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McConnell slams Syria withdrawal as scattered fighting flaresUS Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has attacked President Donald Trump's decision to pull troops from Syria as "a strategic nightmare" as scattered fighting flared in the north of the country despite a ceasefire deal. Mustefa Bali, a spokesman for the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), accused Turkey, however, of violating the ceasefire deal reached during a visit to Ankara on Thursday by US Vice President Mike Pence.

10/18/2019 10:55:12 PM

Former Nazi SS guard, 93, goes on trial in HamburgFrom his post as a teenage SS private in a watchtower in Nazi Germany's Stutthof concentration camp, Bruno Dey could hear the screams of Jews dying in the gas chamber. More than seven decades later, Dey went on trial Thursday on 5,230 counts of accessory to murder in Hamburg state court.

10/17/2019 6:56:27 AM

Joe Biden digs at Elizabeth Warren after debate: Polls don't show 'anybody else as a frontrunner'"You know, I haven't seen any polling showing that nationally, on average, that anybody else is a front-runner," Joe Biden said.

10/17/2019 3:23:19 PM

Prince William and wife Kate land in Pakistan capital after aborted flightBritain's Prince William and his wife Kate landed in Pakistan's capital Islamabad on Friday, after turbulence forced the couple to stay overnight in Lahore in a change to their tightly-choreographed itinerary. On Thursday an RAF Voyager carrying the royals, who are on a four-day official visit to Pakistan, aborted landings in Islamabad and nearby Rawalpindi due to severe turbulence.

10/18/2019 1:48:28 AM

New ICE Program Exposes Hundreds of Fraudulent ‘Family Units’ Trying to Cross The BorderU.S. immigration authorities have discovered hundreds of instances at the border of “family unit fraud,” or unrelated individuals posing as families, over the last six months thanks to a new investigative initiative.Authorities exposed 238 fraudulent families presenting 329 false documents, according to the results of an investigation run by Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit in El Paso, Texas, the results of which were announced Thursday.More than 350 of those individuals are facing federal prosecution for crimes including human smuggling, making false statements, conspiracy, and illegal re-entry after removal. Authorities have referred 19 children to U.S. Health and Human Services as a result of this investigation. Another 50 migrants fraudulently claimed to be unaccompanied minors."Some of the most disturbing cases identified involve transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and individuals who are increasingly exploiting innocent children to further their criminal activity," ICE said in a statement.In some cases, criminal organizations made deals with the children's biological parents to transfer children as young as 4 months old to the U.S. and pose as a family unit either for human smuggling purposes or to fraudulently obtain immigration benefits, ICE said.“These are examples of the dark side of this humanitarian crisis that our Border Patrol and HSI agents are working tirelessly to identify,” said El Paso Sector Interim Chief Gloria Chavez. “We will pursue the highest of judicial consequences for those who commit fraud and exploit innocent children.”The Trump administration has attempted to end the "catch and release" policy for migrant family units, which provides migrant families an expedited release into the U.S. as their asylum cases are being processed.Then–acting Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan said last month that the vast majority of migrant families who enter the country illegally will no longer be eligible for “catch and release” due to the implementation of stricter policies. One such policy, the Migrant Protection Protocols, requires that migrants wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are being adjudicated.

10/18/2019 6:41:26 AM

Mexicans Outraged After Cornered Son of ‘El Chapo’ Released(Bloomberg) -- The decision by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s security cabinet to release the captured son of the world’s most notorious drug lord left him struggling to contain the damage amid public outrage.AMLO, as the president is known, said the government took the decision after Mexican forces were overpowered Thursday as they attempted to take in Ovidio Guzman Lopez, son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The son is said to have taken over some criminal operations from his father. The confrontation, which left eight dead, occurred in Culiacan, the capital of the western state of Sinaloa.His public security minister, Alfonso Durazo, admitted that the operation to capture Guzman Lopez was a failure. Reporters peppered him with questions at a news conference in Culiacan, asking if he would resign. Durazo deflected, suggesting that he could do so if the moment arrives when he decides he no longer can contribute to securing peace in the nation.“The government clearly looks bad after this,” Daniel Kerner, an analyst at Eurasia Group, wrote in a research report. “It clearly failed to plan and anticipate the response that going after the son of one of the most notable drug leaders in Mexico would generate given the cartel’s influence in the city. As such, it looks like it had no strategy and no coordination.”The incident presents the biggest security challenge yet to Lopez Obrador, who was elected on promises to stop years of violence and has maintained an approval rate of more than 60% in polls despite a stagnant economy. Homicides are on pace to break last year’s record, according to data through August, rising more than 3% to exceed 23,000.Cartel members on Thursday turned Culiacan into a war zone after Mexican authorities surrounded Guzman Lopez at a house where he was taking refuge. Homemade tanks complete with machine guns rumbling through the streets, stopping traffic and firing repeatedly. The city was littered with burning vehicles as residents posted videos on Twitter of gunfire and chaos. Plumes of black smoke rose over buildings.How AMLO’s Plans to Transform Mexico Ran Into Reality: QuickTake“This decision was taken to protect citizens,” Lopez Obrador said at his morning news conference Friday in the southern state of Oaxaca. “You can’t put out fire with fire. That’s the difference between our strategy and what previous governments have done. We don’t want deaths, we don’t want war.”‘Pandora’s Box’Responding to the violence in Culiacan by letting Guzman Lopez go free sends a dangerous message to drug cartels that the Mexican government can be cowed by terrorist-like attacks against civilians, said Alejandro Schtulmann, who heads Mexico City-based political consultancy Empra. It’s also embarrassing because the Sinaloa cartel’s firepower has been diminished in recent years and pales in comparison to that of other ascendant groups like the Jalisco New Generation.Now, other groups when facing an arrest may “resort to the same methods,” he said. “This may have opened the Pandora’s box in the context of fighting organized crime in Mexico.”The case rips open an old wound for Mexico, where El Chapo twice escaped from prison before he was recaptured and finally extradited and convicted in the U.S. It comes in a week when more than a dozen police were killed in an ambush in the deadliest attack on law enforcement since Lopez Obrador took office last December. At least 15 more people were killed in another shootout with the military in the nation’s south.Lopez Obrador said that the suspect had an arrest warrant and an extradition request. His father was sent to the U.S. in early 2017 just as President Donald Trump was taking office.The son’s release was immediately decried across Mexican media, with one of the nation’s largest newspapers, Reforma, running a headline saying “Little Chapo Subdues the Fourth Transformation,” referring to the nickname that Lopez Obrador has given to his government.AMLO Lays Out Broad Plan for Addressing Violence in MexicoMexico has fought a decades-long war against drug gangs, in part because it serves as a connector between cocaine-producing nations in South America and consumers in the U.S.AMLO’s strategy focuses on deployment of tens of thousands of members from a new National Guard force to the most violent parts of the country, as well as education and subsidies for youth. But the phrase he has used to summarize his philosophy, “hugs, not shots,” has been criticized by political rivals and many security analysts as naive and Pollyannish.The release of Guzman Lopez “sends a message of weakness to the blackmail of narcos,” said Veronica Ortiz, a lawyer and co-host on Mexico’s nonpartisan Congress channel. “It’s particularly serious for the military, because their own supreme commander is weakening them. For citizens, we’re left unprotected against criminals.”\--With assistance from Nacha Cattan.To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Martin in Mexico City at;Lorena Rios in Mexico City at lriost@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Ethan BronnerFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

10/18/2019 4:28:06 PM

Moms Demand Action founder says advocacy group is not anti-gunMoms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts spoke with CBS News' Major Garrett for this week's episode of "The Takeout"

10/17/2019 8:08:49 PM

Asylum-seeking Mexicans are more prominent at US borderLizbeth Garcia tended to her 3-year-old son outside a tent pitched on a sidewalk, their temporary home while they wait for their number to be called to claim asylum in the United States. The 33-year-old fled Mexico's western state of Michoacan a few weeks ago with her husband and five children — ages 3 to 12 — when her husband, a truck driver, couldn't pay fees that criminal gangs demanded for each trailer load. "I'd like to say it's unusual, but it's very common," Garcia said Thursday in Juarez, where asylum seekers gather to wait their turn to seek protection at a U.S. border crossing in El Paso, Texas.

10/18/2019 6:46:20 PM

Murderer who triggered Hong Kong protests will go to Taiwan: pastorA man who inadvertently triggered Hong Kong's huge protests after he murdered his girlfriend in Taiwan has agreed to return to the island to face justice, a clergyman who has visited him in prison said on Friday. Chan Tong-kai, 20, is wanted in Taiwan for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend during a holiday the two Hong Kongers took there in February last year. The case triggered an ill-fated proposal by Hong Kong's pro-Beijing government to ram through a sweeping extradition bill which would have allowed the city to extradite suspects to any territory, including the authoritarian mainland.

10/18/2019 1:05:47 PM

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