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Drug gang warnings ahead of pope visit to Mexico



A drug gang warned its rivals to keep the peace during a papal visit to Mexico next month in banners hung around the central state of Guanajuato which Pope Benedict XVI is due to visit.

The warnings, signed by the the Knights Templar gang, were quickly removed Tuesday and came shortly after the local archdiocese made a plea to drug gangs to avoid violence during the pope’s visit.

The banners claimed the Knights Templar gang had accepted a truce and would not permit violence from their rivals.

“We want a peaceful Guanajuato so don’t think about generating violence, especially during the arrival of his holiness Benedict XVI. You are warned,” said one banner which appeared Monday, according to a police officer who requested anonymity.

Asked about the warnings, Interior Minister Alejandro Poire on Tuesday told a news conference: “There will be security based on the rule of law in Guanajuato.”


The pope is due to travel to three cities of Guanajuato state between March 23 and 26, before traveling to Cuba.

The Knights Templar are a pseudo-religious gang from the neighboring state of Michoacan, where they are blamed for drug violence.

The “New Generation” gang, believed to be allied with the powerful Sinaloa drug gang, and the brutal Zetas also operate in the region.


On January 22, Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago, archbishop of Leon city in Guanajuato, called for peace among drug gangs during the pope’s visit.

More than 50,000 people have died in rising drug violence across Mexico in the past five years, according to media counts, amid a military crackdown on organized crime.

Photo credit: Natursports / Shutterstock.com.

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Trump supporter blames Democrats for being targeted by the president: ‘Why is that racist?’



CNN interviewed a supporter of President Donald Trump in Eau Claire, Wisconsin who refused to acknowledge the racism in the president's "Go Back" attacks on four women of color in Congress.

The network interviewed Kerri Krumenauer of Wiersgalla Plumbing & Heating Company about Trump's attacks.

"How is it racist?" she asked.

"If you don't like this country, get out," she demanded. "Leave!"

She then showed how misinformed she was about the incident.

"He didn't use any names -- they stood up," she falsely claimed. In fact, Trump did use names and the targets did not stand up as they were not at his North Carolina campaign rally.

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Here’s how Trump hopes to recreate his 2016 presidential win — and how Democrats can send him packing



Writing for CNN on Saturday, election forecaster Harry Enten explained how President Donald Trump's recent, racist behavior lies in his desire to recreate the same electoral conditions that gave him a victory in 2016 in the presidential election next year.

"The Trump strategy is pretty simple: 1. Drive up the unfavorable ratings of his Democratic rival as he did in 2016 in order to compensate for his own low ratings. 2. Bank on an electoral college/popular vote split as he did in 2016. 3. Use a campaign of racial resentment to drive up turnout even more among groups favorable toward the President," wrote Enten. As he noted, Democrats have excellent odds to flip back Michigan and Pennsylvania, but they will have to work harder to win back any of the other states Trump flipped from the 2012 Obama camp — in particular Wisconsin, which was the closest state after those two.

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American, Italian and Russian blast off for ISS



US, Italian and Russian astronauts blasted into space Saturday, headed for the International Space Station, in a launch coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA's Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency set off on a six-hour journey to the orbiting science lab from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1628 GMT.

A NASA TV commentator hailed a "textbook launch" minutes after blastoff in "sweltering" weather in Baikonur, where daytime temperatures reached 43 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

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