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State Dept. ordered to turn over Ukraine documentsIn what could prove a highly consequential ruling, a federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to start turning over documents regarding potentially improper influence on Ukraine diplomacy.


10/23/2019 3:15:28 PM

Iranian beauty queen pleads for asylum in the PhilippinesAn Iranian beauty queen is seeking asylum in the Philippines, fearing for her life after Tehran demanded her extradition for a crime she claims she did not commit.  Bahareh Zare Bahari, who represented Iran at the 2018 Miss Intercontinental pageant in Manila, and who has studied dental medicine in the Philippines since 2014, has been held for six days at the country’s Ninoy Aquino airport after Iran slapped an Interpol Red Notice on her for alleged assault.  In a series of messages, the distraught Ms Bahari told the Telegraph that the case was a “big lie,” adding that she believed she was being targeted for her political activism and outspoken support of women’s rights. If she was deported to Iran, “they will kill me,” she said.  Markk Perete, undersecretary at the Philippine department of justice, said that “the only reason she was held at the airport -  and we really don’t call it detention -  it is really restraining her from entering the Philippine territory, is only because of that Red Notice issued against her.” He added that the request had been made “presumably on account of a pending criminal case against her in Iran, and this case was filed by an Iranian national against her in relation to an assault that happened presumably here in the Philippines.” Bahareh Zare Bahari, who is studying dental medicine, is an outspoken advocate for women's rights Credit: Facebook However, Mr Perete said that the Philippines was unaware of this allegation, and that an earlier accusation of commercial fraud against her had been dismissed.  There were no criminal cases pending against Ms Bahari, he confirmed. “We don’t have any cause for refusing her entry for violation of our laws.” Ms Bahari’s asylum plea is now being considered by the justice department, with the help of a lawyer.  Meanwhile, the dental student is confined to Terminal 3’s transit area awaiting her fate. “There is no updating, no information about the reason why [they] keep me here so long,” she said.  She believes her political statement at the pageant - waving a poster of Reza Pahlavi, the exiled former crown prince, and one of the foremost critics of Iran’s Islamic government - made her enemies in Tehran.  Mr Pahlavi's name has been invoked by some Iranian groups who have called for a return of the monarchy to deal with corruption and poor economic conditions. “I used his photo on stage to be [the] voice of my people because all news and media are ignoring my people,” she said.  Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called for “a fair and impartial hearing of her claim” in Manila.  “It’s absolutely critical the Philippines provides Bahareh Zare Bahari with support, including access to legal counsel, to compile and file her asylum application,” said Phil Robertson, HRW deputy Asia director.  “While waiting for the details to become clear, there should be no action under Iran’s Interpol red notice, especially since under Interpol rules a red notice is null and void if the person named in the notice is found to be a refugee fleeing from the state that issued it.”


10/22/2019 9:11:46 AM

Honduran woman accuses immigration agent of sexual assault over seven yearsIn a $10m lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement, she says the officer threatened her with deportationA Honduran woman has sued the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency over sexual assault she says occurred over a period of seven years. Photograph: Bryan Cox/Associated PressA Honduran woman living in Connecticut has accused a US immigration agent of sexually assaulting her over a period of seven years under the threat of deportation, according to a federal lawsuit. The woman, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, sued the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice), and the former Ice agent Wilfredo Rodriguez on Saturday, seeking $10m in damages.“My only comment is that my client had a choice: cooperate with Ice or be deported with her family,” said George Kramer, the woman’s lawyer. “She remains in a very fragile psychological state. She is not only seeking compensation for the physical and emotional damage she suffered but to change the way those who are cooperating with Ice are treated by those in a position of power and who often wield total control over the ability to remain in the United States.”An Ice spokesman told the Associated Press he couldn’t comment on litigation but confirmed Rodriguez no longer works for the agency. Homeland security didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.It was not immediately clear whether Rodriguez had a lawyer to speak for him, and a phone listing for him could not immediately be found, according to the AP.Tom Carson, a spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Connecticut, told the AP he could not comment on whether there has been or will be a criminal investigation.The woman first met the Ice agent in 2006 after her brother was arrested for entering the US illegally, according to the lawsuit.Rodriguez found out she was also living in the country illegally and said that to avoid deportation she would have to become an informant by helping Ice locate criminals. According to the lawsuit she did so, but, in 2007, Rodriguez sexually assaulted her in a motel.He called himself the “wolf” and said he was the reason she and her family weren’t deported, she says in the lawsuit.The woman alleges that the assaults continued and resulted in three pregnancies, each followed by abortions, one of which Rodriguez paid for. Later, he told her that he was leaving the agency but that if she told anyone what happened, “she and her family would pay”, according to the lawsuit.The woman finally told her story last year when her father, living in the US and fearing deportation because of her friendliness with Ice, applied for asylum. She opened up to an agent who approached her about her father’s application, the lawsuit says.The agent, she says, suggested she consult an attorney.


10/22/2019 6:14:10 PM

Murder suspect whose case was catalyst for Hong Kong protests releasedA murder suspect whose proposed deportation to Taiwan was a catalyst for massive anti-government protests in Hong Kong was released from prison Wednesday, but despite saying he wants to face justice will remain in the city for now. The proposed law -- which was formally scrapped on Wednesday -- was prompted by the case of Hong Konger Chan Tong-kai, 20, who is wanted in Taiwan for the 2018 murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Poon Hiu-wing. Chan was released from a Hong Kong maximum security prison on Wednesday after spending just 18 months in custody after convictions on money laundering charges related to cash and valuables he took from his girlfriend before fleeing Taiwan to Hong Kong.


10/23/2019 2:55:40 PM

Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go at it on 'The View' over Trump's 'lynching' commentsFormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go toe to toe over Trump’s “lynching” comments on Twitter.


10/22/2019 12:19:34 PM

Charges: Church shooting suspect badly beats public defenderA man charged with attempted murder in a church shooting attacked his public defender during a jailhouse meeting, sending the man to intensive care with severe head injuries and no memory of the beating, according to documents released Tuesday. Dale Holloway, 37, of Manchester, assaulted public defender Michael Davidow on Monday morning at the Valley Street jail in Manchester, New Hampshire, the documents said. In this case, the officer heard a knock and turned to see Holloway standing up and Davidow seated at the table, with his hands over his face and blood dripping onto the floor.


10/22/2019 2:09:41 PM

Mexico Misleads on Failed Arrest of ‘Chapo’ Son: Ex-DEA Official(Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s government isn’t being truthful about the botched attempt to capture the son of the world’s most notorious drug trafficker, according to a former head of international operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.The administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador hasn’t revealed that while trying to bring Ovidio Guzman Lopez into custody, security forces had caught another son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mike Vigil, the former DEA official, said in an interview.Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar had also been detained and let go when gunmen overpowered police, Vigil said, citing unverified intelligence he received from top Mexico police sources. The New York Times had originally reported that Ivan Archivaldo had also been captured and released, citing people who asked not to be identified.“There are so many factors that point to the fact that he was there and they also released him,” said Vigil. “But they’ll never admit to it because they’ve been lying from the get go.” Vigil wouldn’t disclose the sources behind his assertions, which couldn’t be independently corroborated. He added that authorities have been misleading the public by playing down the amount of planning that went into the operation.Lopez Obrador said at his daily news conference Wednesday that he had no information on whether Ivan Archivaldo had been captured and released. AMLO’s press office strongly rejected Vigil’s assertion that it misled the public on the botched arrest. “There’s been an unusual amount of transparency, not only for Mexico but by international standards. The entire security cabinet was explaining every detail,” said Jesus Cantu, the information chief of the president’s press office. “The president himself said he’d testify before the authorities if they considered he’d done something illegal.”How AMLO’s Plans to Transform Mexico Ran Into Reality: QuickTakeLopez Obrador, known as AMLO, has been struggling to convince the public that his government took the right step by releasing Guzman Lopez after gunmen began attacking civilians in efforts to free him in the northern city of Culiacan, Sinaloa. Guzman Lopez is said to have taken over some of the criminal activities after his father was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison.Initially, Mexico’s security chief, Alfonso Durazo, had said the troops had stumbled on Guzman Lopez by accident. Afterward, government officials said it was part of a planned operation. More recently, officials signaled that the arrest was approved by low-level law enforcement officials and cabinet ministers may not have been aware.While the president and Durazo have spoken of “errors” regarding the operation, they’ve been distancing themselves from it. AMLO, as the president is known, said Tuesday that he wasn’t informed about the operation to capture Guzman Lopez.He also confirmed that there was an extradition order for the alleged trafficker and raised questions about whether the minister of defense had even been informed about the operation. “I think the Defense Ministry had knowledge of it, the minister? I don’t know. I think so.”Jesus Ramirez, the president’s spokesman and like Cantu is also from AMLO’s press office, told Bloomberg News on Monday that Mexico attempted to detain Guzman Lopez upon request by the DEA for extradition. The DEA declined to comment and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City directed inquiries to the White House press office, which hasn’t responded to a request for comment.Vigil questioned why the authorities would target Guzman Lopez for extradition, when Chapo’s other sons are far more active in the Sinaloa Cartel once run by their father. “Jesus Alfredo and Ivan Archivaldo are much more important than Ovidio,” he said. “Mexico from the very beginning began distorting the truth in order to buy time so they could come up with a plausible deniability story.”(Updates with AMLO’s comment in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


10/23/2019 10:52:52 AM

See Photos of the New Honda Fit


10/22/2019 7:04:00 PM

UPDATE 1-Kremlin says U.S. betrayed Kurds in Syria, tells Kurds to withdraw or be mauledThe Kremlin said on Wednesday that the United States had betrayed and abandoned the Syrian Kurds and advised the Kurds to withdraw from the Syrian border as per a deal between Moscow and Ankara or be mauled by the Turkish army. The comments by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to Russian news agencies followed a deal agreed on Tuesday between Russia and Turkey that will see Syrian and Russian forces deploy to northeast Syria to remove Kurdish YPG fighters and their weapons from the border with Turkey. Peskov, who was reported to be reacting to comments by U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey, complained that it appeared that the United States was encouraging the Kurds to stay close to the Syrian border and fight the Turkish army.


10/23/2019 1:19:21 AM

Trump’s quest for vengeance against John BrennanPresident Donald Trump’s obsession with former CIA director John Brennan could be on a collision course with an ongoing Justice Department probe as Attorney General Bill Barr takes a more hands-on approach to examining the intelligence community’s actions in 2016. Barr has been meeting with the U.S.’ closest foreign intelligence allies in recent months, making repeated overseas trips as part of an investigation he is overseeing into the origins of the Russia probe and whether any inappropriate “spying” occurred on Trump’s campaign. As part of that investigation, Barr and John Durham, the federal prosecutor he appointed to conduct it, have been probing a conspiracy theory for which there is little if any evidence, according to several people with knowledge of the matter: that a key player in the Russia probe, a professor named Joseph Mifsud, was actually a Western intelligence asset sent to discredit the Trump campaign — and that the CIA, under Brennan, was somehow involved.


10/22/2019 3:06:14 AM
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