George Washington’s Church Is Going to Remove His Memorial Plaque
As our elected officials in Washington D.C. continue to debate whether or not Trump’s proposed border wall would be an effective deterrent to those looking to come to the U.S. illegally, the one thing that is becoming increasingly clear is that Mexico’s drug wars are spiraling out of control…a fact that the Trump administration will almost certainly leverage as it seeks additional funding for border security. As PanAmPost notes, Mexico has recorded a staggering 24,000 homicides in 2017 through September with 73% of those murders being tied to organized crime.
2017 might be the most violent year in Mexican history, one NGO claims. Semáforo Delictivo said that, due to the 24,000 homicides between January and September, the year is proving even worse than 2011, when President Felipe Calderón’s war on drugs led to 22,000 homicides.
President of the organization, Santiago Roel, said that 73 percent of murders committed in the first eight months of the year were related to organized crime. He said that in 2007, there were 2,828 executions. Now, a decade later, 18,017 have been reported.
All high-impact crimes have increased during the current year, including abductions, homicides and grand theft auto at gunpoint. According to Roel, the main cause of violence and corruption is the “Mérida Plan,” which focuses on eradicating drug cartels.
Moreover, some 85,000 insured vehicles have been stolen over the past 12 months, with 60% being considered ‘violent’.
According to the Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions, violent car robberies are at their highest point in the country’s history. Between October 2016 and September 2017, 85,943 insured cars have been stolen. Sixty percent of the robberies were violent.
Recaredo Arias, the association’s Director General, said that elements of organized crime have been identified in these cases, and that more urgent measures are needed to combat the problem.
The states of Guerrero, Sinaloa, Mexico City, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Michoacán, Zacatecas, Morelos, Tabasco and Tamaulipas, have the highest numbers of violent car thefts, he said.
Meanwhile, as Fox News pointed out earlier this week, the drug wars south of the border are seemingly on the precipice of becoming way more sophisticated after 4 men were arrested by federal police carrying a drone equipped with an improvised explosive device wired for remote detonation.
Puerto Rico’s lone power utility company canceled a $300 million contract Sunday with a small energy company from Montana after the island’s governor called the deal a distraction.
Whitefish Energy will be paid to complete ongoing work on two transmission lines in the hurricane-ravaged territory, Ricardo Ramos, executive director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) told reporters. Puerto Rico’s immediate needs after the hurricane called for quick action at the time, he said.
“The best thing that can happen is its cancellation,” Ramos said. “But the investigations will continue.”
PREPA’s decision came shortly after Gov. Ricardo Rosselló called the contract a distraction that should be canceled. Neither the governor nor Ramos explained how the island’s utility company planned on disentangling Whitefish from the contract.
“As a result of the information that has been revealed and the need to protect the public interest, as governor I am asking the power authority to cancel the Whitefish contract immediately,” Rosselló said at a press conference Sunday morning. He is not the only government official criticizing the no-bid deal.
Lawmakers and critics in the electric power industry, Congress, and other agencies raised questions about whether Whitefish was well equipped to handle the fix. The company had only two employees before Hurricane Maria battered the island in September. Nearly 80 percent of the island is still without electricity.
The move to eliminate the contract and have Whitefish vacate the island could turn into a bigger nightmare than initially believed. Whitefish Energy now has about 325 people working on restringing transmission lines, clearing debris and erecting fallen poles – all of which could seriously delay restarting Puerto Rico’s energy grid.
Rosselló is also calling for stricter scrutiny of PREPA’s authority to reboot Puerto Rico’s infrastructure. There should be a “special outside coordinator” to monitor the utility’s purchases so we “can have more clarity in this process,” he wrote in a tweet Sunday following the news conference.
The situation could give Congress more authority to govern Puerto Rico, a move that could roil native Puerto Ricans who feel the U.S. treats the island like a colony. Congress created an oversight board for Puerto Rico and is planning to ask a federal court this week for clear authority to examine contracts as small as $10 million.
Puerto Rico has a history of dolling out shady government contracts and questionable deals with various private entities.
The island’s officials filed for bankruptcy in May and recently closed nearly 200 schools to save $7 million, while simultaneously issuing 107 consulting contracts since January to questionable recipients.
Puerto Rico spent $256 billion in federal funds from 1990 through 2009 but only collected $74 billion in tax revenue. The U.S. territory is required to prioritize payments to creditors unless the funds go to essential services.
Disney Channel will introduce a gay storyline between two young boys this Friday when the premiere for the second-season for the popular series “Andi Mack” airs.
The children’s series will show one of its young male characters realizing he might have developed romantic feelings for another young male classmate.
The series centers around the main character, a 13-year-old girl named Andi Mack, played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee, her unique family situation and her two best friends, Cyrus (Joshua Rush) and Buffy (Sofia Wylie).
When the season premieres this Friday at 8 p.m. viewers will see Mack trying to sort out her feelings for her friend Jonah, played by Asher Angel. At the same time, her best friend 13-year-old Cyrus realizes he too has feelings for Jonah and shares his thoughts with Buffy.
According to the report, Buffy’s reaction and the scene are to “serve as a positive role model for both kids and adults.” What follows will be a series of revelations over the next few episodes with Cyrus ultimately this season realizing he is gay and coming to accept that fact.
A television interview of a top Qatari official confessing the truth behind the origins of the war in Syria is going viral across Arabic social media during the same week a leaked top secret NSA document was published which confirms that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the conflict.
And according to a well-known Syria analyst and economic adviser with close contacts in the Syrian government, the explosive interview constitutes a high level “public admission to collusion and coordination between four countries to destabilize an independent state, [including] possible support for Nusra/al-Qaeda.” Importantly, “this admission will help build case for what Damascus sees as an attack on its security & sovereignty. It will form basis for compensation claims.”
As the war in Syria continues slowly winding down, it seems new source material comes out on an almost a weekly basis in the form of testimonials of top officials involved in destabilizing Syria, and even occasional leaked emails and documents which further detail covert regime change operations against the Assad government. Though much of this content serves to confirm what has already long been known by those who have never accepted the simplistic propaganda which has dominated mainstream media, details continue to fall in place, providing future historians with a clearer picture of the true nature of the war.
This process of clarity has been aided – as predicted – by the continued infighting among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) former allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with each side accusing the other of funding Islamic State and al-Qaeda terrorists (ironically, both true). Increasingly, the world watches as more dirty laundry is aired and the GCC implodes after years of nearly all the gulf monarchies funding jihadist movements in places like Syria, Iraq, and Libya.
Since 2013 The Intercept (+WaPo?) hid NSA docs showing Saudi ordering ‘rebel’ attacks on Damascus. Now released. https://t.co/0PZrBKpJCw
— Julian Assange ???? (@JulianAssange) October 24, 2017
The top Qatari official is no less than former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, who oversaw Syria operations on behalf of Qatar until 2013 (also as foreign minister), and is seen below with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in this Jan. 2010 photo (as a reminder, Qatar’s 2022 World Cup Committee donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation in 2014).
Al-Thani even likened the covert operation to “hunting prey” – the prey being President Assad and his supporters – “prey” which he admits got away (as Assad is still in power; he used a Gulf Arabic dialect word, “al-sayda”, which implies hunting animals or prey for sport). Though Thani denied credible allegations of support for ISIS, the former prime minister’s words implied direct Gulf and US support for al-Qaeda in Syria (al-Nusra Front) from the earliest years of the war, and even said Qatar has “full documents” and records proving that the war was planned to effect regime change.
— EHSANI2 (@EHSANI22) October 27, 2017
According to Zero Hedge’s translation, al-Thani said while acknowledging Gulf nations were arming jihadists in Syria with the approval and support of US and Turkey: “I don’t want to go into details but we have full documents about us taking charge [in Syria].” He claimed that both Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah (who reigned until his death in 2015) and the United States placed Qatar in a lead role concerning covert operations to execute the proxy war.
The former prime minister’s comments, while very revealing, were intended as a defense and excuse of Qatar’s support for terrorism, and as a critique of the US and Saudi Arabia for essentially leaving Qatar “holding the bag” in terms of the war against Assad. Al-Thani explained that Qatar continued its financing of armed insurgents in Syria while other countries eventually wound down large-scale support, which is why he lashed out at the US and the Saudis, who initially “were with us in the same trench.”
A man in a car who was trapped at an intersection by menacing SEIU protesters was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon after he slowly drove through the mob in an effort to escape. No one was reported injured in the Thursday incident, however an organizer claimed some had ‘bumps and scrapes’. The protest was in favor of extension of Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from Central American countries.
The protest took place outside the office of Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) in Brea, California where bused in protesters gathered to deliver letters in favor of illegal immigrants.
The protesters reportedly blocked the intersection after their effort to meet with Royce’s staff were unsuccessful.
Video posted by UNITE HERE Local 11 shows a mob of menacing protesters surrounding cars at an intersection amid the sound of horns blaring. One car advances very slowly as protesters part except for one man who appears to be a marshal for the protest who stands in front of the car and then leans on the hood, refusing to get out of the way, as the car creeps forward. A heavy-set marshal is then seen taking a running leap onto the hood as other protesters beat on the car with sticks. The car accelerates a little to get away but pulls to a quick stop when ordered to by police in the intersection.
Police are seen surrounding the car to protect the driver from the mob. Some of the SEIU organizers can be heard yelling instructions in Spanish for protesters to back off.
— UNITE HERE Local 11 (@UNITEHERE11) October 26, 2017
The Los Angeles Times reported on the arrest.
“The alleged driver, 56-year-old Daniel Wenzek of Brea, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He was booked and released pending further investigation, according to Lt. Kelly Carpenter of the Brea Police Department.”