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29 bodies found in plastic bags in Mexico mass grave

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Mexican forensics experts have found at least 29 bodies stuffed in 119 plastic bags that were dumped in the bottom of a well outside the western city of Guadalajara, officials said Tuesday.

Experts have been working to establish how many victims are in the mass grave since it was discovered earlier this month in a remote area known as La Primavera, about a 45-minute drive outside Guadalajara, Mexico’s second city.

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“We have 13 complete corpses and 16 incomplete, for a total of 29 bodies,” said Gerardo Solis, chief prosecutor for the state of Jalisco, which has been hit by a wave of violence in recent years driven by drug cartel turf wars.

Officials told a news conference the total could rise as experts continue analyzing the remains.

“Different body parts are being examined by forensic anthropologists and analysts to determine to what extent the number is going to increase,” said the state’s special prosecutor for missing persons cases, Blanca Trujillo.

Twenty-seven of the victims are men and two are women, Trujillo said.

Authorities have so far identified four of them.

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All four had been reported missing by their families. Three had criminal records, Trujillo said.

Forensics experts have been working the site with the help of trained dogs and heavy machinery since it was discovered on September 3. The well measures more than five meters (16 feet) deep.

Another mass grave was discovered nearby in May, with 30 bodies inside.

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More than 3,000 unmarked graves with nearly 5,000 bodies have been found in Mexico since the government deployed the military to fight the country’s powerful drug cartels in 2006.

Since the controversial military operation was launched, more than 250,000 people have been murdered in the country, a wave of violence many experts blame on fragmented cartels waging war on the army and each other.

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Another 40,000 people are missing in Mexico.

Jalisco, home to the violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel, has been among the states hit hardest.

The government deployed 1,400 army reinforcements to Jalisco in March, and four months later another 1,800 members of the National Guard, a newly created force at the heart of leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s strategy to contain the violence.

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Donald Trumps needs a coronavirus scapegoat — and right now it’s China

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"If we are at war, who is the enemy?" asks Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor for The Washington Post in a smart piece that examines the question of who constitutes a target for a self-declared "wartime president."

While it is obvious that the enemy, in this case, is a tiny, sticky, invisible microbe that stubbornly gloms onto surfaces or leaps through the air to weaponize subway cars or shared gym equipment or a touch to the face.

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Trump says Putin to ‘probably ask’ for sanctions lifting

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President Donald Trump said Monday he expects his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to request the lifting of US sanctions during an upcoming phone call.

"Yeah, he'll probably ask for that," Trump told Fox News.

Trump did not say what his response would be, noting that he had put sanctions on Russia but adding: "They don't like that. Frankly we should be able to get along."

The two were due to talk "shortly," he said.

Last Thursday, Putin told G20 leaders during a conference call that he wanted a moratorium on sanctions as a "matter of life and death" during the global coronavirus outbreak.

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Arguing with the coronavirus deniers in your life can backfire — here’s how to make them see the light

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For those of us diligently practicing social distancing, it can be infuriatingly frustrating to encounter friends and loved ones who refuse to. There’s a strong temptation to lash out at them as selfish fools whose irresponsibility endangers us all. But doing so will backfire because, when people feel attacked, they get defensive and entrench in their position. Like it or not (not!), this is human nature.

Your civic duty, in addition to social distancing, is to talk to Covid-deniers in a way that has some chance of getting through to them. Here are some do’s and don’ts from the world of cross-partisan dialogue best practices that apply to the Covid-19 pandemic:

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