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‘El Chapo’ upbeat as jury deliberations expected to enter second week

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Accused Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman appeared cheerful as the jury in his U.S. trial ended its first week of deliberations on Thursday without reaching a verdict, grinning broadly as he hugged and bumped fists with his lawyers.

U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan dismissed the 12 weary-looking jurors from federal court in Brooklyn at about 4:15 p.m. They will resume deliberating on Monday morning.

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Guzman, 61, is accused of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into the United States as leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. He twice escaped from prison in Mexico. If convicted in the United States, he could face life in prison.

The defense has argued Guzman was set up as a “fall guy” by Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, a Sinaloan drug kingpin who remains at large. Despite Guzman’s upbeat demeanor on Thursday, there has been no sign of what way the jury will decide.

Earlier in the afternoon, the jury sent a note asking to review the testimony of one a key prosecution witness, Juan Carlos “Chupeta” Ramirez, concerning a series of alleged cocaine shipments codenamed “Juanitas.”

Ramirez, who has pleaded guilty to U.S. charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, testified that he sold Guzman tons of cocaine for export to the United States.

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Cogan told the jurors that a transcript of the testimony would be ready for them by Monday.

Ramirez was one of more than 50 witnesses who testified during the 11-week trial, which offered the public an unprecedented look into the inner workings of the cartel, named for the state in northwestern Mexico where Guzman was born. [nL1N1ZO266]

Since they began deliberating Monday afternoon, the jurors have asked to review days of testimony from several witnesses, mostly from former associates of Guzman who agreed to testify against him after striking deals to cooperate with U.S. authorities.

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The jurors must decide deliver a verdict on 10 criminal counts, one of which consists of 27 criminal violations. The charges include engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, international drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy.

Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Alistair Bell


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Trump claims he signed a law that’s been on the books for decades

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President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he signed legislation that has, in fact, been law for many years:

To think I signed the Whistleblower Protection Act! https://t.co/OSmPPcRs7x

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2019

Many observers quickly pointed out that Trump was wrong. The Whistleblower Protection Act became law in 1989. The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act became law in 1998.

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‘Shameful’ for UK not to publish Russia meddling probe: Hillary Clinton

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Hillary Clinton said Tuesday it was "shameful" that the British government had not published a delayed parliamentary report into possible Russian interference in British politics ahead of December elections.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government has previously rejected claims it was suppressing the report to avoid a scandal ahead of next month's snap poll.

"Every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens," the defeated US presidential candidate told BBC Radio 4 during a book tour.

Clinton said there was "no doubt" that Russia is "determined to try to shape the politics of western democracies".

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51 children injured in chemical attack at China kindergarten

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More than 50 people, mostly children, were injured by a man who broke into a kindergarten in southwest China and sprayed them with corrosive liquid, local authorities said Tuesday.

The suspect, a 23-year-old surnamed Kong, entered the kindergarten by climbing a wall before spraying victims with sodium hydroxide, said local authorities in Kaiyuan city, Yunnan province.

The attack took place on Monday at 3:35 pm (0735 GMT), authorities said on their Twitter-like Weibo account.

Some 51 children and three teachers were admitted to hospital for treatment, two with "severe symptoms".

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