Category Archives: News

Ecuador: Ruling party candidate seen leading president vote

Source: Lexington Herald-Leader

"Ecuadoreans voted for a new leader Sunday, and exit polls indicated socialist President Rafael Correa's hand-picked successor was close to the threshold needed to win outright and avoid a runoff against his nearest rival. As balloting ended, a survey released by pollster Cedatos said ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno had just over 39 percent of the votes, compared to 30.5 percent for former banker Guillermo Lasso, the closest contender among seven opposition candidates." (02/19/17)

Spain: Barcelona protest to support refugees draws thousands

Source: BBC [UK state media]

"Some 160,000 people have demonstrated in Barcelona to demand the government allow more refugees into Spain from war-hit areas such as Syria. Marchers carrying placards and banners (many in the Catalan language) accused the Madrid government of dragging its feet over the issue. They say it has not honoured its pledge made in 2015 to allow more than 17,000 refugees into Spain within two years. Over that time, Spain has accepted only about 1,100 refugees. Police gave the estimate of the turnout at Saturday's protest in the capital of Catalonia, organised by the Our Home is Your Home group, with many denouncing the government for not living up to its promises." (02/18/17)

New US travel ban to spare green card holders

Source: Reuters

"A new version of a Trump administration travel ban will not stop green card residency holders or travelers already on planes from entering the United States, U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security John Kelly said on Saturday. U.S. President Donald Trump's initial attempt to clamp down for security reasons on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and on refugees snarled to a halt amid a judicial backlash and chaos at airports. 'The president is contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version of the first (order). And I will have opportunity to work (on) a rollout plan, in particular to make sure that there's no one in a sense caught in the system of moving from overseas to our airports,' Kelly said at the Munich Security Conference." (02/18/17)

Cannabis found inside firewood seized at US-Mexico border

Source: Fox News

"More than 100 pounds of Marijuana have been seized at the U.S./Mexico Border on Wednesday, according to officials with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In a statement released Friday, the incident happened at the Port of Sasabe, about 74 miles southwest of Tucson. Officers found the drugs hidden inside a shipment of mesquite firewood, after a narcotics-detection canine was alerted to a truck, the statement said. The Marijuana was discovered, after officers loaded the firewood off the truck, and split them in half. The drug, according to the statement, is worth an estimated $53,000." [editor's note: Now there is a clever method of smuggling, and if you have to ditch the evidence at least you get warm pretty fast – SAT] (02/18/17)

US student debt tops $1.31 trillion

Source: Christian Science Monitor

"Student loans were the leading cause for a substantial increase in household debt last year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Thursday. While the high balance of US student debt is not news anymore, the new record-high $1.31 trillion balance, up 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter, is another reminder of the severity of a problem that has cast a shadow over the nation in recent years. During her confirmation hearing, now-Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos suggested a vision for higher education that might not require as much student debt. 'We need to embrace new pathways of learning,' said Ms. DeVos, who has championed trade schools and for-profit online universities. 'For too long, a college degree has been pushed as the only avenue for a better life. The old and expensive brick-mortar-and-ivy model is not the only one that will lead to a prosperous future.'" (02/18/17)

Mexican left leader AMLO protested Trump at rally in California

Source: PanAm Post

"President of Mexico's leftist National Regeneration Movement Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador met with followers in Los Angeles, California to discuss President Donald Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric and plans to build a border wall. 'I think the wall and the demagoguery of patriotism are no match for the dignity and humanity of the American people,' Obrador said at the demonstration." (02/17/17)

AZ: Sheriff who replaced Arpaio won't hold immigrants past release date

Source: Raw Story

"The law officer who replaced ousted Maricopa Country Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he will no longer hold immigrants who have served their time past their release dates for immigration officials. Arpaio, who lost re-election in November while under federal investigation has long been a foe of undocumented immigrants and held them over for federal officials. In an interview Friday night, new Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said he is discontinuing the practice, questioning its legality, reports The Hill. According to Penzone, immigration officials will still be welcome in his jail, but should not expect those who have served their time to be held past their date of release. Penzone’s decision comes at a time when newly-elected President Trump is ramping up immigration enforcement leading to protests across the country." (02/18/17)

FL: Man arrested in plot to get rich by bombing Target stores

Source: CNN

"Mark Barnett had what he thought was a great get-rich-quick scheme involving homemade bombs, Target superstores, and well-timed trades on the stock market. It did not go according to plan. … Barnett allegedly built 10 explosive devices and disguised them as food-item boxes, and he delivered those boxes to an unnamed person to place them in Target stores along the East Coast, according to a federal criminal complaint." (02/17/17)

US aircraft carrier group deployed for "routine patrols" in South China Sea

Source: Russia Today [Russian state media]

"Ignoring repeated warnings from Beijing not to aggravate tensions in Southeast Asia, the US Navy has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group for 'routine' maritime patrols in the vicinity of the disputed South China Sea waters. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, together with aircraft from the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer started 'routine operations in the South China,' the US Navy announced." (02/19/17)

Ransomware malware could poison your water supply if not paid

Source: The Hacker News

"Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) have demonstrated the capability of ransomware to take down the critical infrastructure our cities need to operate, causing havoc among people. GIT researchers created a proof-of-concept ransomware that, in a simulated environment, was able to gain control of a water treatment plant and threaten to shut off the entire water supply or poison the city's water by increasing the amount of chlorine in it." (02/16/17)