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Drug cartel hitmen suspected in mass teen slaying

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Hitmen working for a drug gang are the main suspects in the weekend slaying of 16 young partygoers in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez, an official said Tuesday, as families prepared to bury their dead.

Some 15 gunmen opened fire on a party packed with teenagers in the early hours of Sunday, in a particularly extreme attack in the northern border city which is notorious for deadly score-settling between drug gangs.

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The majority of the dead were under 20, and most were high school or college students.

Some families placed altars with photographs of their deceased children and religious images in front of their homes ahead of Tuesday’s funeral ceremonies.

“They were only at a party. They hadn’t harmed anyone,” one distraught neighbor, Liliana Reyes, told journalists outside.

More than 40 people died in attacks in northern regions during the long holiday weekend, but the shooting at a party of some 60 youngsters sparked widespread outrage.

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Lawmakers in Congress afterwards called for a special session with top government ministers to discuss the spiraling violence.

Suspected drug attacks have marked Mexico in the past three years, with more than 15,000 killed since President Felipe Calderon launched a military clampdown on organized crime.

Calderon condemned the “cowardly assassination” of the partygoers during a visit to Japan, and authorities offered a reward of one million pesos (77,000 dollars) for information on the perpetrators.

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An official from the Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office, who declined to be named, said the Los Aztecas group of hitmen were the main suspects.

Los Aztecas work for the Juarez gang, which is fighting a bloody turf war against the Sinaloa cartel in the country’s most violent city of Ciudad Juarez, which saw some 2,660 murders in 2009 alone, more than seven a day on average.

Authorities suspect that the party slayings were linked to a revenge attack.

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“The hitmen were aiming at someone specific, according to witness statements,” the state official said, adding that an unidentified man had warned the youths of the attack beforehand.

President Calderon has scored several high-profile victories against drug gangs in recent months, including the slaying of kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva in December, and the arrest of the notorious hitman Teodoro Garcia Simental, known as “El Teo,” in January.

But violent attacks remain part of daily life in some areas, particularly around the northern border with the United States.

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Gunmen killed 10 people over the weekend in Torreon, in the northern state of Coahuila, after opening fire on a crowd inside a bar.

Armed attackers on Monday opened fire in a bar in Ciudad Juarez, killing five people and injuring six others, police said.

Federal police also confronted suspected members of the Los Zetas gang in two successive shootouts late Monday, which left seven traffickers and one policeman dead in Torreon.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Wall Street Journal drops a truth-bomb on Trump over his market-destroying trade war: ‘Everyone loses’

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In yet another blast from the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the editors looked back at Friday's stock market free fall and pointed the finger directly at President Donald Trump and his "trade-war general" Peter Navarro for being the main culprits.

After Friday's disastrous stock market session that took a major downturn due to the escalation of the trade war -- with China and Trump ordering billions of dollars in new tariffs -- the Journal pointed out that there will be no winners.

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G7 off to a rough start as Trump aides slam host Macron’s agenda

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With President Donald Trump at the latest G7 summit, all eyes are on the interactions between him and French President Emmanuel Macron. The two world leaders started off amicably, exchanging pleasantries, but behind the scenes, things have grown contentious.

According to Politico, Trump officials are railing against Macron, accusing him of trying to "fracture" the summit by steering the negotiations away from trade and into areas like climate change.

This development comes after Trump harshly criticized Macron for enacting a tax on digital services, which could increase costs for American tech companies like Google and Facebook. Trump threatened that if France does not suspend its "unfair" digital tax, "we'll be taxing their wine like they've never seen before." It is a threat that Trump has made repeatedly over the last few weeks whenever he has gotten angry at France.

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A likely recession could doom Trump

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President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.

This article first appeared in Salon.

"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well. Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession," Trump tweeted on Friday in a clear attempt to assuage concerns. "They are willing to lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election. But it won’t work because I always find a way to win, especially for the people!"

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