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Sweden's prime minister orders an inquiry into the failure of the country's no-lockdown coronavirus strategy

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 05:44

Sweden's prime minister orders an inquiry into the failure of the country's no-lockdown coronavirus strategyThe number of new COVID-19 cases in Sweden, where the government opted against a strict lockdown, has increased significantly in recent weeks.


Yes, World War II Is Still Killing People (This Picture Is Proof)

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 05:30

Yes, World War II Is Still Killing People (This Picture Is Proof)Unexploded bombs are a lasting danger in Europe.


Police officer filmed punching black woman at Miami International Airport

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 05:20

Police officer filmed punching black woman at Miami International AirportThe police department in Miami-Dade has dismissed two officers after one punched a black woman at Miami International Airport.The department ordered an investigation into the incident on Wednesday night when a video – dated 1 July – was shared online.


India opens vast railway network to private players

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 05:20

India opens vast railway network to private playersIndia has opened up its vast railway sector to private companies, allowing firms to operate trains on certain routes, in a bid to boost its stuttering, virus-hit economy. The 167-year-old train network carries 20 million passengers daily but is plagued by deadly accidents, rickety infrastructure, lack of modern amenities and poor investment. In an announcement late Wednesday, the railway ministry said it would now permit businesses to run trains along 109 routes, inviting bids from firms weeks after New Delhi opened up coal mining to the private sector.


The E.U. never even considered letting in U.S. travelers. That's how bad America's outbreak is.

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 05:19

The E.U. never even considered letting in U.S. travelers. That's how bad America's outbreak is."The U.S. was never going to make it," one E.U. diplomat said. "Just look at their coronavirus situation."


Funeral planned Wednesday for retired pope's elder brother

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 04:56

Funeral planned Wednesday for retired pope's elder brotherA funeral is to be held next week for the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who died Wednesday at the age of 96. The Regensburg diocese said Thursday that Ratzinger will be laid to rest in the Bavarian city's Catholic cemetery Wednesday afternoon following a service held by Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer. The acclaimed boys’ choir Ratzinger headed for several decades will stage a farewell concert Sunday.


A man who shared his regret for going to a party where he caught COVID-19 died the following day

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 04:53

A man who shared his regret for going to a party where he caught COVID-19 died the following dayThomas Macias, 51, broke his quarantine for a party in Lake Elsinore, California. His family says his death should be a warning to others.


Vietnam, Philippines denounce China military drills in disputed waters

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 04:52

Vietnam, Philippines denounce China military drills in disputed watersVietnam and the Philippines on Thursday criticised China's holding of military drills in a disputed part of the South China, warning it could create tension in the region and impact Beijing's relationship with its neighbours. Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said China's exercises in the waters near the Paracel Islands were "highly provocative", while Vietnam's Foreign Ministry called them a violation of sovereignty that could be "detrimental" to Beijing's relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).


Court lifts restriction on Mary Trump's tell-all book

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 04:39

Court lifts restriction on Mary Trump's tell-all bookA restriction placed on a tell-all book by President Trump’s niece was lifted by a New York appeals court on Wednesday, clearing the way for its distribution.


DHS deploys special federal unit to protect statues and monuments over July 4th weekend

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 04:28

DHS deploys special federal unit to protect statues and monuments over July 4th weekendRep. Austin Scott (R-GA) weighs in on attacks on statues.


Turkey wants French apology over Mediterranean warships incident

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 04:21

Turkey wants French apology over Mediterranean warships incidentForeign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday Turkey expects France to apologise after an incident between Turkish and French warships in the Mediterranean prompted Paris to request a NATO investigation. Relations between the NATO members have soured over the Libya conflict, where Turkey supports the internationally recognised government and accuses Paris of backing the eastern-based forces of Khalifa Haftar who tried to capture Tripoli. France denies backing Haftar's offensive on the capital, and accused Turkish warships of aggressive behaviour after its own warship tried to inspect a vessel in June that it suspected was violating a UN arms embargo on Libya.


Letters to the Editor: If the Golden State Killer doesn't deserve the death penalty, no one does

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 04:00

 If the Golden State Killer doesn't deserve the death penalty, no one doesIf a man who admits to 13 murders and dozens of kidnappings and burglaries doesn't get the death penalty, why should anyone?


Alabama college students are throwing 'COVID parties' where they invite infected people and gamble on who gets sick first, officials say

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 03:48

Alabama college students are throwing 'COVID parties' where they invite infected people and gamble on who gets sick first, officials sayAs of Thursday, Alabama reported more than 38,000 coronavirus cases. State health authorities have warned intensive-care-unit beds might run out.


Cartels Target Top Cop as Killings Soar in Mexico

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 02:33

Cartels Target Top Cop as Killings Soar in MexicoCALI, Colombia—There was a time, not so long ago, when Mexico City remained a safe haven from the deadly cartel violence plaguing the rest of the country. A place where El Narco dared not tread.That time is no more.Shortly after sunrise on Friday, June 26, Mexico City Police Chief Omar García Harfuch was ambushed near his home in an upscale residential community. The unprecedented attack was carried out by a paramilitary force of more than two dozen men armed with automatic weapons, grenade launchers, and .50 caliber sniper rifles.Twenty-eight sicarios (hitmen) divided into four separate estacas (kill squads) had set up roadblocks on the Paseo de la Reforma, the most famous boulevard in the capital, which leads to neighborhoods full of sprawling mansions and embassy compounds. The police chief survived the barrage fired at his armored SUV, but he took three bullets and two of his bodyguards and a bystander were killed.García Harfuch, who is expected to recover, tweeted from his hospital bed that: “Our nation must continue to confront those cowards of organized crime.”The assassination attempt has been blamed on the Jalisco New Generation Cartel—CJNG in Spanish—one of Mexico’s fastest-growing and most powerful crime groups.Mike Vigil, formerly the DEA’s chief of international operations, called the attack “brazen” in an interview with The Daily Beast.“We’ve had other attacks in Mexico City but nothing like this,” Vigil said. He described CJNG as a “hyper-violent” and “supersized cartel” capable of shooting down army helicopters and attacking military convoys.The cartel’s operation against García Harfuch “was committed with absolute impunity and no regard for the rule of law,” Vigil said.Mexican Narcos, More Brazen by the Day, Land Coke Plane on a Highway and Shoot a GeneralThe attack comes at a time when violence stemming from organized crime is spiking across Mexico. Scores of bodies have been found in mass graves or dumped on roadsides, and federal officials and law enforcement officers are increasingly under attack. Last year was Mexico’s most violent year on record, with some 35,000 documented homicides—the true number is likely much higher as many murders go unreported—and 2020 is already on pace to eclipse those numbers. Nationwide at least 226 police officers were murdered between January and May of this year, or one-and-a-half dead cops each day.“People in Mexico City thought they lived in this nice, safe bubble,” Manny Gallardo, a Mexican journalist who specializes in covering the cartels, told The Daily Beast. “But now the war has come home to them.” INSIDE THE ATTACKWiretaps obtained a few weeks ago by Mexico’s National Intelligence Center [CIN] had hinted that CJNG was planning to target a government official, according to Mexican press reports. The leak didn’t reveal who the mark would be, but CIN analysts had speculated García Harfuch could be one of the intended victims,  according to Vigil. CJNG’s leader, a former police officer named Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, aka El Mencho, had been looking to strike back after authorities froze cartel assets and arrested certain high-ranking gang members—including Mencho’s son, Rubén Oseguera, aka Menchito, who was extradited to the U.S. in February.Journalist Gallardo said Mencho may have chosen Police Chief García Harfuch because he’d played a role in the government’s recent crackdown. García Harfuch arrested some of Mencho’s top lieutenants, including the commander of CJNG’s Mexico City cell and the leader of the powerful Union de Tepito gang, which was the cartel’s principal ally in the capital. The chief rolled up gangsters at least as far away as the city of Guadalajara, where he arrested a ruthless CJNG assassin who murdered two Israeli citizens last July, according to Gallardo.Robert Bunker, a security specialist at the University of Southern California, called the attack against the police chief a declaration of war against the Mexican state that “has further undermined federal authority.”“Another firebreak has been crossed in the criminal insurgency raging across Mexico,” Bunker told The Daily Beast.Authorities have made more than two dozen arrests, including the alleged mastermind behind the plot, CJNG’s José Armando Briseño, or Vaca (Cow), El Universal reported. But Gallardo said those captured were in essence fall-guys or patsies—deliberately chosen for what he calls a “suicide mission” because they were expendable. “CJNG has highly trained commandos but they didn't want to risk them,” he said, and added that the failure to use elite shock troops is likely what led to a botched mission and the chief’s escape.“The pandemic has erased many jobs, and a lot of people are desperate. That makes for easier recruitment by the cartels. So they hired some untrained newbies for the [hit on Harfuch] . This is how organized crime takes advantage of poverty and ignorance in Mexico.” BEHIND THE VIOLENCEIn the run-up to the ambush in the capital, the last couple of months have been particularly bloody. Some of the more high-profile incidents include: * On Sunday of this week at least 20 people, including Mexican Marines, were killed during a clash between rival gangs in the Michoacán region. * In mid-June a federal judge and his wife were gunned down by CJNG sicarios in the state of Colima—the first time in more than 15 years that a national-level judge has been murdered in Mexico. * A few days later a caravan of police vehicles was ambushed in western Guerrero state, leading to the deaths of eight officers with three wounded. * Also in June, some 30 bodies were found dumped on roadsides across two northern states, apparently casualties of a power struggle within the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, formerly run by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. * In early June, seven cops were abducted and later found dead in the CJNG-controlled territory of Colima.Experts say part of the rise in criminal activity is due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mexico has been one of the hardest-hit countries in Latin America, with 220,657 confirmed cases and more than 27,000 deaths at the time of this writing. The health crisis has diverted the attention and focus of security forces, while the cartels capitalize on the chaos to take over new turf, settle old scores, and even provide food and medical supplies to strapped communities in order to build their brand. But the outbreak has also impacted both supply and distribution chains for narcotics, forcing drug lords and their minions to expand operations to diversify their revenue streams. Slowed commerce between China and Mexico means the narcos have reduced access to vital precursor chemicals needed to produce drugs like crystal meth and fentanyl. Meanwhile the closed U.S. border has limited their ability to move what product they do have stockpiled. That scarcity is leading to ever more violent struggles between rival crime syndicates.“With the pandemic negatively impacting illicit narcotics trafficking routes, cartel profits are down, which is resulting in criminal organizations fighting over dwindling profits,” said USC’s Bunker. “Also with Mexican state and federal forces increasingly strained [by the pandemic] more opportunities exist for the stronger cartels and criminal gangs to move against plazas [drug shipping and production corridors] and regions held by weaker opposing groups,” he said.      Crime groups are also flexing their muscle in new directions since the pandemic, turning to other black-market options to fill their coffers, such as extortion, kidnapping, fuel theft, even taking over the regional avocado trade.“The cartels have to have huge revenue streams to pay sicarios and money launderers, and to bribe public officials. Otherwise those people might go to work for a rival group,” said Vigil. “Nobody works for free.” NEW TECH AND TERROR TACTICSAnother factor behind the rising tide of violence is that the cartels have adopted new tech and weapons systems for use against each other and government forces.Crime groups are increasingly using anti-personnel car bombs, attack drones, and improvised armored fighting vehicles [AFVs], according to Bunker. The AFVs can range from bullet-proofed tactical trucks with machine guns mounted in the cargo bay, all the way up to the so-called “narco-tanks”—semis or dump trucks with welded sheet metal armor and multiple gun ports. “The use of assault rifles, grenade launchers, body armor, .50 caliber sniper rifles, and rocket propelled grenades [RPGs] is pretty standard now in many of the cartel tactical units, along with caltrops and burning vehicle blockades for area denial, channeling, and kill-zone creation purposes,” Bunker said. (Caltrops are those spikes laid down across roads to blow car tires.)Journalist Gallardo agreed that cartel capabilities are on the rise:     “I've interviewed sicarios trained by Colombian paramilitaries to fly drones and drop C4 on targets. They’re well trained in small-arms and infantry tactics, as well as how to dismember and torture people. That's how [the cartels] work today.”Growing power and increasingly sophisticated methods of warfare often intimidate poorly funded local police, making cartel rule absolute in regions with little state presence.“In isolated areas they can act without fear of government reprisal,” Vigil said, and in fact often serve as the de facto authorities, settling quarrels, and dispensing food and medicine.As part of a comprehensive solution, Vigil said, “security forces need to provide a government presence throughout the country, especially where they have these voids that are filled by organized crime groups.”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.


Fire damages building at Iran nuclear enrichment site

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 01:08

Fire damages building at Iran nuclear enrichment siteA fire broke out early Thursday at a building above Iran's underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, though officials said it did not affect its centrifuge operation or cause any release of radiation. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran sought to downplay the fire, calling it an “incident” that only affected an under-construction “industrial shed,” spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said. Kamalvandi did not identify what damaged the building, though Natanz governor Ramazanali Ferdowsi said a “fire” struck the site, according to a report by the semiofficial Tasnim news agency.


Hong Kong protester arrested on suspicion of stabbing police

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 00:40

Hong Kong protester arrested on suspicion of stabbing policeHong Kong police arrested a man onboard a London-bound flight early Thursday morning on suspicion of stabbing a police officer during protests of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory's new security law, officials said. About 370 people were arrested during and after Wednesday's protests against the law being imposed by China to curb activities surrounding the anti-government protests that has been ongoing since June last year. Ten of them were arrested on suspicion of violating the new security law, some of whom were in possession of paraphernalia that advocated for Hong Kong’s independence.


Hong Kong police arrest 24-year-old man on London-bound flight as China vows 'retaliation' for UK offer of citizenship

Yahoo News - Thu, 07/02/2020 - 00:22

Hong Kong police arrest 24-year-old man on London-bound flight as China vows 'retaliation' for UK offer of citizenshipChina promised Thursday to take countermeasures against Britain if it presses ahead with plans to extend citizenship rights to Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed a sweeping security law on the restless financial hub. Beijing has faced a groundswell of criticism from primarily Western nations over its decision to impose a new law outlawing acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and colluding with foreign forces. Hong Kong police fired water cannon and tear gas and arrested more than 300 people as protesters took to the streets in defiance of the sweeping security legislation introduced by China to snuff out dissent. Early in the morning of July 2, Hong Kong police arrested a 24-year-old man at the city's airport on suspicion of attacking and wounding an officer during protests against a new national security law Beijing imposed on the financial hub. On Wednesday, police posted pictures on Twitter of an officer with a bleeding arm saying he was stabbed by "rioters holding sharp objects". The suspects fled while bystanders offered no help, police said.


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