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Three journalists slain in Mexico in a week

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Two journalists were shot dead in Mexico Friday, bringing to three the number of journalists killed in the country this week, officials say.

Jorge Celestino Ruiz, who worked for the newspaper El Grafico de Xalapa, was killed on Friday night in the violence-plagued state of Veracruz, the mayor of the state’s capital Paulino Dominguez told AFP.

Ruiz’s house was shot at in October and bullets were also “fired at his vehicle to intimidate him,” said a police source, who asked for anonymity, and did not give further details.

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Ruiz had stopped putting his name to his articles to keep a low profile, the reporter’s colleagues also said.

State interior secretary Hugo Gutierrez “strongly condemned” the killing on Twitter and said it was an attack on freedom of expression.

The shooting occurred less than 24 hours after the director of online news website La Verdad de Zihuatanejo, Edgar Alberto Nava, was gunned down in the southern state of Guerrero, according to the local prosecutors office.

And on Tuesday, the body of Rogelio Barragan — head of news website Guerrero Al Instante — was discovered in an abandoned car’s trunk in the State of Morelos.

Reporters Without Borders said eight journalists had been killed in Mexico this year up until Thursday.

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Since 2000, around 100 reporters have been killed in the country. Violence linked to drug trafficking and political corruption is rampant, and most crimes go unpunished.


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New Zealand suspends America’s Cup funding after fraud, spy claims

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New Zealand froze payments to America's Cup organizers Thursday as officials investigate fraud claims in the lead-up to next year's prestigious yachting regatta in Auckland.

Government officials said they had suspended payments to America's Cup Events Limited, the private company organizing the race, following allegations of spying and misuse of public money.

"We are not intending to make further payments to ACE. This will be revisited pending the outcome of the process," the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said in a statement.

The ministry has previously said it was investigating "structural and financial matters" surrounding the organization of the race but provided no further details.

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Trump supporters funded a private border wall that’s already at risk of falling down

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Tommy Fisher billed his new privately funded border wall as the future of deterrence, a quick-to-build steel fortress that spans 3 miles in one of the busiest Border Patrol sectors.

Unlike a generation of wall builders before him, he said he figured out how to build a structure directly on the banks of the Rio Grande, a risky but potentially game-changing step when it came to the nation’s border wall system.

Fisher has leveraged his self-described “Lamborghini” of walls to win more than $1.7 billion worth of federal contracts in Arizona.

But his showcase piece is showing signs of runoff erosion and, if it’s not fixed, could be in danger of falling into the Rio Grande, according to engineers and hydrologists who reviewed photos of the wall for ProPublica and The Texas Tribune. It never should have been built so close to the river, they say.

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2020 Election

How Lindsey Graham keeps lowering his standards for Trump

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As the coronavirus pandemic spread and death tolls increased across the United States over the last three months, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., repeatedly raised the number of deaths he would find acceptable in defense of President Donald Trump's botched response.
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