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Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 12:36 PM
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Taiwan train crash kills at least 18, injures 160

Source: Reuters

At least 18 people died and 160 were injured when a train derailed in northeastern Taiwan on Sunday, authorities said.

Several carriages were overturned in the crash, which occurred in Yilan County near the coast on a line popular among tourists.

The government said the train had been carrying 366 people, and the Central News Agency said more than 30 were still trapped on board.

The derailment came weeks ahead of island-wide local elections that are being seen as a bellwether for President Tsai Ing-wen's ruling party’s performance in presidential elections due in 2020.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-accident/taiwan-train-crash-kills-at-least-18-injures-160-idUSKCN1MV0F2

Florida officer strikes 14-year-old as he tries to arrest her

Source: CNN

A viral video of a police officer hitting a 14-year-old girl during an arrest has caused outrage in a Florida community.

The video -- posted to Instagram on Friday -- shows a girl being held down by two officers, one man and one woman. The male officer hits the girl in the side twice as he holds her shorts.

"Why you hitting her?" someone in the video yells. "She can't do that, her hands underneath her, the f*** you hitting her for?"

The police department in Coral Springs, about 29 miles northeast of Fort Lauderdale, said in a statement on Facebook on Friday that the video does not show the entire incident that led to the arrest.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/florida-officer-strikes-14-year-old-as-he-tries-to-arrest-her/ar-BBOEOWN

Hurricane Michael unearthed 19th century shipwrecks in Florida

Ships that washed ashore on Dog Island during the 1899 Carrabelle Hurricane were unearthed completely by Hurricane Michael's vicious storm surge last week in Franklin County, Florida.

Of the 15 ships that were grounded on the barrier island during the storm 119 years ago, it's unclear which or how many were unearthed by Michael.

Sitting on the Gulf of Mexico side of the island, the wooden ships now rest in plain view near the west end of the island.

They are well-documented wrecks, according to the Florida Department of State. Because state resources are being allocated to more urgent hurricane recovery efforts, there are currently no plans for state archaeologists to visit the site.

“They’ve been mostly stationary since 1899 when they were wrecked in a hurricane,” wrote DOS spokeswoman Sarah Revell. “From time to time, some parts of the site have become exposed.”

At: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/10/20/hurricane-michael-unearthed-ship-wrecks-dog-island-florida/1712168002/

Brought ashore by Michael, an 1899 shipwreck awaits inspection on Florida's Dog Island.

Argentina's Macrisis: Wholesale inflation soars to 74%

Data published yesterday by Argentina's National Statistics and Census Institute (INDEC) show that wholesale prices soared by 16% in September, and 74% from the same time last year.

This was the worst monthly figure for Argentina since a 20% increase in April 2002, at the depths of the country's last economic collapse.

Last month's reading was an abrupt jump from the 4.9% recorded in August. Wholesale prices rose nearly as much in September as in all of 2017, during which they rose 18.8% (an average of 1.5% a month).

Wholesale inflation in September - particularly a 24.2% jump in import prices - was propelled primarily by a soaring dollar, which rose an average of 28% against the peso last month.

The peso has lost around half its value since the carry-trade debt bubble - known as the "financial bicycle" - promoted by the Mauricio Macri administration collapsed in April.

The sale of short-term bills at rates averaging over 70% has helped calm currency markets during most of October; but near-record interest rates have also excacerbated the sharpest recession since the 2002 crisis.

Retail inflation has lagged behind wholesale inflation during most of the 2018 crisis.

Consumer prices rose 6.5% in September, and 40.5% from the same time last year - around twice the rate of wage increases.

The steep difference from the 74% at the wholesale level was absorbed by retailers already reeling from utility hikes averaging 1000%.

Real sales, according to the Argentine Medium Business Chamber (CAME), fell 9.2% in September compared to a year earlier and over 16% since Macri took office in 2015. Some 17,000 shops employing over 71,000 have closed since the current crisis began in April.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pagina12.com.ar%2F149654-inflacion-al-por-mayor&edit-text=

"We're closing": A bakery in the Pampas town of Chacabuco adapts Macri's 2015 campaign logo to their current situation.

A debt bubble fostered in 2016 and '17 popped in April, leaving the now severely indebted country in its worst crisis since a similar debt bubble collapsed in 2001.

Argentina's top news magazine publisher denounces "sole objective is to jail Cristina Kirchner"

Politics in Argentina were rocked this week by allegations from the nation's top news magazine publisher that a federal judge close to President Mauricio Macri has as a "sole objective to jail Cristina Kirchner."

Jorge Fontevecchia revealed in an interview with Carlos Pagni of La Nación that Judge Claudio Bonadío, who presides over four out of the five ongoing cases against former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, routinely directs witnesses to testify against her.

"I have testimony from businessmen who say that when they start talking, Bonadío says 'stop, stop, stop' - and that in reality the only objective is for Cristina to go to prison but nobody else," Fontevecchia said.

Fontevecchia, like Pagni, is a prominent conservative figure in Argentine news media, and through his popular weekly Noticias was an outspoken opponent of the left-leaning Kirchner during her 2007-15 administration.

His statement has been echoed by other conservatives - notably Mariano Cúneo Libarona, one of Argentina's most prominent defense attorneys.

"Witnesses are coerced in some cases, and encouraged to lie," Cúneo Libarona said.

In Macri's pocket

Kirchner's chief counsel, Carlos Beraldi, has called on Fontevecchia, Pagni, and radio host Romina Manguel to testify as to possible coercion revealed to them by federal contractors subpoenaed by Bonadío as witnesses against Kirchner.

Bonadío, however, barred Beraldi from calling witnesses. Beraldi was likewise barred from obtaining copies of the contractors' testimony, or from witnessing a raid on her home on August 23-24.

No evidence was uncovered. But Kirchner's housekeeper and two others were hospitalized on August 26 after being exposed to what doctors described as a contact poison left behind in her bedroom by police during the search.

Bonadío, known as Macri's "napkin" (pocket) judge, currently oversees many of the cases involving former President Kirchner or her former officials, despite requirements that federal cases be radomly assigned by lot.

Macri, like Bonadío, has repeatedly expressed his desire to see Kirchner behind bars - though as Bonadío admitted last year, in over six years of investigations no offshore accounts, undeclared assets or other evidence of corruption has surfaced against her.

The same, critics note, cannot be said for Macri, who has been materially linked to 50 undeclared offshore accounts since the 2016 Panama Papers scandal, and whose family retains a large stake in electric utilities - chief beneficiaries of rate hikes of up to 1400% decreed by Macri himself.

Macri is currently grappling with the worst crisis since the 2001-02 collapse. Kirchner, who has not declared her candidacy, is eligible to run for president again next year and would, according to recent polls, defeat Macri by up to 10 points.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.perfil.com%2Fnoticias%2Fpolitica%2Fjorge-fontevecchia-el-unico-objetivo-de-bonadio-es-que-cristina-vaya-presa-pero-nadie-mas.phtml&edit-text=

Publisher Jorge Fontevecchia and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

As Argentina's leading news magazine publisher, the conservative Fontevecchia has seldom agreed with the left-leaning Kirchner - except in that she's the target of lawfare meant to jail her and thus preclude her potential 2019 candidacy.

Polling shows Mrs. Kirchner besting Macri by 6 to 10 points in a hypothetical runoff matchup.

Canada starts legal marijuana sales Wednesday as world watches closely

Source: USA Today

Canada’s launch of legal marijuana sales may set the stage for a global cannabis revolution, unleashing a wave of high-quality medical research that could bolster pot's reputation as a healthier alternative to alcohol and tobacco and fuel a economic boom across the USA.

Starting Wednesday, Canada becomes the highest-profile country to not only decriminalize cannabis possession and use - but to tax, regulate and monitor its growth, distribution and sale.

Canada’s national approach means pot businesses can use banks, trade stocks and sponsor peer-reviewed medical studies like any other pharmaceutical operation.

It's a far cry from the piecemeal approach taken in the USA, where cannabis entrepreneurs worry the Justice Department may swoop in if the political winds shift. Though a majority of states have adopted some form of legal weed, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level in the USA.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/canada-starts-legal-marijuana-sales-wednesday-as-world-watches-closely/ar-BBOs4uD

Our friends north of the border celebrate as Canada becomes the second nation in the Americas, after Uruguay, to legalize cannabis for recreational use.

FBI raids San Juan city offices weeks after Trump alleges corruption

Source: The Hill

FBI agents raided San Juan's municipal building on Tuesday amid an investigation into purchasing practices conducted by city officials, including Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz.

A spokesman for the agency told news service elnuevodia.com that Tuesday's raid was related to an ongoing investigation into whether the mayor's office and other city officials had shown favoritism when the city agreed to a contract with the company BR Solutions for $4.7 million over two years.

BR Solutions is owned by Leonel Pereira O'Neill, a Puerto Rican businessman who has donated to the campaigns of several local politicians, including Cruz's, according to the news service.

The raid came several weeks after President Trump singled out Cruz while attacking Puerto Rican officials for the slow recovery efforts on the island, accusing the municipal officials of allowing widespread corruption.

"It was a total mess, it was corrupt - couldn't be worse," Trump said in an interview last month.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fbi-raids-san-juan-city-offices-weeks-after-trump-alleges-corruption/ar-BBOtgeS

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. A Trump target?

Baldwin urges 'overthrow' of Trump government via voting

Source: AP

Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal of President Donald Trump with a serious call Sunday night for voters to use the Nov. 6 midterm elections to peacefully "overthrow" the government.

After reprising his role as Trump on "Saturday Night Live," Baldwin flew to New Hampshire, where he was the keynote speaker at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's annual fall fundraising dinner.

"The way we implement change in America is through elections. We change governments here at home in an orderly and formal way," he said. "In that orderly and formal way and lawful way, we need to overthrow the government of the United States under Donald Trump."

Baldwin said on issue after issue, Republicans are destroyers, not builders.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/celebrity/baldwin-urges-overthrow-of-trump-government-via-voting/ar-BBOomeY

Alec Baldwin and the subject of his SNL impersonation: So much winning.

Brazilian supporter of Haddad assassinated after voting

A Brazilian composer was stabbed to death Sunday in the northern city of Salvador de Bahia, after he participated in a public forum and debated against radical supporters of far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

Moa do Katendê, a 63 year-old composer and capoeira dance choreographer, was assassinated shortly after he publicly announced he would vote for the Workers Party’s leftist candidate Fernando Haddad.

The murderer, Paulo Sérgio Ferreira de Santana, 36, turned himself to the police after the crime and expressed regrets, local authorities reported.

One of the victims’ brother was also injured during the fight. The crime was heavily condemned on social media.

Bolsonaro emerged from Sunday's election with a surprisingly strong 46% - putting him within 4 points of winning in the first round outright. He will instead face off with Worker's Party nominee Fernando Haddad, who garnered 29%.

Haddad was nominated after former President Lula da Silva, the clear favorite in polls going into this year's election, was barred from running due to his being incarcerated - a sentence supporters believe was issued with the very intent of barring him.

At: https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Brazilian-Supporter-of-Bolsonaro-Assassinated-After-Voting-20181008-0016.html

Brazilian composer and choreographer Moa do Katendê, 1954-2018.

His murder following a discussion in which he expressed opposition to fascist candidate Jair Bolsonaro has raised alarm in multicultural Brazil.

Death flight pilot during Argentina's Dirty War granted house arrest, underscoring recent trend

Mario Arrú, a former pilot sentenced to life in prison last year for manning the infamous death flights during Argentina's last dictatorship, was granted house arrest yesterday.

Arrú, 74, was among two Navy pilots and 46 others sentenced for their roles in the death flights, which from 1976 to 1978 transported at least 4,400 detainees.

These included French nuns Alice Domon and Leonie Duquet, as well as the founders of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo - one of whom, Esther Ballestrino, was a friend and former colleague of the future Pope Francis.

Arrú piloted their December 14, 1977, death flight.

The detainees, mostly from the ESMA detainment center in Buenos Aires, were dropped at night to their deaths over the Río de la Plata estuary. The practice was ended on the eve of the 1978 World Cup, for fear tourists and journalists might see some of the corpses that had been washing up around the city and in neighboring Uruguay.

He later became an Aerolíneas Argentinas pilot, and was not identified until turning himself in in 2011. He was later detained for probable cause until his sentencing last November.

A disturbing trend

Arrú's transfer from prison to house arrest reflects a disturbing trend under the right-wing Mauricio Macri administration.

When Macri took office in December 2015, 603 human rights abuse convicts were in prison compared to 439 under house arrest.

The number in prison has since fallen steadily to 272, while those under house arrest has risen to 641 - a relative decline of those in jail from 58% to 30%.

Human rights groups note that numerous Dirty War convicts enjoying house arrest have been found repeatedly violating their confinement, in some cases hundreds of miles from their homes. Thirty-six remain at large, including several who took advantage of house arrest to flee altogether.

They've also condemned what they consider a policy of coddling Dirty War perpetrators on Macri's part.

Macri had referred to human rights as a "scam" during his 2015 campaign, labeled the trials "a culture of vindictiveness," and as president had a number of judges who have advanced human rights cases removed.

Macri's Justice Minister, Germán Garavano, held a meeting on April 25, 2016, with the country's most prominent Dirty War apologist, Cecilia Pando. The meeting was intended to be secret.

More recently, Garavano sponsored an October 6 meeting in Boulder, CO, between relatives and lawyers of Dirty War convicts and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

ESMA/Death flight convicts Jorge "Tigre" Acosta, Alfredo Astiz, and Mario Arrú during their sentencing last November.

All remain unrepentant for their role in 5,000 deaths at the ESMA detention camp, and all see the Macri administration as an opportunity to seek amnesty in some form.

Over 200 Dirty War convicts have thus far been granted house arrest under Macri, a benefit denied to over 20 political opponents currently in pre-trial detention on largely unbstantiated charges.
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