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Gunfights rock Mexico border town near Texas as police arrest drug lord

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Gunfights broke out and vehicles were set ablaze on Friday in one of Mexico’s biggest cities along the U.S. border, after security forces arrested a leader of one of the main drug gangs in the area.

Activity in parts of Reynosa, a city across the Rio Grande from McAllen, Texas, ground to a halt on Friday afternoon after vehicles were torched and shooting began, authorities said.

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Earlier in the day, federal police and marines captured “El Gafe,” a leader of the Gulf Cartel, said a spokesman for police in Reynosa, a city of more than 600,000 people in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

A federal government security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified “El Gafe” as Jose Hugo Rodriguez Sanchez.

The official had earlier named the cartel boss as Jose Tiburcio Hernandez Fuentes. Later, he clarified that Hernandez was a different suspected gang member also captured.

Three suspected assailants were killed, and two state police were injured, the Tamaulipas state government said in a statement. The Reynosa police spokesman said two bystanders were apparently killed, but this was not confirmed.

El Gafe was taken to Mexico City, he added.

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Reynosa has been one of the most violent cities in Mexico over the past year, racked by turf wars among the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, two drug gangs fighting for control of border smuggling routes and crime rackets.

“The city is completely out of control,” said Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca, an opposition senator and former mayor of Reynosa.

More than 100,000 people have died in gang-related violence in Mexico over the past eight years. President Enrique Pena Nieto pledged to restore order when he took office in 2012, but although the homicide count has fallen, parts of the country remain mired in violence.

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(Reporting by Dave Graham and Anahi Rama; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Ken Wills)


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Jared Kushner’s ties to Saudis could be fair game if Trump keeps going after Hunter Biden: Dem lawmaker

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy," Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) laid out the case for impeaching President Donald Trump — and warned of the consequences for Trump's own family at the hands of future presidents if he is allowed to get away with it.

"He abused his power by trying to trade government resources for a political favor, to knock out a political rival in Joe Biden, the guy that he thought would emerge as nominee for 2020," said Castro. "We can't set a precedent where Congress says it's okay for a president to do that, because if we do that then a few things will happen. Number one, it opens the door for Donald Trump to do it again or a future president to do it again. To ask a country to interfere in our elections and knock out a political rival by digging up dirt."

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Melania Trump scorched by columnist for standing by president’s Thunberg bullying: ‘Indefensible’

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In a piece for the Washington Post, columnist Karen Tumulty called out first lady Melania Trump for her statement defending her husband's bullying of 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg in a fit of jealousy after she was selected Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

Responding to a statement from the White House that stated, “BeBest is the First Lady’s initiative, and she will continue to use it to do all she can to help children. It is no secret that the President and First Lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do. Their son is not an activist who travels the globe giving speeches. He is a 13-year-old who wants and deserves privacy,” Tumulty wasn't having it.

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BUSTED: Devin Nunes is hiding how he’s paying for all his frivolous lawsuits — which could land him in more trouble

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On Saturday, the Fresno Bee dived into a lingering question: How does Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) pay for all the lawsuits he is filing against journalists, satirists, and political critics?

"Nunes, R-Tulare, has filed lawsuits against Twitter, anonymous social media users known as Devin Nunes' Cow and Devin Nunes' Mom, a Republican political strategist, media companies, journalists, progressive watchdog groups, a political research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and a retired farmer in Nunes’ own district," noted the Bee.

These lawsuits were mainly filed in Virginia — a state with very loose laws against so-called "SLAPP suits," or meritless lawsuits intended to drown people in legal expenses in retaliation for expressing political opinions. Nunes was assisted in these suits by Steven Biss, a Virginia attorney, and yet except for the suit against the retired farmer, there is no clear record in Nunes' FEC reports of how he paid for the suits.

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