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Trump threatens to cut US aid to Honduras over immigrant caravan

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U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to withdraw funding and aid from Honduras if it does not stop a caravan of people that is heading to the United States, in his latest effort to show his administration’s tough stance on immigration.

Up to 3,000 migrants crossed from Honduras into Guatemala on Monday on a trek northward, after a standoff with police in riot gear and warnings from Washington that migrants should not try to enter the United States illegally.

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“The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!” Trump said on Twitter.

It was not clear how Honduras would be able to exercise control over people who had already left the country.

The crowd more than doubled in size from Saturday, when some 1,300 people set off from northern Honduras in what has been dubbed “March of the Migrant,” an organizer said.

The migrants plan to seek refugee status in Mexico or pass through to the United States, saying they are fleeing poverty and drug-fueled violence in their countries.

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Reuters could not independently verify the number of participants, but images showed a group carrying backpacks and clogging roads near the border, some waving the Honduran flag.

The impoverished nations of Central America, from which thousands of migrants have fled in recent years, are under mounting pressure from Trump’s administration to do more to curb mass migration.

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Guatemala said in a statement on Sunday that it did not promote or endorse “irregular migration.” Guatemalan police initially blocked migrants from reaching a customs booth, Reuters images showed. The group was ultimately able to cross, said march organizer Bartolo Fuentes, a former Honduran lawmaker.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said last month cuts in U.S. support for Central America would hinder efforts to stem illegal immigration as he welcomed China’s growing diplomatic presence in the region as an “opportunity.”

In an interview with Reuters, Hernandez expressed regret that prior U.S. commitments to step up investment in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador had been scaled back since Trump took office.

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China is strengthening ties with Central America. In August, El Salvador broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of China, citing economic reasons and following on the heels of Panama in 2017.

Honduras is one of a dwindling number of countries that still has formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington and Frank Jack Daniel in Mexico City; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Susan Thomas and Frances Kerry

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Anthony Scaramucci says Trump cabinet officials are preparing to turn on the president

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Former Trump administration official Anthony Scaramucci predicts that some current cabinet officials are ready to jump ship and denounce President Donald Trump.

Scaramucci, who has recently abandoned his support for the president, told CNN's Alisyn Camerota that some current administration officials will soon turn on Trump and work against his 2020 re-election.

"It's a little bit like a cycle," Scaramucci said. "I mean, if you can get the cycle started, some people that are fear-based due to the president's bullying or the nonsense on his Twitter feed or how he handles himself personally, they're intimidated by him."

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More evacuations as Canary Islands fire out of control

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A wildfire raged out of control on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria Monday, forcing more evacuations as flames in some parts rose so high even water-dropping planes were unable to operate, authorities said.

The fire, the third in 10 days in the mountainous centre of the holiday island popular for its breathtaking views, has forced the evacuation of several villages, which according to the census have a combined population of 8,000, a spokeswoman for emergency services said.

The exact number of evacuees was unclear. No fatalities have been reported.

So fierce is the fire in what is part of a UNESCO biosphere reserve that in some areas, it "is beyond our extinction capacities," Federico Grillo, head of emergency services in Gran Canaria, said late Sunday.

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Britain’s Prince Andrew ‘appalled’ by Epstein abuse claim

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Britain's Prince Andrew has said he was "appalled" by allegations of sexual abuse surrounding Jeffrey Epstein after a video was released purporting to show him at the home of the convicted paedophile in 2010.

"The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes," Buckingham Palace said in a statement, the Press Association reported on Sunday.

"His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent," the statement said.

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