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‘We can’t live here anymore’: More than 130 killed in Guatemala landslide, hundreds missing

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More than 130 people were killed when massive mudslides buried scores of homes on the outskirts of Guatemala’s capital city, officials said Sunday, as the death toll continued to climb.

Hundreds of people were still missing, three days after the landslides suddenly hit, raising the prospect that the number of people who perished in the disaster could rise much higher.

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“Our most recent tally is that there are 96 confirmed dead and recovered, and still about 300 people missing and unaccounted for,” said volunteer fire brigade spokesman Julio Sanchez.

He told reporters that several young children, including newborn babies, were among the dead in Santa Catarina Pinula.

On Thursday night, following heavy rain, waterlogged earth and debris tore through the village of El Cambray II, in the municipality of Santa Catarina Pinula, destroying or damaging 125 homes.

At dawn Saturday, rescue workers, police, soldiers and volunteers began a second day of clawing away at the debris with picks and shovels.

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Two firefighters were injured later in the day when a wall collapsed as they were trying to extract a body from the rubble.

Nearby, relatives of the missing checked in at a makeshift morgue set up next to the buried homes.

Municipal authorities had urged the community, about 15 kilometers (10 miles) east of the capital Guatemala City, to relocate several times, most recently in November of last year.

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But many families have refused, saying that they have nowhere to go.

“We can’t live here any more,” Carlos Hernandez, an electrician who survived the landslide, lamented as he stepped between rescuers with his few remaining belongings on his shoulder.

– ‘There was nothing’ –

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The destruction was sudden and decisive.

“I went on an errand for my mother and when I returned there was nothing,” Carlos Ac, 17, told AFP. He was still waiting for word about his missing mother and seven siblings.

In gray denim trousers and a black coat — now the only clothes he has — Ac said his family had come from the city of Quetzaltenango, approximately 200 kilometers to the west of the capital, to sell tortillas.

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Alex Lopez, 44, called his ex-wife and daughters as soon as he heard of the landslide. “It rang. But there was no answer,” he told AFP.

Families have reported receiving text messages from people they believed to still be trapped.

The impact of the heavy rain was exacerbated by a nearby river, officials said.


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Growing chorus of Senate Republicans rebuke Trump over his Syria pullout

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In the wake of President Trump's decision to pull US troops out of northeast Syria, a growing chorus of Senate Republicans are dismissing Trump's threat of economic sanctions against Turkey if it continues its incursion into the region, the Washington Examiner reports.

According to Sen. John Thune (R-SD), attempts to apply meaningful sanctions on Turkey after Trump green lit its invasion are just politicians "grasping to come up with something," adding that the Trump's decision "was a mistake" from the beginning.

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President Donald Trump reportedly suffered a meltdown during a Wednesday meeting at the White House with congressional leaders.

Trump reportedly lectured and insulted Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

"I would also say one other thing. He was insulting, particularly to the speaker," Schumer told reporters after the meeting ended because Trump was too "shaken."

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REVEALED: Speaker Pelosi says she had to stop White House meeting because Trump was too ‘shaken’ by GOP criticism

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According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump was "shaken up" by the realization that Republicans are criticizing him over his huge mistake in Syria.

"It comes at a very difficult time for him," said Pelosi outside the White House meeting. "Earlier today the House of Representatives voted what, 354-60 in opposition to the actions that he has taken in Syria. It calls upon the president to urgently use exercise with restraint and for us to have a humanitarian assistant to some of the Kurdish children being killed there, and reaching support."

Most importantly, however, the bill mandated a clear plan from the president on how to handle ISIS. Just last week, Trump made a unilateral decision to betray the Kurdish people and allow Turkey to bomb them. According to reports, the decision stemmed from Trump's desire to get off the phone.

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