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Texas woman arrested for ‘blood ritual’ kidnapping

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A Texas woman who believed that the girlfriend of her dead brother played a role in his demise is suspected of kidnapping, drugging and performing a “blood ritual” on her, authorities said on Wednesday.

Mercedes Salazar, 32, has been arrested on suspicion of holding the girlfriend, who has not been identified, hostage for three days in a San Antonio home, binding her to a chair with zip ties, drugging her with what is believed to be heroin and subjecting her to a type of witchcraft where blood is drawn.

She is one of four people suspected of participating in the crime, according to James Keith, a spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff.

Keith said the victim, 25, was rescued when deputies forced their way into the home and found her tied to a chair and being threatened with a knife by another woman, who has been charged in the case.

The decomposing body of Angel Salazar, 28, Mercedes’ brother, was found in August in an abandoned apartment in San Antonio. Salazar had been beaten and tortured, and five suspects have been charged.

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Sheriff’s investigators say there is no indication that the victim had any role in Salazar’s death, but his sister was apparently so convinced of her involvement that she and the others kidnapped her on Sept. 6 and forced her into the home where she was held for three days.

When two of the suspects left to run errands three days later, she asked one of her captors to untie her so she could use the bathroom. She then managed to call her mother, who then called authorities, police said.

Salazar was arrested on Sunday on aggravated kidnapping charges, police said. The three other suspects have also been arrested.

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(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Eric Walsh)


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Here’s the insidious role Sean Hannity played in derailing Al Franken’s political career

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The U.S. Senate lost one of its most prominent liberals when Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, dogged by sexual harassment allegations, announced his resignation in December 2017. Some of Franken’s defenders believed the Democratic Party was too quick to throw him under the bus; other Democrats stressed that in light of the #MeToo movement, his resignation was absolutely necessary. Franken’s political downfall is the subject of an in-depth report by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, who describes — among many other things — the role that Fox News’ Sean Hannity played in the media firestorm.

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Commentary

The media got it wrong: There’s no evidence GOP support for Trump improved after his racist outburst

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One of the most popular articles last week involved claims that polls showed Republicans had increased their support of President Trump.  But a closer analysis of the data reveals that any increase in support was within the margin of error.  So the polls couldn’t conclude that GOP support for President Trump had gone up or down.

Polls are tricky creatures.  We either give them near god-like status, or discount them entirely, often depending on whether they show us what we want.

I remember the movie “Machete,” where an opportunistic Texas politician fakes his own shooting.  Within five minutes of that story breaking, the news anchor reported that the politician had drastically improved his standing in the polls.  Surveys don’t work that way.

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Activism

Rep. Rashida Tlaib defies Trump in NAACP speech: ‘I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president’

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) defiantly insisted on Monday that she would be in Congress until President Donald Trump is impeached.

At the 2019 annual NAACP convention, the announcer noted that Tlaib is a member of the four congresswomen known as The Squad who have recently been told by Trump to "go back" home.

Tlaib began her remarks by alluding to the president's attack.

"I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president," she shouted.

Watch the video below from the NAACP.

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