy or possess in California, which appears to be why the shooter crossed into Nevada to buy the gun,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein in a statement. “The assault weapons ban legislation I introduced earlier this year would have prevented that sale from happening. It’s time for Congress to debate this bill and vote on it.”Feinstein continued: “There are other bills out there that deserve to see the light of day including bills to require comprehensive background checks, help establish extreme-risk laws, prohibit the purchase of high-capacity magazines and eliminate loopholes that allow prohibited individuals [to acquire] guns.”“This loss cannot be in vain,” tweeted the California congresswoman Jackie Speier early Monday.Speier is looking to close the gap, as one of 190 members of the House who co-sponsored a bill that would ban the import, sale, manufacturing or possession of semiautomatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices on the federal level.> I worked to pass the state law banning assault weapons in the 90’s. We need to buy back the ones still in people’s possession & throw the book at those who defy the law! We must also pass H.R. 1296, the Assault Weapons Ban, to ban military-style assault weapons across the U.S.> > — Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) July 29, 2019The California representative Eric Swalwell, who campaigned briefly for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination and was the only one of two dozen candidates to focus his platform primarily on stronger gun control, was another one of the bill’s co-sponsors.> My heart breaks for all of our Bay Area neighbors who attended the GilroyGarlicFestival. We need gun reform and we need it now. EnoughIsEnough> > — Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) July 29, 2019Senator Kamala Harris, who represents California, has called for a renewal of a federal assault weapons ban as well. She has stated that should she be elected, she will give Congress 100 days to take legislative action on gun violence, and if lawmakers cannot reach a consensus, she will take executive action.> Simply horrific. I'm grateful to the first responders who are on the scene in Gilroy, and my thoughts are with that community tonight. Our country has a gun violence epidemic that we cannot tolerate. https://t.co/WqWNxGAQnA> > — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 29, 2019The gun laws differ so vastly from state to state that a small California city located near the Nevada and Arizona borders voted this month to ask state legislators to allow gun owners from other states to carry registered firearms in the town.> Our thoughts are with the families of those lost last night in Gilroy, CA, as well as the survivors facing a tough road ahead. But thoughts are not enough — action must be taken to EndGunViolence. Every day the Senate refuses to act is a stain on the conscience of our nation.> > — Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 29, 2019




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Death toll in Brazil prison massacre rises to 57 with over a dozen decapitated

Death toll in Brazil prison massacre rises to 57 with over a dozen decapitatedSAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A bloody clash between two prison gangs on Monday left at least 57 inmates dead with 16 of them decapitated, authorities in the state of Para said, the latest deadly clash as Brazil's government struggles to control the country's overcrowded jails. Prisoners belonging to the Comando Classe A gang set fire to a cell containing inmates from the rival Comando Vermelho, or Red Command, gang, Para's state government said in a statement. "It was a targeted act," state prison director Jarbas Vasconcelos said in the statement, adding there was no prior intelligence that suggested an attack would take place.




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Police investigate after man says he found baby in freezer

Police investigate after man says he found baby in freezerA St. Louis man says a box that had been in his mother's freezer for decades contained the mummified remains of a newborn baby, which he discovered while cleaning out her home after she died. Adam Smith told St. Louis media outlets that he opened the cardboard box Sunday expecting to find something like the top of his mother's first wedding cake or money because she never had a bank account. St. Louis police confirmed that they are investigating a "suspicious death" involving an "unknown infant" found inside the home and that autopsy results were pending.




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Andrew Yang's campaign blasted the DNC for not allowing him to use 2 polls from same source for fall Democratic debates

Andrew Yang's campaign blasted the DNC for not allowing him to use 2 polls from same source for fall Democratic debatesThe Yang campaign was unhappy the DNC only let them use either an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll or an NBC/SurveyMonkey poll but not both.




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'Stay inside and lock your doors': Tiny Canadian village on lockdown as teenage murder spree suspects spotted scavenging for food

'Stay inside and lock your doors': Tiny Canadian village on lockdown as teenage murder spree suspects spotted scavenging for foodA massive police manhunt has been launched in a remote part of northern Canada for a pair of teenager double murder suspects.The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been chasing Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, for weeks since the pair were connected to two separate killings in British Columbia earlier this month.The teenagers have been tracked in a series of stolen cars as they have travelled thousands of miles across Canada, from its Pacific coast in the west all to the way east to rural Manitoba.Police helicopters, a plane, drones, dog units and armed officers have flooded the area around York Landing, a small village in remote northern Manitoba, where a local indigenous neighbourhood watch group had spotted the duo.Officers tweeted residents in York Landing should stay inside and lock all their doors and windows while the heavy police presence searched their community.James Favel from the Bear Clan Patrol, the First Nations group which reported the sighting, said some of his volunteers spotted two young men who matched the description of Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky.The pair immediately stood out in the small, close-knit village while scavenging for food near a dump and ran away as soon as they realised they had been seen, he added.RCMP units had already been searching the nearby town of Gillam and believe the pair have been cornered in this region of rural Manitoba.But the intense police presence was leaving its mark on the locals. “Up here, all the towns and communities, they look like ghost towns,” said Wade Taylor, another volunteer with the Bear Clan Patrol.“Like, everyone’s inside. There’s a high level of stress, anxiety and fearfulness because they’re being kept in their houses.“Some of the people, you can tell by their voice that they’re almost at the point of breaking down crying. You could say it’s traumatic.”The manhunt saga began on 12 July when Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky, childhood friends, left their home in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island and travelled 1,500 miles north to Whitehorse, in the Yukon, to look for work.But on 15 July police discovered the bodies of a young couple near Liard Hot Springs, back in British Columbia and the RCMP has said the teenagers are suspects in the case and wanted for questioning.A few days later a burnt-out truck driven by the pair was discovered, along with the body of Leonard Dyck. Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky have been charged with his murder and chased across Canada by the RCMP ever since.The duo are believed to be armed and the public has been warned not to approach them.The father of Mr Schmegelsky has told reporters he believes his son is on a “suicide mission” and expects him to eventually die in a confrontation with the police. “A normal child doesn’t travel across the country killing people,” he said. “A child in some very serious pain does.”




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Afghan soldier killed two US troops: official

Afghan soldier killed two US troops: officialAn Afghan soldier was responsible for the killing of two American troops a day earlier, an official told AFP Tuesday, in what appears to be the latest example of an insider attack. The US military on Monday said two of its troops had been killed in action in Afghanistan, but did not provide any additional details, pending notification of next of kin. Mohammad Qasam, a deputy police chief in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan, said the attack took place at an Afghan army base during a visit by US forces.




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Joint Chiefs nominee denies assault allegations, enlists key support

Joint Chiefs nominee denies assault allegations, enlists key supportSen. Martha McSally — a retired Air Force pilot who revealed this year that she was raped by a superior officer — came out with a staunch defense of Air Force Gen. John Hyten.




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The president is right about Baltimore. Are Democrats really prepared to defend failure?

The president is right about Baltimore. Are Democrats really prepared to defend failure?Baltimore is one of the least livable, most dangerous cities in America. It's not racist to point that out.




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3 dead, including 2 children, and at least 12 hurt: What we know about Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting

3 dead, including 2 children, and at least 12 hurt: What we know about Gilroy Garlic Festival shootingA gunman opened fire at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday killing three people and injuring at least 12 others. Here's what we know.




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Ben Carson says President Trump would be happy to work with Elijah Cummings to bring relief to Baltimore

Ben Carson says President Trump would be happy to work with Elijah Cummings to bring relief to BaltimoreHUD Secretary Ben Carson praises Trump administration efforts to rehabilitate America's distressed areas.




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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Trump’s Racist Tweets Don't Break Any Rules, Twitter Says

Trump’s Racist Tweets Don't Break Any Rules, Twitter SaysPhoto Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily BeastPresident Donald Trump’s spree of tweets attacking black political figures over the weekend do not violate Twitter’s rules prohibiting dehumanizing language, the company said. Trump wrote that Rep. Elijah Cummings’ (D-MD) congressional district, a majority-black area that includes part of Baltimore, was a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” and that “no human being” would want to live there. He further retweeted a British conservative commentator who called Baltimore “a proper shithole.” A day later, the president said there was “nothing racist” about his tweets, turning his criticism toward longtime Democratic political operative Rev. Al Sharpton, who he called a conman.In early July, Twitter announced new rules disallowing tweets that deny the humanity of religious groups after nearly a year of deliberation and public comment. The company considered banning all dehumanizing speech, including attacks on geographic origin, reportedly using the president’s “shithole countries” remark as an example, but narrowed the policy to encompass religion and groups explicitly protected by civil rights laws.Cummings, chair of the House Oversight Committee, has been investigating Trump and recently decried detention conditions at the Southern U.S. border. Last week the president made similar attacks against four newly minted Representatives, all women of color, telling them to go back to their countries. Three of four were born in the U.S. The comments also did not run afoul of Twitter’s rules.Whether Trump’s racist tweets violate Twitter’s rules has long been a subject of debate, and Twitter has often fallen back on the defense that, as the U.S. president, his remarks are newsworthy and should remain visible. Under a policy announced in late June, however, Twitter said it will label tweets by prominent figures that break the social network’s abusive behavior rules when it's “in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain available.” Twitter opted not to give Trump’s latest set of tweets that label. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.




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US senator helps pregnant migrant with life-threatening condition apply for asylum at US-Mexico border

US senator helps pregnant migrant with life-threatening condition apply for asylum at US-Mexico borderA pregnant Mexican woman suffering complications was told by immigration officers that they couldn’t process her family’s asylum claim at the US border on Saturday before a US senator intervened to persuade the officers to take the woman to a Texas hospital.While visiting a migrant shelter on Saturday, Ron Wyden grew concerned about a woman who was 38 weeks pregnant and suffering from pre-eclampsia and other complications.The senator and his staff decided to take the woman, her husband and 3-year-old son to a port of entry to make their asylum claim.At the Paso del Norte Bridge linking Juárez and El Paso, the family approached two US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, presented their identification and said they wanted to request asylum.They then heard the words that tens of thousands of asylum seekers have been told for more than a year at the US-Mexico border: “We’re full,” a CBP officer told them.Mr Wyden, who had followed behind the family along with an entourage of staff members and friends from Oregon, then stepped forward and identified himself.He told the officers that Mexicans are exempt from the “metering” programme CBP has used to strictly control the number of people allowed to request asylum at ports of entry.He also told the officers the woman was late term in her pregnancy and suffering complications.The officers called a supervisor, who arrived minutes later, and allowed the family to go to the port of entry to make their asylum claim.Mr Wyden was clearly shaken by his two-day visit to the border, which included a tour of CBP holding cells and an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility.At the Juárez shelter, he met a 3-year-old boy who had stopped speaking after being held with his father by the US Border Patrol and then sent back to Mexico.Mr Wyden spoke with families who were required to stay in Mexico for six months before their first US immigration court hearing.“These policies that I’ve seen are not what America is about. And in fact what we saw with respect to the woman who is here today is just a blatant violation of US law,” Mr Wyden said, referring to the pregnant woman.He said he believed the CBP agents would have turned away the family if he had not intervened, a sentiment echoed by Taylor Levy, an El Paso immigration attorney who took Mr Wyden and his staff to Juárez.“I feel very confident that if the family had tried to present alone, they would not have been allowed in,” Ms Levy said.A CBP spokesman said the officer would not have told the family that asylum processing was at capacity if they had explained that they were Mexican and that the mother was pregnant.However, the family gave the officer, whose uniform identified his last name as Loya, a folder that contained their Mexican birth certificates and identification.Shaw Drake, the policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Border Rights Centre in El Paso, Texas, said he asked the officer afterward if the family had identified themselves as Mexican asylum seekers, and the officer said they had.Mr Wyden was also critical of a CBP officer who told the senator’s staff they were not allowed to take photos or video on the bridge.The ACLU’s Mr Drake said the officer, whose name tag identified him as Castro, was wrong, and he told the staff they could continue to record.“Certainly it looked like it had the potential for not going well. The ACLU folks talked about their legal rights to be able to record the [processing], and one of the officers said, ‘We have a situation’,” Mr Wyden said.“So having done this for a while, those are the kinds of things that concern you and might suggest it’s not going well.”Metering is used as a way to cap the number of people allowed to apply for asylum at ports of entry.Mexicans are supposed to be exempt from metering under US asylum laws, Mr Drake said. He said he had seen CBP agents turning back Mexican asylum seekers before.“If someone arrives on our border and expresses a fear of return to their home country, the government is barred from returning that person to their home country until a process has been followed to determine whether they have the right to remain in the United States as an asylee or a refugee,” he said.“And so turning a Mexican away at the border, back into Mexico, is directly returning an asylum seeker to the country from which they’re fleeing persecution with no process to determine whether they have a fear of returning to that country.”Mr Wyden met the family, who asked not to be identified, at a shelter that houses about 250 migrants in Juárez. They were sharing a small room with 11 other migrants.They said they were from the Mexican state of Guerrero and wanted to seek asylum because they feared violence from drug cartels and their government allies.“There’s a lot of insecurity, and the government is involved and corrupted with the cartels. There’s just no way to survive,” the father told Mr Wyden.The family showed Mr Wyden their number for the metering list, which is kept by the Chihuahua State Population Council in Juárez.The number 17,647 was handwritten on a slip of paper. More than 5,000 people were ahead of them on the list, meaning they faced a four- or five-month wait before being allowed to come to a US port of entry and seek asylum.The family said they had not previously gone to a port of entry because they thought they had to get on the metering list.Lauren Herbert, an Oregon paediatrician who accompanied Mr Wyden on the border tour, said she became concerned when talking to the mother.“She had a previous diagnosis of preeclampsia, which already places her at high risk,” Herbert said after the family crossed the border.“And then she described two days of leaking fluid,” which could indicate a ruptured membrane that threatened the life of mother and unborn child. “This is a high-risk pregnancy, and she needs to be seen by a doctor. Now.”After Mr Wyden met the woman and her family, Ms Levy, the immigration attorney, and Mr Drake urged the senator to push CBP to get the woman to a hospital as soon as possible.“The US government keeps saying that they don’t put Mexicans on the metering list and that Mexicans will always be accepted because they’re fleeing Mexico,” Ms Levy said. She suggested Mr Wyden approach the border officers along with an ACLU representative and lawyers.“That’s what we’re going to do,” Mr Wyden said.About an hour later, the family was undergoing initial processing by CBP to begin their asylum claim. CBP officials told Mr Wyden that the mother would quickly be taken to a hospital for evaluation. Their status was not clear on Saturday night.Ian Philabaum, programme director for the legal group Innovation Law Lab who accompanied the senator on his two-day border tour, said the family’s plight would have been much different without Mr Wyden’s assistance.“If not for the presence of a US senator, another asylum-seeker would have been sent back to dangerous conditions in Mexico, the same country she is fleeing, and despite the fact that she is pregnant and in dire need of medical attention,” he said..Washington Post




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Michelle Obama issues veiled rebuke of Trump after Baltimore insults

Michelle Obama issues veiled rebuke of Trump after Baltimore insultsMichelle Obama appeared to issue a veiled rebuke of Donald Trump after he lashed out at a Democratic congressman and called his district “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess”. The former US first lady tweeted a video of a group of dancers from Elijah Cummings' Baltimore district, hours after Trump launched an attack on the congressman.“On NationalDanceDay, I’m shouting out the Lethal Ladies, a Baltimore STEP team who I saw perform back in 2017. I’m so proud of you all – and everyone who’s dancing today!” Ms Obama wrote.The video that Ms Obama shared shows a group of young women performing a routine to her slogan “when they go low, we go high”.While Ms Obama, who was the world’s most admired woman in 2019 according to a YouGov poll, did not directly reference Mr Trump, her tweet was widely regarded as a rebuke to his recent remarks. The US president attacked Mr Cummings in a series of vicious tweets on Saturday morning, which appeared to have been inspired by a Fox & Friends report that aired minutes before his outburst.Mr Trump described the Baltimore district as a “filthy” and “rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live”.He later doubled down on his attack and shared a tweet from the far-right commentator Katie Hopkins, describing the city as a “s***hole”.> On NationalDanceDay, I'm shouting out the Lethal Ladies, a Baltimore STEP team who I saw perform back in 2017. I’m so proud of you all—and everyone who’s dancing today! pic.twitter.com/U15Be9wSMs> > — Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) > > July 27, 2019The US president added that there was “nothing racist” about his tweets after he was widely criticised by a number of prominent Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.However, political commentators have noted that Mr Trump has used the word "infested" six times on his Twitter account – and each time it has been in reference to areas populated predominantly by people of colour. Mr Trump’s attacks on Mr Cummings are just the latest in a weeks-long series of insulting tweets against minority members of Congress. Last week, he told four Democratic congresswomen of colour - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar \- to “go back” to their countries.However, all four congresswomen are US citizens and only Ms Omar was born outside of the country.Ms Obama appeared to weigh in on Mr Trump’s attack on the four lawmakers, tweeting that diversity is “what truly makes our country great".“Whether we are born here or seek refuge here, there’s a place for us all," she added. “We must remember it’s not my America or your America. It’s our America.”While Ms Obama did not directly reference the US president, her words appeared to echo Mr Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America great again”.




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CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Britain tells Iran: release ship to 'come out of the dark'

CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Britain tells Iran: release ship to 'come out of the dark'Britain told Iran on Monday that if it wants to "come out of the dark" it must follow international rules and release a British-flagged oil tanker seized by its forces in the Gulf. Iranian commandos seized the Stena Impero near the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important waterway for oil shipments, on July 19. "If the Iranians want to come of the dark and be accepted as a responsible member of the intentional community they need to adhere to rules-based system of the international community," Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News.




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'Stay inside and lock your doors': Tiny Canadian village on lockdown as teenage murder spree suspects spotted scavenging for food

'Stay inside and lock your doors': Tiny Canadian village on lockdown as teenage murder spree suspects spotted scavenging for foodA massive police manhunt has been launched in a remote part of northern Canada for a pair of teenager double murder suspects.The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been chasing Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, for weeks since the pair were connected to two separate killings in British Columbia earlier this month.The teenagers have been tracked in a series of stolen cars as they have travelled thousands of miles across Canada, from its Pacific coast in the west all to the way east to rural Manitoba.Police helicopters, a plane, drones, dog units and armed officers have flooded the area around York Landing, a small village in remote northern Manitoba, where a local indigenous neighbourhood watch group had spotted the duo.Officers tweeted residents in York Landing should stay inside and lock all their doors and windows while the heavy police presence searched their community.James Favel from the Bear Clan Patrol, the First Nations group which reported the sighting, said some of his volunteers spotted two young men who matched the description of Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky.The pair immediately stood out in the small, close-knit village while scavenging for food near a dump and ran away as soon as they realised they had been seen, he added.RCMP units had already been searching the nearby town of Gillam and believe the pair have been cornered in this region of rural Manitoba.But the intense police presence was leaving its mark on the locals. “Up here, all the towns and communities, they look like ghost towns,” said Wade Taylor, another volunteer with the Bear Clan Patrol.“Like, everyone’s inside. There’s a high level of stress, anxiety and fearfulness because they’re being kept in their houses.“Some of the people, you can tell by their voice that they’re almost at the point of breaking down crying. You could say it’s traumatic.”The manhunt saga began on 12 July when Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky, childhood friends, left their home in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island and travelled 1,500 miles north to Whitehorse, in the Yukon, to look for work.But on 15 July police discovered the bodies of a young couple near Liard Hot Springs, back in British Columbia and the RCMP has said the teenagers are suspects in the case and wanted for questioning.A few days later a burnt-out truck driven by the pair was discovered, along with the body of Leonard Dyck. Mr McLeod and Mr Schmegelsky have been charged with his murder and chased across Canada by the RCMP ever since.The duo are believed to be armed and the public has been warned not to approach them.The father of Mr Schmegelsky has told reporters he believes his son is on a “suicide mission” and expects him to eventually die in a confrontation with the police. “A normal child doesn’t travel across the country killing people,” he said. “A child in some very serious pain does.”




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Harrowing photos show Guatemalan mother begging Mexican soldiers to let her cross into U.S.

Harrowing photos show Guatemalan mother begging Mexican soldiers to let her cross into U.S.Last Monday, photographer Jose Luis Gonzalez shot photos of the moment LedyPerez begged a Mexican National Guard soldier to let her and her 6-year-oldson Anthony Diaz cross into the United States




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China to weigh in on deepening Hong Kong crisis

China to weigh in on deepening Hong Kong crisisAfter weeks of increasingly violent protests, China's top policy body on Hong Kong affairs was set to hold an extremely rare press briefing Monday on the crisis engulfing the financial hub, where dozens of protesters were arrested in weekend clashes with police. What began as a mass display of opposition to an extradition bill two months ago has morphed into a wider pro-democracy movement that has thrown down the most significant challenge to Beijing's authority since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997. While China has issued increasingly shrill condemnations of the protests in the last two weeks, it has largely left the city's pro-Beijing administration to deal with the situation.




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Baltimore paper blasts Trump after his attacks on city: 'Better to have a few rats than to be one'

Baltimore paper blasts Trump after his attacks on city: 'Better to have a few rats than to be one'The Baltimore Sun editorial board lit up President Trump Saturday night for his Twitter tirade against its city and Rep. Elijah Cummings, the powerful Democrat who represents Maryland’s Seventh District.




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Texas teenager accused of murder, rapes to be tried as adult

Texas teenager accused of murder, rapes to be tried as adult




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Greg Gutfeld: Dems might say they want impeachment, but most probably don't

As former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's testimony fades into the rearview, "The Five" discussed why some Democrats continue to beat the drum for impeachment hearings.

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‘RHOA’ star Porsha Williams’ ex-fiancé claims he was handcuffed, accused of stealing sandwich: ‘This is not OK’

“Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Porsha Williams’ ex-fiancé Dennis McKinley claims he was a victim of racial profiling when he was allegedly accused of stealing a sandwich.

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Joe Lieberman says Trump-Cummings dispute harmful to the country

The war of words between President Trump and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., exemplifies how confrontational politics can be problematic for the country, according to former Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.

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UPDATE 1-Canadian air force joins search for fugitive murder suspects in remote area

UPDATE 1-Canadian air force joins search for fugitive murder suspects in remote areaCanada's air force has been called in to a tiny community in northern Manitoba, where two teens suspected of three murders were thought to have been last seen, police said on Monday, as the chase entered a second week. Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, were believed to have been seen on Sunday outside York Landing, a First Nations community of less than 500 people, 90 km (56 miles) south of Gillam, Manitoba, where search efforts were previously concentrated. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Manitoba posted on Twitter that they have not been able to substantiate the tip "after a thorough & exhaustive search," but that resources will remain in the York Landing and Gillum areas.




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Rivals unload on Kamala Harris’ health plan from left and right

Rivals unload on Kamala Harris’ health plan from left and rightBernie Sanders' and Joe Biden's campaigns immediately criticized the version of Medicare for All Harris released Monday.




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Another tourist injured by bison at a national park; second such incident in a week

Another tourist injured by bison at a national park; second such incident in a weekPark regulations require that visitors stay at least 25 yards away from large animals such as bison, elk, deer and horses.




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Israelis cleared of rape to sue British accuser in Cyprus

Israelis cleared of rape to sue British accuser in CyprusIsraeli tourists released from custody in Cyprus after having been cleared of gang rape charges plan to sue the British woman who accused them, their lawyer said Monday. Twelve Israeli youths were arrested on July 12 after a 19-year-old British tourist said she was raped in a hotel in the resort town of Ayia Napa, in southeast Cyprus. Five of the accused were released last Thursday and the other seven on Sunday, as a police source said the Briton was "facing charges of giving a false statement over an imaginary offence".




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Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter is 19-year-old Santino Legan, police confirm

Gilroy Garlic Festival shooter is 19-year-old Santino Legan, police confirmLaw enforcement officials say they have yet to find a motive or confirmation of a second suspect in their investigation into the deadly shooting at California's Gilroy Garlic Festival.




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Maryland’s Republican Governor Condemns Trump’s Baltimore Remarks

Maryland’s Republican Governor Condemns Trump’s Baltimore RemarksRepublican Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland on Monday denounced President Trump's criticism of Baltimore as "outrageous and inappropriate" after the president attacked Representative Elijah Cummings, calling his Baltimore-area district a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."Why are we not focused on solving the problems and getting to work?" Hogan said on the C4 radio show. "Instead of who's tweeting what [and] who's calling whom names.""Washington is just completely consumed with angry and divisive politics," the governor lamented. "We're doing a lot of things, but we sure could use some help from the White House and from the Congress."Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young agreed, calling Trump's criticism of the city "childish.""If he really wants to, he needs to send us the federal assistance -- not only to Baltimore, to cities around this country that are in the same situation that Baltimore is in -- but he's so interested in childish tweets," Young said."Rep. Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous," Trump wrote over the weekend.The president continued, calling Baltimore's 7th congressional district "the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States," where "no human being would want to live.""The Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded," he added.Cummings, who is black and represents a majority-black district, responded that it is his duty to critique the Trump administration."Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors," he wrote on Twitter. "It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents."Cummings' colleagues came to his defense, condemning the president's remarks as racist."We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of Trump's attacks on Cummings.Baltimore has a higher rate of college-educated residents than the national average, but the city had the highest homicide rate of the nation's 50 largest cities in 2018.




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US senator helps pregnant migrant with life-threatening condition apply for asylum at US-Mexico border

US senator helps pregnant migrant with life-threatening condition apply for asylum at US-Mexico borderA pregnant Mexican woman suffering complications was told by immigration officers that they couldn’t process her family’s asylum claim at the US border on Saturday before a US senator intervened to persuade the officers to take the woman to a Texas hospital.While visiting a migrant shelter on Saturday, Ron Wyden grew concerned about a woman who was 38 weeks pregnant and suffering from pre-eclampsia and other complications.The senator and his staff decided to take the woman, her husband and 3-year-old son to a port of entry to make their asylum claim.At the Paso del Norte Bridge linking Juárez and El Paso, the family approached two US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, presented their identification and said they wanted to request asylum.They then heard the words that tens of thousands of asylum seekers have been told for more than a year at the US-Mexico border: “We’re full,” a CBP officer told them.Mr Wyden, who had followed behind the family along with an entourage of staff members and friends from Oregon, then stepped forward and identified himself.He told the officers that Mexicans are exempt from the “metering” programme CBP has used to strictly control the number of people allowed to request asylum at ports of entry.He also told the officers the woman was late term in her pregnancy and suffering complications.The officers called a supervisor, who arrived minutes later, and allowed the family to go to the port of entry to make their asylum claim.Mr Wyden was clearly shaken by his two-day visit to the border, which included a tour of CBP holding cells and an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility.At the Juárez shelter, he met a 3-year-old boy who had stopped speaking after being held with his father by the US Border Patrol and then sent back to Mexico.Mr Wyden spoke with families who were required to stay in Mexico for six months before their first US immigration court hearing.“These policies that I’ve seen are not what America is about. And in fact what we saw with respect to the woman who is here today is just a blatant violation of US law,” Mr Wyden said, referring to the pregnant woman.He said he believed the CBP agents would have turned away the family if he had not intervened, a sentiment echoed by Taylor Levy, an El Paso immigration attorney who took Mr Wyden and his staff to Juárez.“I feel very confident that if the family had tried to present alone, they would not have been allowed in,” Ms Levy said.A CBP spokesman said the officer would not have told the family that asylum processing was at capacity if they had explained that they were Mexican and that the mother was pregnant.However, the family gave the officer, whose uniform identified his last name as Loya, a folder that contained their Mexican birth certificates and identification.Shaw Drake, the policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Border Rights Centre in El Paso, Texas, said he asked the officer afterward if the family had identified themselves as Mexican asylum seekers, and the officer said they had.Mr Wyden was also critical of a CBP officer who told the senator’s staff they were not allowed to take photos or video on the bridge.The ACLU’s Mr Drake said the officer, whose name tag identified him as Castro, was wrong, and he told the staff they could continue to record.“Certainly it looked like it had the potential for not going well. The ACLU folks talked about their legal rights to be able to record the [processing], and one of the officers said, ‘We have a situation’,” Mr Wyden said.“So having done this for a while, those are the kinds of things that concern you and might suggest it’s not going well.”Metering is used as a way to cap the number of people allowed to apply for asylum at ports of entry.Mexicans are supposed to be exempt from metering under US asylum laws, Mr Drake said. He said he had seen CBP agents turning back Mexican asylum seekers before.“If someone arrives on our border and expresses a fear of return to their home country, the government is barred from returning that person to their home country until a process has been followed to determine whether they have the right to remain in the United States as an asylee or a refugee,” he said.“And so turning a Mexican away at the border, back into Mexico, is directly returning an asylum seeker to the country from which they’re fleeing persecution with no process to determine whether they have a fear of returning to that country.”Mr Wyden met the family, who asked not to be identified, at a shelter that houses about 250 migrants in Juárez. They were sharing a small room with 11 other migrants.They said they were from the Mexican state of Guerrero and wanted to seek asylum because they feared violence from drug cartels and their government allies.“There’s a lot of insecurity, and the government is involved and corrupted with the cartels. There’s just no way to survive,” the father told Mr Wyden.The family showed Mr Wyden their number for the metering list, which is kept by the Chihuahua State Population Council in Juárez.The number 17,647 was handwritten on a slip of paper. More than 5,000 people were ahead of them on the list, meaning they faced a four- or five-month wait before being allowed to come to a US port of entry and seek asylum.The family said they had not previously gone to a port of entry because they thought they had to get on the metering list.Lauren Herbert, an Oregon paediatrician who accompanied Mr Wyden on the border tour, said she became concerned when talking to the mother.“She had a previous diagnosis of preeclampsia, which already places her at high risk,” Herbert said after the family crossed the border.“And then she described two days of leaking fluid,” which could indicate a ruptured membrane that threatened the life of mother and unborn child. “This is a high-risk pregnancy, and she needs to be seen by a doctor. Now.”After Mr Wyden met the woman and her family, Ms Levy, the immigration attorney, and Mr Drake urged the senator to push CBP to get the woman to a hospital as soon as possible.“The US government keeps saying that they don’t put Mexicans on the metering list and that Mexicans will always be accepted because they’re fleeing Mexico,” Ms Levy said. She suggested Mr Wyden approach the border officers along with an ACLU representative and lawyers.“That’s what we’re going to do,” Mr Wyden said.About an hour later, the family was undergoing initial processing by CBP to begin their asylum claim. CBP officials told Mr Wyden that the mother would quickly be taken to a hospital for evaluation. Their status was not clear on Saturday night.Ian Philabaum, programme director for the legal group Innovation Law Lab who accompanied the senator on his two-day border tour, said the family’s plight would have been much different without Mr Wyden’s assistance.“If not for the presence of a US senator, another asylum-seeker would have been sent back to dangerous conditions in Mexico, the same country she is fleeing, and despite the fact that she is pregnant and in dire need of medical attention,” he said..Washington Post




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The Latest: Police: Too early to tell if victims targeted

The Latest: Police: Too early to tell if victims targeted




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Trump doubles down on Cummings attacks, shares vulgar comment about Baltimore on Twitter

Trump doubles down on Cummings attacks, shares vulgar comment about Baltimore on TwitterPresident Trump doubled down on his attacks against House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, whose district he called a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” by retweeting a comment from a British columnist who referred to Baltimore as a “proper sh*thole.”




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Follow the law, get pulled over: Why a police plan to 'ticket' drivers backfired in Arizona

Follow the law, get pulled over: Why a police plan to 'ticket' drivers backfired in ArizonaTempe Police Department started a "Positive Ticketing Campaign" initiative to hand out Circle K drink coupons for following traffic laws.




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Julian Castro Is ‘Hypercritical’ Of Trump Immigration Policies He Once Praised Under Obama

Julian Castro Is ‘Hypercritical’ Of Trump Immigration Policies He Once Praised Under ObamaDemocratic presidential candidate Julian Castro, a fervent opponent of the Trump administration’s immigration agenda, was called out for his past praise of former President Barack Obama’s immigration enforcement policies.“I want to ask you about immigration which you have made a part of your campaign focus,” said “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan Sunday. “When you were mayor of San Antonio, you testified before Congress and you called for increased border security measures and you praised the Obama administration’s actions.”Brennan then played a clip of Castro speaking before a congressional hearing in February 2013. In the clip, then-San Antonio Mayor Castro is seen lauding the Obama administration’s success at removing “dangerous individuals” after beefing up security along the U.S.-Mexico border.“In Texas, we know firsthand that this administration has put more boots on the ground along the border than at any other time in our history which has led to unprecedented success in removing dangerous individuals with criminal records,” he said during a 2013 House Judiciary committee hearing.“Why did you praise that policy then but when the Trump administration adopt similar language and policies you’re hypercritical of them?” Brennan asked.Castro, who went on to serve as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama administration, maintained that his position has not changed, and that he’s always been in favor of removing criminal illegal aliens from the U.S.“I talked about people who committed serious crimes, dangerous criminals. I haven’t changed at all. If there are people who have committed serious felonies in the United States who are immigrants or who come to the border … they should be deported,” he said in response.




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Monday, July 29, 2019

Death toll in Nigeria Boko Haram attack up to 65: official

Death toll in Nigeria Boko Haram attack up to 65: officialAn attack this weekend by Boko Haram fighters on a funeral in northeast Nigeria has left 65 people dead, almost triple the initial toll, a local official said Sunday. "It is 65 people dead and 10 injured," local government chairman Muhammed Bulama said. Bulama said more than 20 people died in the initial attack on a funeral gathering.




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Italian police launch investigation into picture showing blindfolded US suspect in Rome police murder

Italian police launch investigation into picture showing blindfolded US suspect in Rome police murderItalian police have launched an investigation into a picture showing a US student suspected of killing an officer, in a blindfold and handcuffs soon after the arrest. Two American teenagers were arrested on Saturday in Rome accused of the stabbing murder of Italian military police officer Mario Cerciello Rega in a drug deal gone awry.  Finnegan Lee Elder, 19, and Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth, 18, are both from San Francisco and had been holidaying in the Italian capital. The pair are due in court on Monday to face charges of murder and extortion.  Investigators said they stole the backpack of a man who helped them buy ‘fake’ cocaine and demanded 100 euros and a gram of the real drug for its return. People arrive to pay respect in the church where Carabinieri officer Mario Cerciello Rega was laid in state, in Rome, Sunday, July 28, 2019 Credit: AP The intermediary told police of the theft and two plainclothes officers went to the rendezvous, where Mr Rega was stabbed 11 times in a brawl.  According to a statement by the Carabinieri, the Americans confessed to the crime after police found a knife hidden in the ceiling of their hotel room. Both men are being held in Rome’s Regina Coeli prison, where nearly 1000 inmates are crammed into an ageing convent intended for 650. Mr Natale-Hjorth and Mr Elder attended Tamalpais High School together in Mill Valley, California, one of the five richest post-codes in the United States.  In California, the Elder family posted a handwritten note on their door asking for privacy and released a statement expressing condolences to Rega’s grieving family. "We are shocked and dismayed at the events that have been reported, but have very little independent information about these events. We have not been able to have any communication with our son," read the statement. According to Italian media reports citing police, Mr Elder confessed to the killing but said he did not realize that Rega was a police officer because the officers involved were both in plainclothes and he did not understand Italian. The picture of Mr Natale-Hjorth with head bowed and eyes covered by a blue blindfold at a police station started circulating on the Internet on Saturday and was published by several Italian newspapers on Sunday. Francesco Codini, Mr Elder’s lawyer, said his client exercised his right not to respond to questions during a Saturday court hearing, in which he was ordered to remain in jail.  ‘The investigation is ongoing and our work has only just begun,’’ Mr Codini told the Telegraph.




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President, first lady make unannounced visit to Trump's D.C. hotel

President, first lady make unannounced visit to Trump's D.C. hotelThe visit capped off a big week for the president.




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Fighting talk: Ireland raises stakes in Brexit showdown

Fighting talk: Ireland raises stakes in Brexit showdownWith the prospect of a no-deal Brexit becoming ever more likely under Boris Johnson, the remaining EU member state with most to lose -- Ireland -- is hardening its rhetoric. Ireland has a land border with Britain that it wants to keep free-flowing after Brexit and it fears massive economic disruption if Britain crashes out of the EU. Since Johnson took over on Wednesday, Irish leaders have warned his plans are unrealistic and could lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom and a united Ireland.




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British woman who alleged gang rape in Cyprus arrested on suspicion of making a false allegation

British woman who alleged gang rape in Cyprus arrested on suspicion of making a false allegationSeven Israeli teenagers were freed from custody in Cyprus on Sunday after a 19-year-old British woman admitted her report of being raped by a dozen people was untrue, a lawyer and Cypriot officials said. A lawyer for two of the Israelis said the woman was arrested and faces a public nuisance charge. Investigators concluded the accuser's allegations "didn't stand to reason," lawyer Yiannis Habaris said. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press the woman voluntarily recanted during questioning just after midnight, saying there had been sexual contact with the suspects but she wasn't raped. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to discuss details of the case. The state-run Cyprus News Agency reported that the woman allegedly told investigators she filed a rape report because she was "angry and insulted" that a number of the Israelis allegedly recorded video of her having sex with some of them. As the Israeli teens were released from police district headquarters in the town of Paralimni hours later, jubilant relatives were there to greet them with hugs and kisses. Some of the youths carried suitcases and got into waiting cars that drove them away. Cypriot authorities arrested 12 Israeli teenagers on July 18 following the woman's report of being raped by a dozen individuals at a hotel in the popular tourist resort of Ayia Napa where she and the Israelis were staying. Five were released on Thursday after investigators found no evidence implicating them. Investigators told a Paralimni court during a custody hearing Friday that the British woman was in a relationship with one of the seven suspects and had sexual contact with several of the other six over several days, Mr Habaris said earlier. The 12 Israelis had come to Cyprus in three separate groups, some for a vacation before being inducted into the army, and didn't know each other, according to Nir Yaslovitzh, an Israeli lawyer representing three of the dozen suspects. Cypriot police provided DNA samples to Israeli authorities to locate three other individuals as potential suspects, but that assistance is no longer necessary since the case collapsed, Mr Habaris said.




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Europeans stall on mission to protect tankers in Gulf after Raab calls for joint patrols with US

Europeans stall on mission to protect tankers in Gulf after Raab calls for joint patrols with USDivisions have emerged over plans for a European naval mission in the Persian Gulf, with Britain suggesting the operation would need US support while France and Germany insist it stay independent of America.  In a first sign that the UK may move closer to the US position on Iran under Boris Johnson, the new foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said a European mission was probably not “viable” without American help.  “I think we do want to see a European-led approach, but that doesn’t seem to me to be viable without American support as well,” Mr Raab told The Times.  That marks a shift from Jeremy Hunt, Mr Raab’s predecessor, who proposed a European naval mission separate from America’s Operation Sentinel.  Both missions are intended to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz from Iranian threats but the US-led operation is widely seen in Europe as part of Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure campaign” to force Iranian capitulation on nuclear and regional issues.    Dominic Raab at the Foreign Office Credit:  Dan Kitwood/PA Wire/ Dan Kitwood/PA Wire Mr Raab’s comments are likely to unsettle Germany and France, both of which have stated that any European effort must be independent from the US.  “We have made clear that we do not subscribe to the United States’ policy of maximum pressure. Our efforts in the region must be recognisably European,” said Heiko Maas, Germany’s foreign minister.  He added that Germany would not decide whether to join the naval effort until there was “a clear idea of what such a mission would look like”. France said the European mission would be "the opposite of the American initiative” and was not intended to provoke Iran. It remains unclear whether the three European states would have the naval strength for a mission independent of the US.  The HMS Duncan, a destroyer, is due to join and then replace the HMS Montrose, a frigate, in Strait of Hormuz and will be responsible for escorting British ships through the strategic waterway.   A boat of Iranian Revolutionary Guard sails next to Stena Impero Credit: Mizan News Agency/WANA Handout via REUTERS  Up to three British-flagged ships pass through the Strait on any given day and the government is encouraging shipping firms to alert the Royal Navy ahead of time so they can be escorted.  US officials said they were prepared to share intelligence with Western allies but would not provide escorts to other nations’ ships.  Meanwhile, Iran released Indian nine crew members from the MT Riah, a ship seized a week before the British-flagged Stena Impero. Three Indian crew remain in Iranian custody. It was not clear why some were freed and others were not.  Their release is a potentially hopeful sign for the 23 crew members of the Stena Impero, 18 of whom are Indian. There are also three Russians, a Latvian, and a Filipino. The ship’s operator said the crew were in good health and staying aboard the ship.




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Trump wins SCOTUS case to allow Pentagon funding to build border wall

Trump wins SCOTUS case to allow Pentagon funding to build border wallRetired ICE supervisor Thomas Kilbride says the Supreme Court did the right thing, this is a big victory for the president.




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FBI, police search for missing 2-year-old after parents died

FBI, police search for missing 2-year-old after parents diedThe Medford Police Department and the FBI are searching for a 2-year-old boy whose parents were involved in an apparent murder-suicide in Montana. Officers are trying to find Aiden Salcido, the son of Daniel Salcido and Hannah Janiak, the FBI said in a news release Friday night. The boy's parents were found dead Wednesday in Kalispell, Montana, after police stopped them following a chase because they had felony burglary warrants for their arrest.




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