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Grisly Mexican gang battle near US border leaves 21 dead

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Mexican authorities are investigating a battle between two suspected gangs that left 21 dead in a border town near where U.S. President Donald Trump visited on Thursday to win support for his plan to build a wall.

Tamaulipas state officials said that 21 bodies were found Wednesday in the city of Ciudad Miguel Aleman. Seventeen were burned, they said.

Trump was visiting McAllen, Texas on Thursday afternoon, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Ciudad Miguel Aleman, across the Rio Grande river, to drum up support for a border wall. He threatened to use emergency powers to bypass Congress and get billions of dollars to pay for the wall.

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He has justified that demand by saying that undocumented migrants, criminals and illegal drugs have been pouring across the border. Statistics show illegal immigration has fallen to a 20-year low, while many drugs are believed to enter through legal ports of entry.

Photos shared with Reuters by a state official show charred bodies scattered along a dirt track in scrubland, alongside burned-out vehicles.

One body was wearing the remains of a baseball cap bearing the letters and logo of the local Gulf Cartel, while others wore the remains of bullet-proof vests with the same insignia.

Turf wars between the Gulf Cartel and its chief rival, the Zetas, have been a key source of bloodshed over recent years in Tamaulipas, one of the most violent states in Mexico.

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Luis Rodriguez, a spokesman for state police, said in a statement that it appeared gunmen from the Gulf Cartel had fought with members of the Northeast Cartel, a group that split off from the Zetas.

Irving Barrios, the state’s attorney general, said in a radio interview that authorities found semi-automatic weapons and bulletproof vehicles at the site.

The area is “greatly fought over” by traffickers of arms and drugs as well as those who help undocumented migrants to cross to the United States, he said.

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Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Mexico during years of fighting between security forces and cartels warring over drug trafficking, extortion rackets and the exploitation of migrants.

Reporting by Delphine Schrank in Reynosa, additional reporting by Lizbeth Diaz in Tijuana and Michael O’Boyle and Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico City; editing by Rosalba O’Brien


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Wall Street is ignoring the omens of recession — here’s why

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The Federal Reserve seems a lot more concerned about the state of the economy than it’s been letting on.

The Fed lowered its target interest rate by a quarter point on Sept. 18, the second such cut since July – and the first reductions since the Great Recession more than 10 years ago.

Judging by the words of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, this isn’t that big a deal. In his statement following the decision, he said: “We took this step to help keep the U.S. economy strong in the face of some notable developments and to provide insurance against ongoing risks.”

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2020 Election

Elizabeth Warren accuses Congress of complicity in Trump’s continued abuses

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused the U.S. Congress of complicity in President Donald Trump's continued abuse of power late Friday, after reports surfaced of his alleged attempts to solicit foreign meddling in the 2020 presidential election, and reiterated her demand that Democrats use their majority in the House to pursue impeachment.

Warren's tweeted statement came hours after the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's opposition to a Ukrainian prosecutor in 2016.

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‘Resistance’ liberals love the FBI and CIA — but history says they don’t love you back

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A freaky moment recently transpired on television. In a nonfiction adaptation of “American Horror Story,” Bill Maher, nominally a member of the liberal “Resistance,” led his audience and guests in applauding and paying tribute to the FBI and CIA. To her credit, panelist (and rival talk-show host) Krystal Ball remained stoic, refusing to bring her hands together or smile. But even she allowed the moment to pass without noting the obvious: The CIA and the FBI are two of the most anti-democratic and violent forces in the history of our country.

Maher’s weird and historically illiterate “tribute” to two organizations with endless résumés of human rights violations, political persecution of dissidents and overseas coups directed at democratic governments — not to mention stunning failure at the principal tasks of their mission — punctuated his declaration of gratitude for “our safety” since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The comedian and commentator then tried to dress this right-wing, jingoistic bromide in progressive drag by reminding the crowd that President Trump has “disrespected” both agencies.

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