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Sudan's former dictator Omar al-Bashir due in court for corruption trial

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 12:28

Omar al-Bashir, the ousted former president of Sudan, is expected to stand in court on Monday for the first stage of a corruption trial which could see him jailed for many years. Bashir took power in a 1989 coup but was deposed in April after mass protests and security forces deciding to withdraw support for his brutal regime, which was behind an alleged genocidal campaign in the Darfur region. The 75-year-old former dictator is in prison awaiting the trail, where he faces allegations of possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally. Human rights groups and relatives of Bashir's victims also want to see him stand trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague for his role in the genocide of around 300,000 people in Darfur.  "While this trial is a positive step towards accountability for some of his alleged crimes, he remains wanted for heinous crimes committed against the Sudanese people," said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International's East Africa director.   It comes as Sudan prepares to celebrate a historic deal between generals and protest leaders for a transition to civilian rule, which many hope will bring increased freedom and prosperity. During a ceremony to be held at a hall by the Nile in the capital Khartoum, members of the Transitional Military Council and protest leaders are expected to sign documents defining a 39-month transition. But the road to democracy remains fraught with obstacles, even if the mood was celebratory as foreign dignitaries as well as thousands of citizens from all over Sudan converged for the occasion. The deal reached on August 4 - the Constitutional Declaration - brought an end to nearly eight months of upheaval that led to the ousting of Bashir.


Argentina Faces Fresh Turmoil From Resignation, Debt Downgrades

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 12:12

(Bloomberg) -- Life just got a whole lot tougher for Argentina’s Mauricio Macri a week after his shock primary-election defeat sent markets into a tailspin.The embattled president is suddenly grappling with the resignation of his economy minister and a double downgrade to the nation’s debt. Meanwhile, his opponent Alberto Fernandez, now favorite to win the presidency on Oct. 27, is calling on Macri to renegotiate the terms of a record $56 billion credit line with the International Monetary Fund.The slew of negative headlines may unleash a fresh bout of market turmoil after a brief respite at the end of last week. Argentina’s global bonds will be the first to react, while the nation’s currency and stock markets remain closed on Monday due to a local holiday.“This will inject more uncertainty,” said Nader Naeimi, the head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney. “It puts a huge question mark over the creditworthiness of the country and is likely to further pressure the peso and Argentine bonds. We are staying out.”Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne, who led bailout negotiations between Argentina and the IMF last year, stepped down on Saturday, saying in a letter to Macri that the country needs “significant renewal in the economic area.” Hernan Lacunza, economic minister for the province of Buenos Aires, will replace him.Dujovne’s resignation came a day after Argentina’s credit profile was cut deeper into junk territory by Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings. Both cited the possibility of a sovereign debt default.IMF and DefaultThe IMF bailout had been instrumental in Macri’s strategy to stabilize the peso and ensure the country’s solvency. Yet, in an interview with La Nacion published Sunday, Fernandez said the deal needs to be reviewed because Argentina isn’t meeting the targets it agreed upon. He added that it’s “impossible” to repay the IMF on time, and that the only solution is to reschedule payments, according to the newspaper.In a separate interview with Clarin, Fernandez had a mixed message about the possibility of default. While saying the sensible thing is for Argentina to keep paying its obligations, he added that the country already finds itself in default conditions, as signaled by bond prices.Argentines Reflect on Last Week’s Election Results, Market ShockThe implied chance that Argentina will miss a debt payment, as measured by credit default swaps, soared last week. The Merval stock index lost 45% in dollar terms in the five days through Friday, bond prices tumbled about 30% and the peso weakened 18%.“While Argentina has been trading at distressed price levels already, we expect further downside on this news as it highlights an increased likelihood of a credit event,” Citigroup Inc. strategists including Dirk Willer wrote in a report.(Updates with Fernandez comments from seventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Dana El Baltaji, Abeer Abu Omar and Jorgelina do Rosario.To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Carrigan in Dubai at jcarrigan@bloomberg.net;Walter Brandimarte in Brasilia at wbrandimarte@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Justin Carrigan at jcarrigan@bloomberg.net, Dana El Baltaji, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Toll from Tanzania fuel truck blast rises to 95: hospital

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 12:10

The death toll from a fuel truck explosion in Tanzania has climbed to 95, a hospital spokesman said Sunday. A massive fireball engulfed a crowd thronging to collect petrol from an overturned tanker last Saturday near the town of Morogoro, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, the financial capital. It was a man who succumbed to his injuries," said Aminiel Aligaesha, a spokesman for the National Hospital in Dar es Salaam.


Scaramucci turns on POTUS

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 11:58

Ex-Aide wants him off 2020 ticket.


Sen. Graham: The dream of every leftist is to have a liberal court enacting laws from the bench

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 10:55

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says expanding the court is code for liberals packing the court.


Thousands Begin Dispersing After Rainy Rally: Hong Kong Update

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 10:52

(Bloomberg) -- Tens of thousands of Hong Kong protesters defied a torrential downpour and gathered in centrally located Victoria Park for the weekend’s major rally, after two nights of demonstrations ended peacefully and without police firing tear gas.Sunday’s rally was organized by the Civil Human Rights Front, which said more than 1.7 million people turned out. That would make it one of the biggest demonstrations yet. The police, which confined demonstrators to the park, didn’t provide a crowd estimate. The protests began on June 9 over a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China but have morphed into broader criticism of Chinese rule over the financial hub.Thousands of pro- and anti-government supporters came out on Saturday in rival demonstrations that expressed support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s administration on one side, and criticized her and police actions in another. China urged Hong Kong to punish demonstrators who break the law, after they massed at the city’s international airport and forced its closure last week.There is a growing list of demands made by various groups and directed at the government to address. One rally on Saturday called for curbs on visitors from China, while a planned gathering that was later canceled wanted to highlight the impact of tear gas used by police on animals.Key Developments:Tens of thousands gather peacefully for rainy afternoon rally in central Victoria Park and began dispersing by early evening. The Civil Human Rights Front put attendance at 1.7 Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan warned city should brace for an “economic typhoon” due to social unrest and the U.S.-China trade war.Here’s the latest (all times local):Crowds Begin Leaving (Sunday 6.22 p.m.)As the rain poured down through the afternoon, people stood sentry under a sea of umbrellas. By early evening, Victoria Park thinned out as thousands of people began dispersing. Crowds at the Times Square shopping center waited peacefully to reach Causeway Bay metro station. Neither organizers nor police had given an estimate of the demonstration’s turnout.‘Race against time’ (Sunday 4.45 p.m.)One protester in Sunday’s Victoria Park rally, 73-year-old retiree Tan Shu Huay, said protesters were mindful of trying to prevent violence but time was running out for Hong Kong people to fight for their rights.“We’re using peaceful and rational marches to curb police violence. The most important thing now is to get democracy,” Tan said. “As long as we’re not at the 50-year mark of one country, two systems, Hong Kongers are racing against time to fight for and preserve our freedoms even after 2047.”“I hope our friends in mainland China will be inspired by us and understand the importance of democracy and human rights, and come to fight and enjoy these freedoms together,” he said.Rain, what rain? (Sunday 4 p.m.)Protesters in Victoria Park ignored the driving rain and dark skies as they took cover in a multicolored shield of umbrellas. People exited the venue and made their way toward the train station in line with organizers’ requests to make space for throngs waiting to get into the rally.Economic Typhoon Signal 3 raised (Sunday)Hong Kong should brace for an “economic typhoon” because of social unrest and the U.S.-China trade war, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in a blog post Sunday. He likened current economic conditions to a Signal 3 cyclone warning and said that the city could suffer a direct hit.Park rally (Sunday 1.30 p.m.)People poured into Victoria Park in Causeway Bay in orderly queues snaking around the site hours before the rally was scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Organizers said they would try to ensure the gathering went off peacefully and that the park wasn’t overcrowded.“We will be totally peaceful today but it depends on how the police react,” said Bonnie Leung, a vice convener of the Civil Human Rights Front. “Police have imposed a lot of unnecessary conditions, so we don’t have a march but we have a large number of people which cannot be contained in this Victoria Park. Our legislators will lead the crowd to hopefully peacefully leave the park so that more people can come inside.”‘Return to Reason’ (Sunday 11 a.m.)Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung said violence must stop immediately to solve problems facing the city. While protesters say their “extreme actions” are to strive for a better future, the situation needs to “return to reason” before steps that can be taken to achieve that, he said.“Destruction is easy and construction is difficult,” Cheung said in a blog post on Sunday. Violent acts during protests “have seriously affected and damaged the lives of the people, disrupted social order, impacted the rule of law in Hong Kong and the moral bottom line, and hit Hong Kong’s international image.”An Early Night (Saturday 8 p.m)Protesters dispersed after some clashes with police, and the day ended without the use of tear gas for the first time in weeks.Eggs and laser beams (Saturday 7 p.m.)Hong Kong police said a “large group of protesters” who surrounded its station in Mong Kok posed a threat to its officers at the scene. Some demonstrators were seen aiming laser beams at the police officers, and pelting eggs at the station.Police in riot gear cleared the area around the station of protesters.Pro-China rally (Saturday 5 p.m.)Tens of thousands joined a pro-government rally in Tamar Park, Admiralty, filling the space adjacent to the central government offices. “Support the motherland, support one country two systems; anti-violence, save Hong Kong,” they chanted. Organizers estimated the crowd size at 476,000, while the police said it was around 108,000, broadcasters reported.China calls for punishment (Saturday 4.30 p.m.)Protesters who have broken laws must be punished accordingly, You Wenze, spokesman for China’s National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee, said in an interview with state TV Saturday. Some protesters have challenged the one-China principle, You said.“There’s no majesty in laws if breaking laws can go unpunished,” said You, whose committee is a panel of China’s legislature that crafted the Basic Law of Hong Kong -- its mini constitution.Pro-China crowd in Sydney (Saturday 2:30 p.m.)Demonstrations are taking place in hubs across the world this weekend, including San Francisco’s Embarcadero Plaza to London’s Trafalgar Square and cities in Canada, Australia, Germany and Taiwan.In Sydney, hundreds of China supporters draped in the red national flag protested against “selfish” Hong Kong demonstrators. They marched down Sydney’s George Street in the central business district, chanting “One China” and “We support Hong Kong police.”“We support Hong Kong, this is why we are here,” said Jonah Zhu, who hails from the Chinese city of Guangzhou and is studying teaching in Sydney. Protesters “are destroying the Hong Kong economy, they’re trying to block the airport, they are being selfish.”Kowloon rally (Saturday 3.30 p.m.)Thousands set off from a park in west Kowloon, extended the list of demands to include a call for a limit to the number of tourists from mainland China.“Although we do not forget the five demands of the Hong Kong people themselves, the main demand of this rally would be to set a capped number on mainland Chinese tourists,” said Timothy Lee, a community officer in Kowloon who organized the march. “We call upon the police to remain restrained and calm at all times.”Teachers on the streets (Saturday 11.30 a.m.)Thousands of teachers gathered in Chater Garden in pelting rain and an amber rainstorm warning from Hong Kong Observatory. The educators marched to Government House, Lam’s official residence, as the weather cleared. They tied white ribbons to the railings around the residence and then moved on to make way for arriving protesters.At least 22,000 people took part in the demonstration, Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union president Fung Wai-wah said, while police estimated that there were 8,300 protesters in the march at its peak.\--With assistance from Justin Chin, Natalie Lung and Sybilla Gross.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Karen Leigh in Hong Kong at kleigh4@bloomberg.net;Shawna Kwan in Hong Kong at wkwan35@bloomberg.net;Aaron Mc Nicholas in Hong Kong at amcnicholas2@bloomberg.net;Jinshan Hong in Hong Kong at jhong214@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, ;Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Stanley JamesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Buttigieg: opposition to gay marriage will 'wash away' among black Americans

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 10:52

Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful says change will occur when voters see his policies will work in their interests2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, South Bend, Indiana Mayor, Pete Buttigieg speaks during a campaign event at the Smokey Row coffee shop in Oskaloosa, Iowa on 15 August. Photograph: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty ImagesOpposition to gay marriage among African Americans will “start to wash away”, Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday, when such voters “struggling to get on to right side of history” see he will work in their interests.The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, spoke to CNN’s State of the Union from Georgetown, South Carolina, a crucial early voting state which this weekend played host to a number of candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination.Buttigieg, 37, is in the top five in most polls but has not built on an initial surge. A national Fox News poll released this week gave former vice-president Joe Biden a familiar healthy lead among African American Democratic primary voters, over three senators: Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts.Polling also shows that less than half black Protestant Christians, a key voting bloc, support same-sex marriage. Buttigieg has also faced controversy arising from an officer-involved shooting of an African American man in South Bend in June but on CNN the candidate, who is married, was asked if being gay was part of what was holding him back with at least some black voters.“I think most black voters like most voters in general want to know what the candidates are actually going to do to improve their lives,” he said. “And when I talk to black voters in particular there’s a sense of having been taken for granted in politics in the sense that candidates haven’t always been speaking to them in terms of gaining their trust.”Mentioning policy proposals, Buttigieg cited his Douglass plan, named for the great 19th-century anti-slavery campaigner Frederick Douglass, that attempts to tackle “institutional racism that works on health”.He continued: “I think that a lot of these other factors start to wash away once voters understand what it’s going to mean for them that you versus the others are running for office. But we’ve got six months to make sure we get that message out … and that’s how I plan to earn support among black voters whether it’s here or across the country.”Buttigieg has been fiercely critical of Vice-President Mike Pence, like him from Indiana but an evangelical Christian and social conservative with an anti-LGBTQ record in office. On CNN, the mayor was asked if such criticism could also apply to African American primary voters who oppose gay marriage.“Well,” he said, “I think back to my experience in Indiana when I was running for re-election after I came out in a community that’s generally Democratic but also quite socially conservative. And I just laid out the case on the kind of job that I was doing.“And what I found was that a lot of people were able to move past old prejudices and move into the future. This is not an easy conversation for a lot of people who have frankly been brung up in a certain way and are struggling to get on to the right side of history.“But I also believe that this conversation is picking up speed, that it’s a healthy conversation and that where it leads is an understanding that all marginalized people need to stand together at a time when so many Americans in so many different ways, especially under this presidency, are coming under attack.”Buttigieg was also asked if he thought a vote for Donald Trump, who he has said is a white nationalist, would be a racist act.“At best it means looking the other way,” he said.


John Hickenlooper is out of the 2020 presidential race. That's good news for these 3 Democratic candidates

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 10:31

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's exit from presidential race means other candidates have an opportunity to win over his supporters.


Iran says U.S. move on north Syria safe zone is "provocative"

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 10:20

A U.S. agreement to set up a safe zone in northern Syria, a close ally of Iran, is "provocative and worrisome", the Iranian foreign ministry was reported to have said by the semi-official Fars news agency. The United States and Turkey last week agreed to set up a joint operations center for a proposed zone along Syria’s northeast border.


Epstein allowed to buy small women’s underwear in jail, records reveal

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 10:14

Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was allowed to buy small women’s underwear while serving a jail sentence for soliciting a minor for prostitution, official records have revealed.Mr Epstein, a wealthy financier with links to the higher ranks of US society, hung himself in his cell in Manhattan after he was arrested last month and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14.Before his arrest on 6 July 2018, Mr Epstein served another 13 months in custody in Florida in 2008-2009 after a state court found him guilty of soliciting a minor for prostitution.But during that jail term, he was allowed to purchase female underwear that would not fit an average adult woman, the Miami Herald revealed after examining records obtained from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.During his time in custody in Florida between 30 June 2008 and 22 July 2009, Mr Epstein benefited from a generous work-release programme that allowed him to walk out of prison for up to 16 hours per day for six or seven days a week. Some records even began to refer to him as a “client” rather than an inmate.Mr Epstein’s death has caused outrage and prompted an investigation into the circumstances that allowed him to escape justice and apparently take his own life.Attorney general William Barr said there were “serious irregularities” within the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York City, where Epstein was awaiting trial.Reports have indicated that standard protocol was not met in the jail.An autopsy concluded that the cause of his death was suicide.Two guards have been put on administrative leave after it was determined that they had fallen asleep and had falsified records in a log to indicate they had been checking on the disgraced financier every 30 minutes, as was required.Falsified entries such as those could constitute a federal crime.


TV presenter punched live on air during protest

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 10:09

A journalist was knocked unconscious live on air after being punched in the face while covering a feminist protest.Video footage published by TV network ADM 40 shows reporter Juan Manuel Jimenez speaking to the camera as women yell at him during a march in Mexico City.Mr Jimenez can be seen standing in the middle of the crowd as women throw glitter at him and a woman holding a young girl’s hand shouts into the reporter’s microphone.As the reporter continues speaking to the camera, a man dressed in a white T-shirt and blue baseball cap walks up to him and punches him in the face before calmly walking away.Mr Jimenez can be seen lying on the ground seemingly unconscious as protesters chase after his attacker.At the beginning of the clip, shaky footage also shows another protester with their face covered who appears to grab the journalist and hit him in a separate incident.In other footage shared on social media, news presenter Melissa del Pozo de Milenio of the Milenio Televisión network also appears to be attacked by protesters.The journalist can be seen struggling with a woman dressed in black who has her face covered.The camera then focuses on two women who appear to be stabbing a sign.Demonstrators painted the word “rapists” on the wall of a nearby police station and phrases such as “they don’t take care of us” and “rape state” on Mexico City’s Angel of Independence monument. The feminist protests were triggered by allegations that two teenage girls were raped by a group of policemen.The demonstrations have become known as the “glitter protests” after marchers doused the city’s police chief in pink glitter.Violence against women is a serious problem in Mexico. Human Rights Watch says Mexican laws “do not adequately protect women and girls against domestic and sexual violence”.A 2019 report said provisions in Mexican law, including those that make the severity of punishments for sexual offenses contingent upon the supposed chastity of the victim, “contradict international standards”.Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, the first woman elected to head the city’s government, tweeted that the attorney general’s office of the metropolis will investigate and bring charges against those who attacked journalists.


Suspected online dope-dealer back in Israel after extradition

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 09:29

A man accused of operating a large drug-dealing ring on a popular messaging app appeared in an Israeli court Sunday after his extradition from Ukraine, where he had previously sought to escape. Amos Dov Silver, an Israeli-American, was taken to court in Rishon Lezion near Tel Aviv after his arrival from Ukraine, police said. Authorities in Ukraine said Saturday they had captured Silver a day after he escaped from the airport while he was being extradited.


Iranian tanker at center of standoff with West leaves Gibraltar, shipping data shows

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 07:22

The Iranian tanker caught in a standoff between Tehran and the West left Gibraltar on Sunday night, shipping data showed, hours after the British territory rejected a U.S. request to detain the vessel further. British Royal Marines seized the tanker in Gibraltar in July on suspicion it was carrying oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran, in violation of European Union sanctions. The Grace 1, renamed the Adrian Darya 1, left anchorage off Gibraltar around 11 p.m. (2100 GMT), Refinitiv shipping data showed.


This Teenager Escaped Repression in West Africa. ICE Claimed He Was an Adult, and Jailed Him Anyway.

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 05:03

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyThis story also appears at Documented, a non-profit news site devoted solely to covering New York City’s immigrants and the policies that affect their lives. Subscribe to their newsletter here. From the moment Mahmoud* was detained at the border, he told federal authorities he was 17 years old. He told them at the Border Patrol station. He told them at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement adult detention facility where he was held in Port Isabel, Texas. “They asked me for documents that prove I’m 17 years old and I provided all those documents,” he told Judge Frank Pimentel in the Port Isabel, Texas immigration court. “I’m assuming the government must have some basis for concluding that he is older than that,” Pimentel responded. The attorney for Immigration and Customs Enforcement told the judge the birth year they had would make Mahmoud 25 years old. “I’m sure [ICE deportation officers] would have looked into that already,” the ICE attorney said. ICE spent the next four months fighting to keep him in adult detention. Two years later, Mahmoud can hardly speak about the experience. “It was hard for me in there,” he said.  In detention, he could barely sleep and often woke up crying. “He wasn’t able to be his young self in detention,” said Carina Patritti, an attorney at the Legal Aid Society who has represented Mahmoud. “He had to grow up quickly.”Mahmoud says he gave ICE and CBP agents a copy of his birth certificate immediately after he was detained at the border. He fled his home country in West Africa at age 17 after the government targeted him due to his political participation. He quickly gathered some documents and clothing and flew to Brazil. From there, he traveled up to the US-Mexico border and crossed with a group of men from his country. Border Patrol agents found the group and arrested them. In the station, the agents put Mahmoud in a room with a French-speaking translator on speakerphone, he said. The agents asked Mahmoud about his age. He presented them with a copy of his birth certificate and a few other documents and spent the night at the station.“They continued to ask me. I told them again, I am 17,” he said in an interview. Eventually they hurried him into a van and drove him to the Port Isabel Detention Center, a detention facility for adults. Mahmoud says he told ICE and CBP agents repeatedly that he was 17 years old throughout his detention. Under the Flores settlement, a lawsuit from 1997, the U.S. government is only allowed to detain people under the age of 18 for 20 days, and only in facilities with higher standards of care than adult immigration detention centers. Mahmoud was held for about four months in a privately run facility for adults. Asylum seekers often flee in haste, grabbing what documents or valuables they can find before pushing towards the U.S.. Federal agents scrutinize their documents to spot fakes and catch people trying to game the system. Various branches of the Department of Homeland Security have entire units dedicated to detecting fraudulent documents. This scrutiny is partially due to the fact that minors are allotted more chances to file for asylum and have more freedoms in captivity. “Since 1997, there have been numerous developments affecting DHS’s and ORR’s age determinations, but there remains no real procedure by which conflicting evidence regarding age may be weighed by a neutral and detached decision maker,” said Carlos Holguín, general counsel at the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law, the civil-rights legal organization that brought the Flores case to court. Federal policy dictates that if a “reasonable person” would conclude that an immigrant detained by ICE is an adult, despite their claims to be a minor, then the government will “treat the person as an adult for all purposes.”ICE didn’t respond to a request for comment. In a court hearing, Mahmoud said that while traveling with a group of migrants through Panama, they had been stopped by border agents. “They were taking all the minors, keeping them and asking them questions,” he told Judge Pimentel, so he’d said that he was 25. “All right, well again, I don’t know anything about that. What we have to do now is to schedule your case for a hearing,” Pimentel responded. In a later hearing, the judge pushed back against ICE’s claims about Mahmoud’s age. “I respect the fact that [ICE agents are] making immediate type decisions and don’t always have the information at hand at the time. But the court is not going to base its determination of the respondents age on how the respondent looks to the court,” Pimentel said. He asked the ICE attorney to produce evidence to support their claim that Mahmoud was older than he said he was. The ICE attorney said that they reached out to the government of his home country—which Mahmoud was fleeing—to verify his birth certificate was genuine. They hadn’t received a response yet, but the Department of Homeland Security’s position on his age remained that Mahmoud “is not a juvenile and we would like to proceed as such,” the attorney said. Judge Pimentel asked the ICE attorney for more evidence to support their claim about his age and postponed the hearing for about two weeks. Mahmoud was silent during the exchange.The judge later added, “At some point, if I don’t get any answer, then we’ll be here until the summertime when at your claim, you turn 18, and then it won’t be an issue anymore.” Denise Slavin, a retired immigration judge, explained that immigration judges—who are employees of the Department of Justice, rather than part of the independent judicial branch of the government—don’t have jurisdiction over where detainees are held. “They can tell them what court their case will be in but not where they’re held,” she said.After the hearing, ICE agents took Mahmoud to get a dental examination to prove his age. The exam showed he was likely 16 to 22 years old, according to the court recordings. ICE released him to the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which oversees unaccompanied minors, about four months after he entered the Texas facility. Mahmoud was transferred to a facility in Chicago where he was finally able to call his father. There, he saw a counselor three times per week and was able to go outside. “I had no one in detention,” he said. Mahmoud was released from ORR custody and was allowed to move in with his cousin in the Bronx. His case was transferred to the New York City immigration court, where he was able to find a lawyer, and together they’re fighting for his asylum claim. He is enrolled at a high school in the Bronx for 10th grade and wants to go to college to become an accountant. “The only thing that makes me happy is to think about my opportunity to study here,” he said. “No one can stop me to study here, not like in my country.”Sometimes thoughts of his journey and imprisonment creep back into his mind. But he doesn’t talk about his experiences with any of his friends or at home; he just tries to forget. *This story uses a pseudonym to protect the subject’s identity. 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.


Russia says no plans to install new missiles unless U.S. deploys them

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 04:44

Russia will not deploy new missiles as long as the United States shows similar restraint in Europe and Asia, Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu said on Sunday, after Washington's withdrawal from a Soviet-era arms pact. The United States formally left the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia earlier this month after accusing Moscow of violating the treaty and deploying one banned type of missile, allegations the Kremlin denies. Russia has also pulled out of the deal, but Shoigu said it had no plans to deploy new missiles.


'Nightmare' as Egypt aided China to detain Uighurs

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 01:04

Abdulmalik Abdulaziz, an Uighur student, was arrested and handcuffed by Egyptian police and when they removed his blindfold he was surprised to see Chinese officials questioning him in custody. "They never said their names or mentioned who they were exactly," said Abdulaziz, 27, who spoke to AFP helping to uncover new details of the 2017 arrests of over 90 Uighurs from the mostly Muslim Turkic minority. Abdulaziz, like most swept up in the three-day crackdown in the first week of July 2017, was an Islamic theology student at Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world's most prestigious educational institution.


Man charged after New York scare over rice cookers

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 01:03

A young homeless man has been charged with placing false bombs, police said Saturday, after three empty rice cookers caused major commuter disruption in New York. Larry K. Griffin II, 26, was arrested by the New York Police Department and charged with three counts of placing a false bomb, according to a statement released Saturday. Parts of the city were alerted for two hours Friday morning as three suspicious objects were found: two near the World Trade Centre in the Fulton Street subway station, and one in the Chelsea district further north.


Fears in US of bad peace deal with the Taliban

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 21:21

An Afghanistan peace agreement that the US seems close to reaching with the Taliban has prompted worries that President Donald Trump's desire to quickly withdraw US troops could further plunge the country into civil war. Trump said Friday he was pleased with talks on ending the war, 18 years after the September 11, attacks that prompted the US invasion of Afghanistan in the first place. In recent days several US officials have suggested that an accord could be imminent in discussions with the Taliban in Qatar.


Woman thought she had kidney stones, gave birth to triplets

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 21:06

A South Dakota woman who recently gave birth to triplets says she didn't find out about her pregnancy until she went to the hospital with what she thought were kidney stones.


Client says Arizona massage therapist's 'cuddling' session turned sexual

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 18:56

A Phoenix woman's complaint says a "cuddling" session with a massage therapist turned sexual.


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