Strong earthquake prompts tsunami threat message in Caribbean, Mexico

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Strong earthquake prompts tsunami threat message in Caribbean, Mexico

(CNN)The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves were possible for several countries in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as Mexico, after a magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck 27 miles off the coast of Honduras.

“Tsunami waves reaching 0.3 to 1 meters above the tide level are possible for some coasts of Belize, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica,” the agency said.
The earthquake was 44 kilometers east of Great Swan Island, Honduras, the US Geological Survey said.

Mexican authorities find 112 migrants huddled in back of truck

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

Mexican authorities find 112 migrants huddled in back of truck

Mexican authorities discovered 112 migrants, including four babies, huddled alive in the back of a truck as it traveled along a highway in the country’s south, the attorney general’s office said on Sunday.

The truck, which officials said had ventilation and water for the passengers, was intercepted on a highway that connects the southern states of Chiapas and neighboring Tabasco and the driver was arrested.

Every year, thousands of migrants, mostly Central Americans, escaping from poverty and violence, make their way north through Mexico in hopes of reaching the United States.

The attorney general’s office said in a statement that 23 minors were among the immigrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Ecuador, found in the back of the truck.

The migrants were awaiting medical checkups.

(Reporting by Noe Torres and Anthony Esposito; Editing by Peter Cooney)

I Hope I Am Wrong, But Here Is What President Trump Is Going To Do ‘To’ The Working Class Americans

 

I hope that I am wrong about this belief but I am writing this article, this note, to you today because I don’t think I am wrong. So that you won’t go off on the wrong thought direction I will tell you that I voted for Gary Johnson in the Presidential election last month. I am a registered Independent but that is not the reason I voted for Mr. Johnson. I voted for him because I knew he would not win, you see I just couldn’t get myself to vote for Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton. To me, both of those folks just had too much negative baggage about them in regards to what I believed they would bring to the Presidency for me to be able to vote for them. Mrs. Clinton had a track record of negatives while working in D.C., Mr. Trump had a lot of bad baggage but we the people could at least hope that everything coming out of his mouth wasn’t a lie. Now both of these candidates had some good ideas as does each of their Parties, but they also have some huge negatives.

 

With Mr. Trump after he won the election what I have been looking toward was whom were the people he was going to put into his Cabinet. We now know exactly where Mr. Trump’s mindset is as far as his campaign rhetoric about “making America great again.” Mr. Trump chose a Congressman from South Carolina to oversee the National Budget and how the Government’s  revenues will be spent. He just like the Republican Leadership in the House and the Senate are against Mr. Trump’s plan to rebuild the Nation’s infrastructure which has a preliminary estimate price tag of one trillion dollars. From being an over the road truck driver for thirty plus years I know first hand that this has been needed to be done for at least the past thirty years, of that I have no doubt. His new budget man though says no to this program, unless the Federal Government cuts a trillion dollars in ‘waste’ that it is now spending. The issue though is that to the Republicans ‘waste’ is things like the food stamp program, Social Security retirement and disability programs, Military retirement and VA disability programs, I believe you get the idea. Yet, you know that there is something that I have never once heard these Congressmen, Senators, or former Presidents talk about cutting and that is their lavish ‘amenities’ they are getting right now, or the lavish retirement packages they get when they retire or are voted out of office. Back when “war hero” George H.W.Bush was President he tried to turn over all of the Nation’s road systems to the States so that they could make every road in America a “toll” road. He wanted to do this to lessen the burden on the Federal Government. This has always puzzled me since the Federal Government receives billions of dollars in road use fuel taxes, I have always wondered where all those billions go every year since they are not being spent on the roads and bridges. Yet the biggest “show” of his support for wounded American Veterans was that while he was in Office he tried to save money by cutting the cost of the VA. The issue is, that he wanted to make it to where for a Service Connected Veteran to be able to get care at the VA they had to be a minimum of %50 Service Connected, wait for it, he also was trying to get it to where for a wounded Veteran to get %50 they had to be at the very least a quadriplegic (no working arms or legs). Sorry about being sidetracked there, it just disgusts me how pathetic these pariah can be.

 

Now, back to our current President Elect, Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump has made it no secret that he believes that the Federal minimum wage is too high. This is the reason why he has had and is having everything with his name on it, not counting buildings obviously, he has made in ‘offshore’ countries where slave wages are the norm. Plus these countries do not have the EPA regulations for their companies to worry about. The reality is the richer the people the less they give a flip about the poorest of the poor, it is always all about how much profit they can put into their own pocket. Besides, there are billions of dirt poor starving people, why should they care if billions of them die? You will know that in public statements they will say they do, but in the closed-door boardrooms of these international companies, do you really believe that is their opinion there? Think about it, as soon as a company that is on the open market boards says they are laying off workers, their stock values go up at once. When a company on the Stock Market says they are closing a factory in the U.S. and moving it to Mexico, Honduras, or China, the value of their stock goes up. Even the soon to be ‘First Daughter’ learned this from her Daddy, look at where her products are all made, hint, it’s not in the U.S..

 

Mr. Trump says that he is going to cut the Corporate tax rate from its current %35 to %15 to help stimulate companies profits. He also says he is going to punish companies that move their jobs ‘offshore’ by putting a huge tariff like %35 on all the products they then try to bring back into the States to sell here. As an Independent, I do not have a problem with either of these programs, I believe that Companies need to be strong financially for them to expand and to create new jobs. My issue is that Mr. Trump is very anti-Union and he is in favor of lowering the minimum wage. So, if his policies are designed to cut the welfare programs and put people back to work, are these jobs really actually going to pay a livable wage? Remember, Mr. Trump thinks that the folks at Carrier in Indianapolis are losing their jobs because they are making too much money and that Carrier was needing to move their factories to Mexico because of cheaper wages and benefits there. Mr. Trump has also told the workers in the American Auto Industry that they are making too much money that they need to take pay cuts. Mr. Trump talks about how a former steelworker who lost their job because of unfair labor laws in China and is now flipping burgers knows about the good jobs disappearing here in America. Well, my question to Mr. Trump is if you help bring back the steelworkers job to America but he has to work for 6 or 7 dollars per hour with no benefits, no overtime pay and no OSHA or EPA regulations to help keep them safe and alive how are they any better off than flipping burgers for at McDonald’s or working a register at Wal-Mart?

 

I know this is not going to happen, but here is a solution to some semblance of income equality. Right now there is no cap on how much the top end of a company’s executives can earn, the limits are only on the working class and those limits are put into place by the top end. So, Congress should pass a federal law where there can not be more than a 100 times income difference law on all companies and this would have to include total packages, stocks, bonds, benefits, insurances ect. This is where whatever the lowest paid person in the company makes, no one in the company can make more than 100 times that amount. As I said, it will never happen because it is those same top end folks that bribe the Congressmen and Senators to make sure that it never happens. This is a humanity issue, yes it is an income equality issue also, but for any Country to survive then there must be a vibrant middle class and a system where the lowest end of the financial scale has an honest chance to work their way up into that middle class. If we do not correct the current trends of only the wealthiest being able to afford a humane life style we are seeing the signs now where America is going to fall apart from the inside. By the choices Mr. Trump is making for his Cabinet I don’t believe he gives a flip about the American working class, his picks are showing that he only cares about the top 1/10 of 1%. I believe that to put it in layman’s terms, for the next two years there may begin to be more jobs but they are not likely to be livable wage jobs. The reason I said two years is because if I am correct and this is what happens, in two years the Republicans will lose the House and the Senate and in four years Mr. Trump will go back to his vacation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnitude 7 offshore quake shakes Central America, no damage seen

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

Magnitude 7 offshore quake shakes Central America, no damage seen

By Nelson Renteria | SAN SALVADOR

A strong earthquake off the Pacific Coast of Central America shook the region on Thursday just as a hurricane barreled into the Caribbean coasts of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, but there were no immediate reports of any quake damage.

Emergency services in El Salvador said on Twitter it had received no reports of damage at a national level, but urged those living along the country’s Pacific coast to withdraw up to 1 kilometer (0.62 mile) away from the shore.

The 7.0 magnitude quake, initially reported as a magnitude 7.2, was very shallow at 10.3 kilometers (6.4 miles) below the seabed, which would have amplified its effect.

Its epicenter was located some 149 km (93 miles) south-southwest of Puerto Triunfo in El Salvador, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned that tsunami waves of up to 1 meter (3 feet) could hit the Pacific coasts of Nicaragua and El Salvador after the quake, but later said that available data showed the threat had passed.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega declared a state of emergency due to the quake and Hurricane Otto, which landed on the country’s southeastern coast earlier on Thursday, his spokeswoman said.

“We were serving lunch to the lawmakers and the earthquake started and we felt that it was very strong,” said Jacqueline Najarro, a 38-year-old food seller at the Congress in San Salvador. “We were scared.”

(Additional reporting by Sofia Menchu in Guatemala, Gustavo Palencia in Honduras and Ivan Castro in Nicaragua; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Sandra Maler and Simon Gardner)

This Is A Copy Paste From The N.Y. Times: Honduras Government Clinton Helped Install

 

MEXICO CITY — More than a dozen conspirators gathered at the headquarters of the Honduran National Police just after 9:30 p.m. One of them clicked open a briefcase, and bundles of American dollars were distributed among the police officers — payment for the next day’s hit job.

After everyone else filed out of the room, the three highest-ranking officers stayed behind to make a call.

“Keep watch over the news tomorrow, sir,” one of them said, according to case files gathered by Honduran investigators. “We’ll do it all in the morning, good night, sir.”

They kept their word.

A day later, on Dec. 8, 2009, the top antidrug official in Honduras — the retired general Julián Arístides González Irías — dropped off his daughter at school and was heading to work when he found his usual route blocked. A motorcycle carrying two men pulled up to his Nissan SUV. The one riding at the back pulled out a gun, killing the general.

Outrage at the assassination swept Honduras. The country was still in turmoil after the coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya and turned Honduras into an international outcast. In a country riddled with corruption and division, the retired general was distinguished for his rectitude and efficiency. The authorities promised a swift investigation.

But the case quickly went cold.

At least that is how it appeared to the public. Behind the scenes, according to the case files, the police investigators took just three weeks to solve the murder. The chief suspects were a cell of high-ranking police commanders working hand-in-hand with drug traffickers. The conspiracy reached all the way to the chief of police.

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Police officers searching the SUV where Julián Aristídes González Irías was fatally shot in Tegucigalpa in 2009.CreditOrlando Sierra/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The man at the other end of that evening’s phone call was Winter Blanco, the head of a drug cartel based on the Caribbean coast, according to the investigators’ files. Five months earlier, the antidrug czar had foiled the trafficker’s plan to use the police to steal 143 kilograms of cocaine from a rival. The assassination was payback, investigators concluded.

Two years later, the antidrug czar’s top adviser, Alfredo Landaverde Hernández, was assassinated in exactly the same way, days after he publicly accused police commanders of allowing criminal gangs to infiltrate the police force. Once again, an investigation concluded that the chief suspects were the same commanders, aided by lower-ranking officers. A full report was sent to the police chief. But in public, the case remained unsolved.

Now, the details of the investigations — witness testimony, descriptions of videos, and phone call records — are emerging in Honduras, shaking the country once again. In terse language, the documents paint a chilling portrait of impunity at the very top of Honduras’s police hierarchy: the unchallenged power to carry out assassinations and force a cover-up of the investigation.

The suspicion that the police were part of the murders has long nagged at Hondurans. But with the release of the case files — parts of which were published in the Honduran press before being obtained by The New York Times — the country is now confronted with a glaring example of top-level government corruption and collusion with drug traffickers.

The revelations come at a pivotal time in Honduras, just as an international commission backed by the Organization of American States is setting up in the country to help investigate corruption. At the same time, the Obama administration is in the process of sending about $750 million in aid to the region, hoping to address the chronic violence and lack of opportunity that has fueled a mass exodus of desperate people to the United States.

The effort to suppress the results of two of the country’s most high-profile murder cases came to light only this month, when the newspaper El Heraldo revealed parts of the investigation’s conclusions and published excerpts from the files, without naming any of the most powerful suspects.

Since then, the Honduran president, Juan Orlando Hernández, has vowed a mass purge of the police force in response to the evidence, which helps peel back the layers covering the deeply entrenched networks of corruption feeding the country’s violence and poverty.

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Alfredo Landaverde HernándezCreditFernando Antonio/Associated Press

Last year, Oscar Chinchilla, the Honduran attorney general, asked the United States for help in solving the assassinations and Washington provided advisers, Joseph Crook, a State Department spokesman, said.

But the newly obtained case files point to a cover-up. They include cover pages from the inspector general’s office of the Security Ministry, which oversees the National Police. So if Mr. Chinchilla carries out a wide-ranging investigation to show that the government is serious about fighting corruption, it could end up ensnaring some of the president’s allies in the National Party, which has been in office since the beginning of 2010.

“There was a type of pact of silence,” said Thelma Mejía, a Honduran journalist. “These files passed through various police chiefs and they did nothing. They were known by various security ministers and they did nothing.”

The early fallout of the scandal is beginning. Foreign Minister Arturo Corrales, who had also served as the country’s security minister, resigned late Thursday. The first announcements of police firings are expected as early as this weekend. A civilian commission in charge of weeding out corrupt officers has asked for background on the nine top-ranked active generals in the police force, including José Ricardo Ramírez del Cid, a former police chief in 2011 who is named in the case files as the mastermind behind the assassinations.

According to the documents, Mr. Ramírez del Cid was one of the three who stayed behind the night before the antidrug czar was killed in 2009 to place the call to the drug lord. Another was José Luis Muñoz Licona, who was appointed police chief in 2010.

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In interviews broadcast after the El Heraldo report, both officials denied any involvement in the assassinations. So did the police chief at the time of the antidrug czar’s killing, Salomón Escoto Salinas, who is also named in the documents.

The case files leave little doubt that inside the police, at least, the results of the investigation were known. In May 2012, an official in the inspector general’s office sent a copy of documents to the police chief at the time, Juan Carlos Bonilla, noting that he was acting under the orders of the security minister. At the end of 2013, Mr. Bonilla’s replacement as police chief, Ramón Sabillón Pineda, ordered special guards to protect the case files on both assassinations, as well as documents on other high-profile killings.

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Hilda Caldera, center, the widow of the assassinated antidrug official Alfredo Landaverde Hernández, was comforted during his funeral in Tegucigalpa in December 2011. CreditOrlando Sierra/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In remarks to the Honduran news media, four of the security ministers in office since 2009 said that they were not aware of the documents. The fifth refused to comment.

Washington will be watching the police purge closely. It spent millions of dollars on the last effort to overhaul the Honduran police, which began in 2011, before finally giving up two years later when it was clear that only a handful of officers had been fired.

“Despite good intentions, I think our own officials, especially in the past, have sometimes been naïve in the way they have supported the Honduran government’s actions and inactions,” Senator Patrick Leahy, who follows events in Honduras closely, said in written responses to questions.

Mr. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, successfully pressed Congress to impose human rights and anticorruption conditions on aid to Central American governments this year.

“There is no doubt that our aid is well intentioned,” he wrote. “But despite some arrests of drug traffickers we’ve seen no real improvement in the Honduran justice system.” And, he promised: “It is not going to be business as usual. We can’t keep throwing money away.”

The current Honduran president, Mr. Hernández, has had his own approach to police corruption, creating a military police force that has supplanted much of the National Police force on the ground. The coming police purge is likely to strengthen its power.

The international anticorruption commission sponsored by the Organization of American States arrives this week to begin its work. Known by its Spanish initials, Maccih, it is a response to months of anticorruption protests last year across the country.

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The office of Juan Carlos Bonilla, the chief of police in 2012, was sent a copy of the documents relating to the killings. CreditOrlando Sierra/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The demonstrators, who marched at dusk bearing torches in a challenge to the president, demanded a prosecutors’ commission modeled after the one in neighboring Guatemala, which uncovered a customs bribery ring that brought down that country’s president last year.

Mr. Hernández resisted an accord that would create a panel with the same powers, and the commission he agreed to will not have independent investigatory authority. But the president may find that his control is limited.

In an interview, the director of the incoming group said that it would be up to his team, not the Honduran government, to choose the cases it will work on alongside Honduran prosecutors.

“There should be no doubt that the mission will be involved in cases where there are networks of corruption that harm the country,” said Juan Jiménez Mayor, the former Peruvian justice minister who is leading the commission.

Within days, the commission will start work on its first case, the assassination last month of Berta Cáceres, a prominent environmental and indigenous rights activist who was fighting a powerful Honduran company over a dam project on community land. Facing an international uproar, the government turned to the commission for help.

Even Hondurans who had been skeptical of the limits on the commission were hopeful that it will ultimately lead to widespread investigation into the police and their protectors.

“It is a special time in the country,” said Mario Díaz, a judge and president of the Association of Judges for Democracy, a group that has been critical of the Hernández government. “A lot of expectations have been generated.”

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