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Defense chief: US troops leaving Syria to go to western Iraq

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 9:29pm

Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. Speaking to reporters traveling with him to the Middle East, Esper did not rule out the idea that U.S. forces would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria. Esper said he has spoken to his Iraqi counterpart about the plan to shift the more than 700 troops leaving Syria into western Iraq.


Hondurans call for president to step down after drug verdict

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 7:04pm

Opposition groups called Saturday for more protests to demand that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández be removed from office after his younger brother was convicted of drug trafficking in a New York court. President Hernández insisted via Twitter that the verdict is not against the state of Honduras, saying his government has fought drug trafficking. On Saturday he attended a parade to honor the country's armed forces and posted pictures of himself on Twitter smiling alongside the U.S. chargé d'affaires to Honduras, Colleen Hoey.


Boeing board to meet in Texas as scrutiny intensifies: sources

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 5:38pm

Several industry sources said there was speculation inside the company of significant job cuts as Boeing, unable to deliver 737 MAX planes to customers, continues to drain cash. The schedule for the board's face-to-face meetings was set for Sunday and Monday in San Antonio, one of the people said, two days before Boeing reports earnings on Oct. 23. The week after, Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg - who was stripped of his job as board chairman eight days ago - is due to testify before U.S. Congress about the plane's development.


Restored 1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye Crosses Auction Block

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 5:17pm

Bid on this classic Mopar. If you’re on the hunt for a classic American muscle car fresh off a rotisserie restoration, this 1972 Dodge Challenger Rallye should be of interest. It has accumulated few than 1,000 miles since it was restored, ensuring everything looks excellent. Whether you’re cruising through town or attend a local car meet, this Mopar is sure to impress.While looks are certainly important with this car, the 440ci V8 shoved under the hood is just as key to your enjoyment. After all, muscle cars are supposed to be all about offering monumental power. Dual 4bbl carbs help with the engine breathing freely, while an 8-core aluminum radiator keeps it from running too hot. In addition, there’s a nice 4-speed manual transmission and a pistol grip shifter, so you can double-clutch this ride to victory.Now that you know this is a proper performance vehicle, you can concentrate on how this Dodge looks. The Hemi Orange Metallic paint sparkles in the sunlight, with black accents on the hood, door handles, and spoiler, matching the black vinyl roof. Both bumpers look almost liquid, thanks to the fresh chrome. This car rolls on 17-inch Rev custom wheels, matching the exterior perfectly.Restored with amazing care, you’ll find the interior is virtually all stock. That includes the fresh vinyl upholstery which matches the original design, fresh black carpeting, and even the wood grain portions of the dash. Air conditioning through a Vintage Air system has been added, along with an Alpine CD/MP3 sound system.  One of the most iconic pony cars to emerge from the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Dodge Challenger is a household name today. That’s great news if you want to grab one as an investment. Through a combination of iconic looks and thrilling performance, this vehicle earned a well-deserved reputation.If you’re interested in buying this particular car, contact Premier Auction Group for information about placing a bid. Read More * Turn The Key In This 1969 Chevy Impala * Conquer The Terrain With A 1963 Volvo L3314 Laplander Camper


The Latest: Lebanon party pulls out of embattled government

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 3:26pm

A Lebanese Christian leader has asked his four ministers in the Cabinet to resign amid nationwide protests against the country's political elite. Samir Geagea, who heads the right-wing Lebanese Forces party, said late Saturday he no longer believes the current national unity government headed by Premier Saad Hariri can steer the country out of a deepening economic crisis. The protesters are calling for the government to resign.


Trump calls Mexico's president to express 'solidarity'

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 2:42pm

Mexico's president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said on Saturday that President Trump called him to express his "solidarity" following an attempt to arrest a drug kingpin's son that prompted a wave of violence in the city of Culiacan.


FACT: Cuba Hosted Russian Spy Planes to Use Against America

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 1:00pm

A forgotten tale of the cold war.


'She stole their lives': Woman convicted of passing school bus, killing 3 kids in crash

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 12:08pm

Alyssa Shepherd was found guilty of three felony counts of reckless homicide for the Oct. 2018 crash that killed three siblings.


'Powderkeg' in Germany amid Turks-Kurds conflict

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 10:11am

Syrian Kurd Mohamed Zidik, 76, still buys his bread and baklavas from Turkish neighbours in Berlin, but he knows better than to expound on his views about Ankara's offensive in his hometown. Since Turkish forces launched their assault on Kurds in northeastern Syria, tensions have risen in Germany where millions of Turks and Kurds live side by side. Shops have been trashed, knife attacks reported and insults traded, prompting Germany's integration commissioner Annette Widmann-Mauz to call for restraint.


Service canceled for Texas woman shot at home by officer

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 9:22am

A service for a woman shot in her home by a Fort Worth police officer that had been scheduled for Saturday was canceled amid a family dispute over funeral arrangements. Atatiana Jefferson's funeral had been set to be held at Potter's House Church in Dallas. Church representative Mara Silverio said the service hasn't been rescheduled, but that no events would be held for her Saturday.


Israel, Russia, and the US are in a diplomatic standoff over a 26-year-old woman smuggling 9 and a half grams of marijuana

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 9:05am

Naama Issachar, 26, was sentenced to 7.5 years of prison in Moscow, and negotiating her release is part of a bigger diplomatic dispute.


Deadly protests in Guinea as Russia calls for change of rules to keep despot in power

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 8:54am

When police shot dead nine pro-democracy protesters in Guinea this week, Western embassies quietly shared their misgivings with the country’s president, Alpha Conde. International human rights groups were more unequivocal. François Patuel of Amnesty International denounced “a shameful attempt by Guinean authorities to stifle dissent by any means necessary”. But one major power seemed unperturbed. Mr Conde’s ruthless response to protests against his apparent efforts to cling to power not only suited Russia, it seems probable that they were tacitly endorsed by the Kremlin. On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, will host leaders from 35 African states at a summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi as he seeks to consolidate Moscow’s growing influence in the world’s poorest continent. Russia may lack the heft of its rivals, able neither to match the West in aid nor China in terms of infrastructure financing, but it does have other resources with which to woo African leaders, particularly those of a more authoritarian bent. Vladimir Putin is looking to expand Russian influence Not only has Russia sold arms to 18 African states over the past decade, its mercenaries have fanned out across the continent to offer protection and other services to receptive governments.  “Political technologists” have also allegedly mounted disinformation campaigns in several recent African elections. In return, Russia has won concessions to mine minerals and secured backing from African delegates at the United Nations. Russia’s blossoming relationship with Mr Conde is an example of just how successful its muscular Africa policy can be. Guineans are meant to elect a new president next year. Having served two five-year terms, Mr Conde is constitutionally barred from standing again, but has made it increasingly clear that he is not yet ready to surrender the presidency. At least four people have been killed in Guinea's capital after police fired tear gas and bullets Monday to disperse thousands of opposition supporters Credit: AP To do so, Guinea will need an entirely new constitution, plans for which have already been advanced by Mr Conde’s ruling party.  The opposition has accused the president of seeking to ease its path by stacking the constitutional court, taming the electoral commission and delaying parliamentary elections by more than a year to protect his narrow legislative majority. Russia has openly given its cover to Mr Conde’s efforts. In an extraordinary intervention, brazen even by the Kremlin’s standards, Russia’s ambassador, made a televised address on New Year’s Eve backing a constitutional change. Alexander Bregadze told Guineans they would be mad to allow the "legendary" Mr Conde to step down, saying: “Do you know many countries in Africa that do better? Do you know many presidents in Africa who do better?” “It’s constitutions that adapt to reality, not reality that adapts to constitutions.” Such naked campaigning from a diplomat is unusual. But Russia has a vital relationship to nurture.  Guinea holds the world’s largest reserves of bauxite, the ore that is refined and smelted to produce aluminium. The Russian firm Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer outside Russia, sources more than a quarter of its bauxite from Guinea. Guinea’s importance to Russia grew immeasurably last year after the United States imposed sanctions on Rusal and its co-owner, the oligarch and close Putin ally Oleg Deripaska. Sanctions have since been lifted on Rusal but not on Mr Deripaska. Young people block the road as they protest against a possible third term of President Alpha Conde on October 16, 2019, in Conakry Credit: AFP The significance of the relationship was underscored when Mr Bregadze stepped down as ambassador in May to head Rusal’s operations in Guinea. Other Russian firms also have mineral interests in Guinea. Tellingly, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a shadowy Kremlin associate linked to mercenary and mining outfits in Africa, is understood to have set up operations in Guinea. Mr Putin has wooed President Conde, too, twice inviting him to Moscow for talks. Guinea’s opposition has denounced what it says is Russian interference. Protesters last week made their feelings clear by blockading a Rusal-owned railway line used to transport bauxite. Their anger is likely to achieve little. Emboldened by Russian backing, Mr Conde has only cracked down harder. Last week, nine senior opposition figures were charged with insurrection. They face five years in prison. Given everything it has invested in Mr Conde, Russia cannot risk the opposition coming to power. When Mr Putin meets his guest in Sochi, he is likely to encourage him to persist with repression.


U.K. serial killers had affair in prison, lawyer claims

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 8:47am

Notorious U.K. serial killers Rose West and Myra Hindley were lovers in prison, according to one of their former lawyers. West’s ex-attorney Leo Goatley claimed his client fell for the Moors murderer in 1995 after they were both jailed in the hospital wing of Durham prison.


'We're going to have him for another four years.' Impeachment fight riles up Donald Trump supporters for 2020

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 8:40am

Rather than hunkering down in Washington, Donald Trump is using the impeachment fight to rile up supporters in cities like Minneapolis and Dallas.


Eight Dead, Prisoners Escape in Botched Attempt to Arrest El Chapo’s Son

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 7:38am

STR/AFP via GettyTwo days after Mexican authorities spectacularly failed to keep Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s third son in custody, eight people are dead and nearly 50 dangerous prisoners who escaped from prison remain at large. On Thursday, 35 elite Mexican military troops descended on a home in the the city of Culiacán to carry out a U.S. extradition order on El Chapo’s son, Ovidio Guzmán López, who was inside the property with three others. The raid led to a counter-attack by heavily armed men who surrounded the house and troops and, in what appeared to be a carefully orchestrated plan that will surely inspire a new Netflix series, unleashed chaos throughout the city with incredible precision. The men, presumed to be members of the Sinaloa Cartel that El Chapo once led, worked in tandem, carrying high-caliber weapons. They blocked intersections, closed toll booths and burned cars. At the same time, inmates inside the local prison rioted in what appeared to be a planned attack, taking weapons from guards and breaking free. Of the 56 dangerous prisoners who escaped, 49 remained at large on Saturday morning, according to Sinaloa Public Security Secretary Cristóbal Castañeda. As the chaos unfolded, Mexican authorities now say they had no choice but to release El Chapo’s son in the name of peace. “This decision was made to protect citizens,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Friday. “You cannot fight fire with fire. We do not want deaths. We do not want war.”El Chapo Cries ‘There Was No Justice’ While Being Sentenced to Life in PrisonEl Chapo’s sons Joaquin Guzman Lopez, 34, and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 28, were charged for conspiring to distribute cocaine, meth and marijuana within the U.S. starting in April 2008 until April 2018. An extradition order for both was unsealed in Feb. 2019, which triggered the raid this week.State Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo admitted that security forces had not taken into account the cartel members would be waiting for them. El Chapo’s three sons are among the most wanted men in Mexico and their protection is seen as a matter of priority by the cartel. El Chapo, who is serving life prison in the U.S. for drug trafficking, was also the master of escape, evading authorities for years, even escaping prison through a tunnel built into his jail cell floor. The son who was captured is seen as the least known of the famous drug kingpin’s sons. Guzman’s other sons, Iván Archivaldo Guzmán and Jesús Alfredo Guzmán are far better known and referred to as “Los Chapitos” which means the “little Chapos.”“This was a failed operation,” Durazo said Friday. He also said the troops involved in the raid acted independently to release the younger Guzman to prevent retaliation being carried out against the civilian population. “We are not going to convert Mexico into a greater cemetery than it already is,” he said. How the Mexican Marines Are Hunting the New El ChapoRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.


Black security guard fired after asking student not to use racial slur

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 7:25am

A black school security guard has been fired after asking a pupil not to call him the N-word.Marlon Anderson said the teenager, who is also African American, used the racial slur repeatedly to refer to him.


A Smuggler Describes How Children Die and He Gets Rich on Border

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - October 19, 2019 - 6:00am

(Bloomberg) -- Roberto the coyote can see a stretch of border fence from his ranch in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, about a mile south of El Paso. Smuggling drugs and people to “el otro lado,” the other side, has been his life’s work.There’s always a way, he says, no matter how hard U.S. President Donald Trump tries to stop the flow. But this year’s crackdown has made it a tougher proposition. A deadlier one, too—especially for women and children, who are increasingly dying in the attempt.Not much surprises Roberto, who asks not to be identified by his surname because he engages in illegal activity. Sitting on a creaky metal chair, shaded by quince trees and speaking above the din from a gaggle of fighting roosters, the 65-year-old grabs a twig and scratches lines in the sand to show how he stays a step ahead of U.S. and Mexican security forces.Here’s a gap in the fence that migrants can dash through—onto land owned by American ranchers in his pay. There’s a spot U.S. patrols often pass, so he’s hiring more people to keep watch and cover any footprints with leaf-blowers.Roberto says he was taken aback in July this year, when he was approached for the first time by parents with young children. For coyotes, as the people-smugglers are known in Mexico, that wasn’t the typical customer profile. Roberto asked around among his peers. “They were also receiving a lot of families,” he says. “Many, many families are crossing over.”That helps explain one of the grimmer statistics to emerge from all the turmoil on the U.S.-Mexican border.Even more than usual, the 2,000-mile frontier has turned into a kind of tectonic fault line this year. Poverty and violence—and the pull of the world’s richest economy—are driving people north. At the border, they’re met by a new regime of tightened security and laws, imposed by Trump in tandem with his Mexican counterpart, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO.Some give up and go home; some wait and hope—and some try evermore dangerous ways to get through.Nineteen children died during attempted crossings in the first nine months of 2019, by drowning, dehydration or illness, according to the UN’s “Missing Migrants” research project. That’s up from four reported through September 2018 and by far the most since the project began gathering data in 2014, when two died that entire year. Women are dying in greater numbers, too—44 in the year through September, versus 14 last year.Many of those families are fleeing crime epidemics in Central America, as well as economic shocks. Prices of coffee—a key export—in the region plunged this year to the lowest in more than a decade, crushing farmers.Making matters worse, climate change will produce more frequent crop failures for those growers that will, in turn, drive more migration, said Eleanor Paynter, a fellow at Ohio State University. “Asylum law does not currently recognize climate refugees,” she said, “but in the coming years we will see more and more.”The demand side is equally fluid. When the Great Recession hit in 2007, a slumping U.S. economy led to a sharp drop in arrivals from Mexico and Central America. Today, the reverse is true: Record-low unemployment in the U.S. is attracting huge numbers from Central America.But none of those factors fully explains why so many families are now willing to take such great risks. To understand that, it’s necessary to go back to the birth of the “Remain in Mexico” policy in January, when new U.S. rules made it much harder to seek asylum on arrival—and its escalation in June, when Trump threatened to slap tariffs on Mexican goods, and AMLO agreed to deploy 26,000 National Guard troops to the border.The crackdown was aimed at Central Americans—mostly from such poor, violent countries as El Salvador and Honduras—who’d been entering the U.S. through Mexico in growing numbers. Many would cross the border, turn themselves in and apply for asylum, then wait in the U.S. for a court hearing. That route was especially favored by migrants with young children, who were likely to be released from detention faster.Under the new policy, they were sent back to Mexico by the tens of thousands and required to wait in dangerous border towns for a court date. They might wait in shelters for months for their number to be called, with only 10 or 20 families being interviewed each day. Word was getting back that applications weren’t being approved, anyway.That pushed thousands of families into making a tough decision. Juan Fierro, who runs the El Buen Pastor shelter for migrants in Ciudad Juarez, reckons that about 10% of the Central Americans who’ve stayed with him ended up going back home. In Tijuana, a border town hundreds of miles west, Jose Maria Garcia Lara—who also runs a shelter—says some 30% of families instead headed for the mountains outside the city on their way to the U.S. “They’re trying to cross,” he says, “in order to disappear.”The family that approached Roberto in Ciudad Juarez wanted to take a less physically dangerous route: across the bridge into El Paso.Roberto has infrastructure in place for both options. He says his people can run a pole across the Rio Grande when the river’s too high, and they have cameras on the bridge to spot when a guard’s back is turned. He has a sliding price scale, charging $7,500 for children and an extra $1,000 for Central Americans—fresh proof of studies that have shown smugglers’ prices rise with tighter border controls. “They pay a bundle to get their kids across,” he says. “Why don’t they just open a small grocery with that money?”Typically, migrants don’t come from the very poorest communities in their home countries, where people struggle to cover such coyote costs, or from the middle class. Rather, they represent a range from $5,000 to $10,000 per capita in 2009 dollars, according to Michael Clemens, an economist at the Center for Global Development in Washington. This happens to be the level that the economies of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have reached.For the family going across the bridge into El Paso, Roberto wanted to send the parents and children separately, to attract less attention. Ideally, the kids would be asleep, making the guards less likely to stop the car and ask questions. But that raised another problem. He resolved it by arranging for a woman on his team to visit the family and spend three days playing with the children. That way, they’d be used to her and wouldn’t cry out if they woke up while she was taking them across.Roberto says the family made it safely into the U.S. with their false IDs, a claim that couldn’t be confirmed. He earned about $35,000 from the family, and soon after had another three children with their parents seek passage. “They want to cross, no matter what,” he says. “I don’t know where the idea comes from that you can stop this.”But people are being stopped and turned back, and the number of migrants caught crossing the U.S. border has plunged from its peak in May. That has allowed Trump to portray the new policy as a success. (Mexican officials tend to agree, though the Foreign Ministry didn't respond to a request for comment.) Yet it’s not that simple. Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, said the flow northward initially surged because Trump threatened to close the border, setting off a wave of migrant caravans and smuggling activity. Arrests rose 90% through September from a year earlier, but they’re now at the same levels they were before the surge.Enrique Garcia was one of those arrested. A 36-year-old from Suchitepequez in Guatemala, he was struggling to feed his three children on the $150 a month he earned as a janitor. So he pawned a $17,000 plot of land to a coyote in exchange for passage to the U.S. for him and his son.They slipped into Mexico in August on a boarded-up cattle truck, with eight other adults and children, and drove the length of the country, to Juarez. The coyotes dropped them by car at the nearby crossing point called Palomas, where they literally ran for it.After 45 minutes in the summer heat, Garcia was getting worried about his son, who was falling behind and calling out for water. But they made it past the Mexican National Guard and gave themselves up to a U.S. border patrol, pleading to be allowed to stay. Instead, they were sent back to Mexico and given a January court date.Garcia, who recounted the story from a bunk bed in a Juarez shelter, said he was devastated. He couldn’t figure out what to do for five months in Mexico, with no prospect of work. His coyotes had managed to reestablish contact with the group, and most of them—with children in tow—had decided to try again. This time, they wouldn’t be relying on the asylum process. They’d try to make it past the border patrols and vanish into the U.S.But Garcia decided he’d already put his son’s life at risk once, and wouldn’t do it again. He scrounged $250 to take the boy home to Guatemala. Then, he said, he’d head back up to the border alone. He wouldn’t need to pay the coyotes again. They’d given him a special offer when he signed away his land rights—two crossing attempts for the price of one.Researchers say there’s a more effective deterrent to such schemes: opening more lawful channels. Clemens, at the Center for Global Development, noted that illegal immigration from Mexico dropped in recent years after U.S. authorities increased the supply of H-2 visas for temporary work, almost all of them going to Mexicans—a trend that’s continued under Trump.The current debate in Washington assumes that “hardcore enforcement and security assistance in Central America will be enough, without any kind of expansion of lawful channels,” Clemens said. “That flies in the face of the lessons of history.”A hard-security-only approach deters some migrants, while channeling others into riskier routes where they’re more likely to die. That’s what happened after Europe’s crackdown on migration from across the Mediterranean, according to Paynter at Ohio State, who’s studied data from the UN’s “Missing Migrants” project. In 2019, “even though the total number of attempted crossings is lower, the rate of death is three times what it was,” she said.As for Roberto, he expresses sadness at the children who’ve died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. He claims he would’ve tried to help them, even if they couldn’t pay.Most of all, he sees no end to the ways he can make profits off the border crackdown. He makes a joke out of it.“I’m hearing Trump wants to throw crocodiles in the river,” he says. “Guess what will happen? We’ll eat them.” And then: “Their skin is expensive. We’ll start a whole new business. It’ll bring in money, because we’ll make boots, belts and wallets. We’ll look real handsome.”  To contact the author of this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Ben HollandFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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