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‘Desperate’ Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ wants quick extradition to US

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Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman wants to be rapidly extradited to the United States out of “desperation” over being sleep-deprived in prison, his attorney said Wednesday.

The lawyer, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, said the defense team would seek to negotiate with US authorities and that it would take at least two months for Guzman to be shipped to Mexico’s northern neighbor.

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The Sinaloa drug cartel leader made his plea “in a moment of desperation” over his treatment, Rodriguez told AFP, citing concerns for his client’s health.

“He can no longer take this situation,” said the lawyer.

Rodriguez, who filed injunctions against his client’s extradition following his January 8 recapture, said lawyers would continue his defense in Mexican court while they seek to negotiate with US authorities.

Prison authorities acknowledged that Guzman, 58, is woken up every four hours to make sure he is still alive as part of regular security measures for high-profile inmates.

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Guzman was returned to the Altiplano maximum-security prison after his January capture, which came six months after he had escaped from the same penitentiary through a 1.5-kilometer (mile-long) tunnel.

Authorities have taken extraordinary measures to prevent another embarrassing escape, installing metal rods in the floor to prevent another tunnel dig and posting a guard wearing a camera on his helmet outside the cell.

In a reversal, President Enrique Pena Nieto has ordered the attorney general’s office to expedite the extradition process. Prior to Guzman’s July escape, Pena Nieto had refused to send him to the United States.

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Mexico’s attorney general has said extradition could take at least a year.

An official at the attorney general’s office said on condition of anonymity that the case was in the hands of a court. The official said Pena Nieto could use a special law to accelerate the process, but a presidential source denied that this would be possible.

Guzman’s wife, former beauty queen Emma Coronel, who is 26, told Radio Formula that “if his life is in danger, we will have to do what’s necessary.”

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She said that Guzman’s extradition would not be a “defeat” because she and their twin daughters are US citizens. She gave birth to the girls in California in 2011.

– Rights ‘not violated’ –

Rodriguez told Radio Formula that he saw Guzman on Tuesday and that the drug cartel leader told him: “Try to get me extradited as fast as possible.”

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“Not allowing someone to sleep is an act of torture,” Rodriguez told the radio station. “I saw a desperate man, a dejected man. I found him very discouraged and in a very serious state of health.”

“He is isolated and segregated in a special area, separated from the other inmates. He told me that he was taken to a small room … (and) doesn’t see the sun,” the lawyer said.

Rodriguez said last week that Guzman would be willing to plead guilty in the United States in return for a “relatively reasonable” sentence at a “medium-security” prison.

Two US courts have formally requested Guzman’s extradition since he was recaptured, with charges of drug trafficking in California and murder in Texas.

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Eduardo Guerrero, the head of Mexico’s penitentiary system, said the security measures were part of security protocols for high-profile inmates

“This protocol, in which attendance is called every four hours at night, means that the inmate is woken up once for proof of life,” Guerrero told Radio Formula on Tuesday.

“We are not violating the rights and guarantees of any intern subjected to this type of security protocol,” he said.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said recently she was confident that Mexican courts would soon decide on the extradition.

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The US embassy declined to comment on Guzman’s extradition request.


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Millions of Americans’ medical images and data are available on the Internet — and anyone can take a peek

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Medical images and health data belonging to millions of Americans, including X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, are sitting unprotected on the internet and available to anyone with basic computer expertise.

The records cover more than 5 million patients in the U.S. and millions more around the world. In some cases, a snoop could use free software programs — or just a typical web browser — to view the images and private data, an investigation by ProPublica and the German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk found.

We identified 187 servers — computers that are used to store and retrieve medical data — in the U.S. that were unprotected by passwords or basic security precautions. The computer systems, from Florida to California, are used in doctors’ offices, medical-imaging centers and mobile X-ray services.

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Iran supreme leader rules out negotiations with US

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Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday ruled out negotiations with the US, as tensions mount between the arch-foes after Washington blamed Tehran for attacks on Saudi oil installations.

"The policy of 'maximum pressure' against the Iranian nation is worthless and all Islamic Republic of Iran officials unanimously believe there will be no negotiations with the US at any level," he said, quoted on his official website.

The White House said on Sunday that US President Donald Trump could meet Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.

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Is it an impeachment inquiry, an investigation or something else?

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There has been a gymnastic drama going on in the Capitol, where fans of impeaching Donald Trump and those who think that process is not the best way to confront the president are writhing in definitional arm-wrestling.

Weirdly, any value you might assign to the actual words used, you can expect a lot more confrontational congressional committees towards Trump’s White House in the next weeks. Those hearings may or may not add up to impeachment efforts, which has been true until now, of course.

The House Judiciary Committee, newly driven by the extraordinary efforts to land government meetings at Trump properties and to promise pardons for illegal acts to promote his agenda, has wanted to broaden the basis for impeachment, essentially to argue that profiting from the presidency is unconstitutional.

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