At the end of September 2014, a group of 43 male students from the Rural Teachers College in Ayotzinapa, Mexico, commandeered several buses in order to travel to Mexico City for a protest to mark the 46th anniversary of the Tlatelolco student massacre.
The students never made it to the protest, and outside of a few bones, their bodies were never found.
For years, Mexico’s government theorized that the “students’ bodies had been burned in a trash dump on the outskirts of Iguala,” The Daily Beast reported.
New evidence, however, suggests the police conspired with a drug cartel to kill the students. The new evidence includes text messages between a deputy police chief and a crime boss coordinating the kidnapping and murder at least 38 of the 43 student teachers. Apparently, the busses the students took over “were part of a drug-running operation that would carry a huge cargo of heroin across the U.S. border—and the students had accidentally stolen the load,” the Beast reported. From the Beast:
Gildardo López Astudillo was the local leader of the Guerreros Unidos cartel at that time. He was in charge of the area around the town of Iguala, in southwestern Mexico, where the students were last seen. Francisco Salgado Valladares was the deputy chief of the municipal police force in the town.
On Sept. 26, 2014, Salgado texted López to report that his officers had arrested two groups of students for having taken the busses. Salgado then wrote that 21 of the students were being held on a bus. López responded by arranging a transfer point on a rural road near the town, saying he “had beds to terrorize” the students in, likely referencing his plans to torture and bury them in clandestine grave sites.
Police chief Salgado next wrote that he had 17 more students being held “in the cave,” to which López replied that he “wants them all.” The two then made plans for their underlings to meet at a place called Wolf’s Gap, and Salgado reminded López to be sure to send enough men to handle the job.
Salgado texted López later that night to say “all the packaged have been delivered,” an apparent reference to the heroin inside the bus that had been stolen by the students.
Mike Vigil, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s former chief of international operations, told the Beast that the new evidence “provides irrefutable proof” that the police and an organized crime syndicate worked together to murder the students.
“The story of the massacre of the students in Ayotzinapa is like a Hollywood movie, but the events are real. They involve collusion between the police, army, organized crime, and a massive coverup by the Mexican government,” Vigil told the outlet.
The youngest student killed in the massacre was Jose Angel Navarrete, who was 18 years old.
Salgado, the deputy police chief, was already arrested for the massacre, the Beast reported. López, the former crime boss, was arrested but released for alleged due process failures, and is currently free.
The text messages do not specifically mention the military, but many still believe the Mexican army was involved in executing some of the students. It was the military who intercepted the text messages but took seven years to release them. La Reforma, a Mexican newspaper, published leaked testimony that suggested local army officers assisted the drug cartel in collecting the students and others on the night the students vanished.
“The army hides information because it’s in their best interest to do so,” a high-ranking Mexican police commander told the Beast under the condition of anonymity. “The whole world knows that the army controls the drug trade [in that part of Mexico.]”
“Mexico continues to wonder why violence persists unabated. They don’t understand that no consequence for criminal actions translates to more impunity,” the commander added.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision you may not have heard about has upended the criminal justice system in Oklahoma. It effectively said a historical glitch in procedures means millions of acres of Oklahoma is under control of the Indian population. Lisa Fletcher reports the implications stretch far and wide.
Tahlequah, Oklahoma: a small city with a big influence. This is the capital of two Indian tribes, including the Cherokee.
It seems idyllic. But for the head of the Cherokee tribal police, Shannon Buhl, things have never been busier.
Shannon Buhl: It’s horrific. We would average in tribal court between 30 and 50 cases a year. Our attorney general’s office here has processed a thousand cases in a month and a half.
The rapidly rising caseload is thanks to a startling Supreme Court decision that gave the tribes what they’d long wanted: recognition their original reservations still exist and giving them much more control over what happens in them.
Lisa: What is it now?
Buhl: It’s everything. It’s everything within our historical boundaries. So north out of Tulsa to Kansas, that whole chunk of eastern Oklahoma is now Indian country.
Historically, most of the eastern portion of the state — about 43 percent of what’s now Oklahoma — belonged to five Indian tribes: the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole, who were forced there in the 1830s from their ancestral lands in the southeast. A forced migration that became known as the Trail of Tears.
In 1907, Congress dissolved the reservations when it created the state of Oklahoma, at least that’s what everyone thought.
In 2020, a Seminole Indian, Jimmy McGirt, brings a case to the Supreme Court arguing he should never have been prosecuted in state court because his crime occurred on Indian land. The crime he was convicted of was rape. The Supreme Court agreed, saying Congress never properly dissolved the reservation’s boundaries, meaning his conviction and hundreds of others were invalid.
So, as state criminal convictions are thrown out, federal and tribal courts like this one are taking cases at a break-neck pace.
The state’s Republican governor Kevin Stitt opposes the decision, saying it’ll impact much more than criminal cases
Governor Stitt: McGirt is the biggest issue that’s ever hit a state since the Civil War okay? That’s how big of an issue this is for the state of Oklahoma.
The governor believes the ruling will ultimately affect taxation, land rights, and even the oil riches that support much of the state’s economy.
Stitt: The tribes are starting to say, and even the Biden administration has said that “no, no, no, no. This is also a reservation now for zoning, or taxation,” or in their case, they said, “mining.” They told me, the Department of Interior said, “The State of Oklahoma no longer has the right to exercise its department of mining and its regulation of mines in eastern Oklahoma.
Though mining of coal and other minerals are relatively small scale, oil is big business, worth more than a billion dollars to the state treasury in 2019 in taxes alone.
Stitt: There are some people that think that if the reservation still exists and we’re never disestablished, then they would still exist for all purposes.
Based in Tahlequah, Chuck Hoskin is the principal chief of the nearly 400 hundred thousand strong Cherokee Nation.
Chuck Hoskin: This land that we’re on now, that covers now 14 counties of what is now Oklahoma was promised to the Cherokee nation in terms of our legal authority and that that legal authority never went away.
Lisa: How do you work with a state that has a governor that says, it is an unprecedented assault on the sovereignty of Oklahoma.
Hoskin: Well, first of all, I would point out to the governor actual assaults on sovereignty, such as the suppression of the Cherokee Nation for most of the 20th century, our forced removal on the Trail of Tears. Those are real assaults on sovereignty.
Lisa: Could you assert rights at this point though over the oil that is now on your land?
Hoskin: I don’t think McGirt changes our ability to do that. I would say, at this moment, we don’t have the interest or ability to wholesale displace the state of Oklahoma from its more than a century of regulatory law over the oil and gas industry.
The governor’s office is promising to challenge the Supreme Court’s decision, and efforts by tribes or the federal government to use it to chip away at the state’s authority to collect taxes or regulate industries.
Stitt: The Supreme Court divided a modern-day state in half, and basically said the state of Oklahoma no longer exists like we thought it did, since statehood in 1907.
But the tribes are embracing the ruling and what it means for tribal power.
Hoskin: We have to find solutions on McGirt because McGirt has so many direct implications for every single person who lives, works, passes through reservation lands, and in Oklahoma, that’s substantially half of the state of Oklahoma. So I think we can do it. But I’m an optimist.
The chief may be optimistic, but while the Supreme Court ruling settled one issue, it also left big questions about legal authority unresolved.
Ireland — formerly one of the few holdouts for a pending international “global minimum tax” plan — has joined the agreement.
During a June meeting of the G7, President Biden and other world leaders proposed a “strong global minimum tax” of “at least” 15%. The White House lauded the policy as a “critical step towards ending the decades-long race to the bottom that pushes nations to compete over who can offer the lowest tax rate to large corporations at the expense of protecting workers, investing in infrastructure, and growing the middle class.”
Smaller nations — which have historically relied upon lower corporate taxes to compete on the world stage with more developed economies — were initially hesitant to sign the deal. In July, a handful of countries — Barbados, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Kenya, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, St. Vincent, Peru, and the Grenadines — refused to join the 130 other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member states that endorsed the plan.
Among the most important holdouts, however, was Ireland — which has historically relied upon its 12.5% corporate tax rate to differentiate itself from its Western European neighbors.
As Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe said: “Ireland expressed our broad support for the agreement on Pillar Two but noting our reservation about the proposal for a global minimum effective tax rate of ‘at least 15%.’ As a result of this reservation, Ireland is not in a position to join the consensus.”
However, Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced in early October that the OECD has amended the text of the arrangement in a way that “does respond to a lot, if not all of the concerns” raised by Ireland. Indeed, the new version of the bill removed the phrase “at least” — implying that the minimum tax rate will not be hiked in the future.
“In joining this agreement, we must remember that there are 140 countries involved in this process and many have had to make compromises,” said Donohoe. “But I also believe that the agreement [sic] government has agreed to sign up to today is balanced and represents a fair compromise reflecting the interests and input of the many countries involved in the negotiations.”
However, CNBC reports that an opinion poll for The Irish Times shows that the majority of voters in Ireland believe the government should not modify its tax policy.
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Former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott sent a letter to Senate leadership warning that the agency is losing its ability to police the southern border amid an unprecedented surge in illegal immigration.
Scott, who served in Border Patrol for nearly 30 years before stepping down in June, also warned the situation is a national security threat, according to his Sept. 11 letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as well as Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
“As Chief, I was the most senior official responsible for border security between ports of entry,” Scott wrote in part. “I witnessed the [unprecedented] seismic shift in border security and immigration policy that was initiated on January 20, 2021.”
“I believe this policy shift and the associated public statements created the current border crisis. Of greater concern, I also witnessed a lack of any meaningful effort to secure our borders. Contrary to the current rhetoric, this is not simply another immigration surge. This is a national security threat,” he continued.
Contrary to the current rhetoric, this is not simply another immigration surge. This is a national security threat.— Retired Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott
Scott went on to say he has been “sickened by the avoidable and rapid disintegration of what was arguably the most effective border security in our Nation’s history.” He blamed the deteriorating conditions on inexperienced political appointees in the Biden administration, who he claimed are ignoring the advice of seasoned professionals and giving false information to Congress and the public.
SAN DIEGO, CA – APRIL 25: Rodney Scott, chief of the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector, stands for a portrait near the border wall on April 25, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
“In my professional assessment, the U.S. Border Control is rapidly losing the situational awareness required to know who or what is entering our Homeland,” Scott warned. “The ability of USBP to detect and interdict those that want to evade apprehension is being degraded daily.”
Warning that the porous border is unsustainable and that transnational criminal organizations are taking advantage of it, Scott urged congressional leadership to convene a hearing to assess the extent of the threat.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency which oversees U.S. Border Patrol, declined to comment.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., whose office provided Fox News with a copy of the letter, said: “CBP Chief Scott is a career, non-partisan civil servant who worked tirelessly to secure our borders and keep America safe. That he felt compelled to write this letter, which warns of the significant national security risks this administration is creating, should concern every American. I hope the Biden administration and Congress will heed his fervent warning.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Sunday that the administration was moving to address the most recent challenge, thousands of Haitian immigrants huddled in the outdoors after trekking across the border.
“We certainly are experiencing a challenging situation, but we are surging resources and we have a multipronged approach to this,” Mayorkas told CNN on Sunday. He said that so far the administration had added 600 agents as part of a surge in the region and was working with American Red Cross and World Central Kitchen to bring supplies and food to people.
Most Americans over the age of 40 will never forget where they were and what they were doing during the 9/11 attack on our nation. September 11th, 2021, marks the 20th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist act in America, killing 2,977 souls at the New York City, World Trade Center, the U.S Pentagon, and the fatal United Airlines Flight 93 crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The terrorist attacks that reigned down on 9/11 include 2,606 within the World Trade Center and surrounding area, 125 killed at the U.S. Pentagon, 265 killed on the four planes, including terrorists, and 19 hijackers committed murder-suicide with a total of more than 6,000 injured.
The loss of life claimed 344 Firefighters; 71 Law Enforcement Officers within the World Trade Center and surrounding area, including another officer who died when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, PA; 55 military personnel died at the Pentagon.
Of the 2,977 souls who met their tragic fate that day, 2,605 were U.S. Citizens, and 372 were non-U.S.citizens, involving more than 90 other countries, excluding the 19 perpetrators.
Let’s also not forget that this catastrophe impacted many thousands of innocent Americans who were diagnosed with cancer and chronic lung conditions from exposure to toxins at Ground Zero.
In addition, the by-product of war ensued through these very terroristic acts and claimed the lives of American military soldiers, marines, and contractors through; Operation Iraqi Freedom; Operation New Dawn, which was composed of casualties occurring in the Arabian and middle east Seas; and Operation Enduring Freedom which was the war involved within Afghanistan.
Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, three warships were constructed and emerged from the very materials of the buildings, and civilians attacked on sovereign territory the morning of September 11, 2001. Through the years, the transformation of steel and grit, reformed and reshaped into the three Navy warships, serving as a symbol of the undying fighting American spirit named and dedicated after the locations of the 9/11 attacks.
The USS New York, USS Arlington, and USS Somerset, each ship was created with some of the material from the sites honoring those innocent victims, and first responders killed that tragic day that America will never forget.
The Warship named, The USS New York (LPD21) commemorates the 9/11 attacks through the spirit and motto of “NEVER FORGET,” this ship’s crest includes an image of the twin towers behind a rising phoenix. It honors the victims of the New York World Trade Center. The first ship was built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding at the former Avondale shipyard in New Orleans and delivered in 2010 was the first of the LPD17-class ships. It is fortified with 7.5 tons of steel built into the ship’s bow stem, salvaged from Ground Zero, and 684 feet long, costing more than one billion dollars.
“The significance of where the WTC steel is located on the 684-foot-long ship symbolizes the strength and resiliency of the citizens of New York as it sails forward around the world,” said Navy Cmdr. Quentin King, according to ussnewyork.com. “It sends a message of America becoming stronger as a result, coming together as a country and ready to move forward as we make our way through the world.”
The USS Arlington (LPD24) was named in honor of Arlington County, Virginia, where American Flight 77 crashed into the west wall of the Pentagon. It was delivered in 2012 and was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries; the ship contains a “Tribute Room” fortified by a section of I-Beam and remnants of the crash site.
The USS Somerset (LPD25) was named in honor of Somerset County, where the United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field when Americans fought so courageously against hijackers. This ship was constructed with 22 tons of steel in the ship’s bow, taken from one of two mining excavators present at the site at the time of the fatal crash.
Americans are a strong and resilient people; we are redefined by the honor and valor of our many heroes who fought their way out of hell on that fateful day, September 11, 2001, at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and onboard United Airlines Flight 93.
This year as we bow our heads in prayer and celebrate the memory of the reverend souls whose names are forever etched in history, their stories will never be forgotten; they were the backbone of American culture, whether they were first responders, civilians, or military personnel.
God Bless the United States of America and all the families of the fallen tied to 9/11; let us learn from the apocalypse of tyranny and hold those accountable who challenge our sovereign way of life, whether they be foreign or domestic terrorists.
“The planes were hijacked, the buildings fell, and thousands of lives were lost nearly a thousand miles from here. But the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were an attack on the heart of America. And standing here in the heartland of America, we say in one voice…
We will not give in to terrorists; We will not rest until they are found and defeated; We will win this struggle, not for glory, nor wealth, nor power, but for justice, for freedom, and for peace; So help us, God,” – Tom Harkin
The mother of a U.S. Marine who was murdered during an Islamic terrorist attack at the airport in Kabul on Thursday unloaded on President Joe Biden during an interview on Saturday morning, calling for him to be removed from office.
Kathy McCollum, mother of 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, called into the “Wilkow Majority” show on SiriusXM Patriot radio where revealed that she had just been notified at her home that her son was killed in the bombing that claimed the lives of 13 other U.S. soldiers.
“That feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap just sent my son to die,” she said, speaking about Biden. “I woke up at four o’clock this morning, two Marines at my door telling me my son was dead. So, to [have her on] right before me and listen to that piece of crap talk about diplomatic crap with frickin Taliban terrorists who just freakin blew up my son and no, nothing, to not say anything about oh my god, I’m so sorry for families. So, my son is gone.”
To all Democrats who voted for Biden, “You just killed my son with a dementia-ridden piece of crap who doesn’t even know he’s in the White House,” she continued. “He still thinks he’s a senator.”
She said that she was going to meet with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who is her representative, at her home tomorrow.
“I never thought in a million years [my son] would die for nothing, for nothing, because that feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap who decided he wanted a photo-op on September 11th,” she continued. “That’s what kills me. I wanted my son to represent our country, to fight for my country. But I never thought that a feckless piece of crap would send him to his death and smirk on television while he’s talking about people dying with his nasty smirk. The dementia-ridden piece of crap needs to be removed from office. It never would have happened under Trump.”
She called Biden a “treasonous man” and a “disgusting human being,” and again pinned blame on Democrat voters, saying, “You did this to my son, every Democrat that’s listening, you did this to my son.”
She was brought on the line after the host played a clip from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who McCollum called a “b****.”
Mother of U.S. Marine Rylee McCollum, who died in the Kabul bombing: “all you Democrats … who voted for [Biden], you just killed my son …[He’s a] feckless dementia ridden piece of crap who decided he wanted a photo op on September 11th.”
The Islamic State’s propaganda arm used Amazon Web Services to host content promoting extremism, according to The Washington Post. Nida-e-Haqq, the group’s media arm, posted messages on the website in the Urdu language, including ones celebrating the recent suicide bombing in Kabul that killed 170 people. Since Amazon’s policy bars clients from using its services to incite violence and terror, the company pulled the website after The Post alerted it to its existence.
The website Amazon disabled provided content for the Nida-e-Haqq app, which recently showed an image of the Kabul bomber wrapped in a suicide vest. It’s currently password-protected and not viewable, but it’s been active since at least April, based on the online domain records The Post saw. Amazon spokesperson Casey McGee told the publication in a statement: “(F)ollowing an investigation, we have disabled a website that was linked to this app as it was in violation of the AWS Acceptable Use Policy.”
Taliban and extremist-related content is the latest issue social networks, and clearly, hosting services like Amazon’s, have to grapple with. The organization has been using services like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp to spread its message, and the websites now have to decide if they need to update their policy on how to deal with Taliban content and to make sure their existing rules on violence and terror are properly enforced.
Amazon didn’t say how Nida-e-Haqq managed to evade detection for at least four months when it wasn’t even trying to hide what kind of content it posted, but it’s very much possible that the company simply didn’t know the website existed. As The Post said, Amazon may not be proactively policing its clients’ content, relying instead on the complaints it gets.
Back in January, it suspended Parler’s AWS hosting services after it found multiple posts on the social network “that clearly encourage and incite violence.” Parler sued Amazon, claiming antitrust violations, but the company said it sent the website several warnings about violent posts on its platform before the takedown. Ultimately, a judge shot down Parler’s attempt to get AWS to restore its service, citing the dangers posed by “inflammatory rhetoric” found on the social network.
As the Biden administration has faltered in its withdrawal efforts amid the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, an all-volunteer group of former U.S. military veterans has been working tirelessly to secretly bring hundreds of Afghan elite forces and their families to safety.
What are the details?
In a featured write-up published Friday, ABC News detailed the daring mission, put on by “Task Force Pineapple,” which over the past 10 days saved the lives of roughly 630 Afghan nationals who — should they have remained trapped inside Afghanistan — would have been targeted by Taliban fighters.
The mission reached its climax on Wednesday night when the group of volunteer veterans commenced operation “Pineapple Express” — modeled after Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad — to slowly maneuver Afghan individuals and families through Taliban checkpoints and into U.S. military command.
The mission was underway Thursday when terrorist attacks carried out by ISIS fighters at the Kabul airport left at least 13 U.S. service members and 60 Afghans dead, with hundreds more injured. Some of the task force’s members were among the wounded. Yet in spite of the deadly assault, the group pressed on:
Moving after nightfall in near-pitch black darkness and extremely dangerous conditions, the group said it worked unofficially in tandem with the United States military and U.S. embassy to move people, sometimes one person at a time, or in pairs, but rarely more than a small bunch, inside the wire of the U.S. military-controlled side of Hamid Karzai International Airport.
The effort … reached a crescendo this week with dozens of covert movements coordinated virtually on Wednesday by more than 50 people in an encrypted chat room, which [Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann] described as a night full of dramatic scenes rivaling a “Jason Bourne” thriller unfolding every 10 minutes.
The small groups of Afghans repeatedly encountered Taliban foot soldiers who they said beat them but never checked identity papers that might have revealed them as operators who spent two decades killing Taliban leadership.
“Dozens of high-risk individuals, families with small children, orphans, and pregnant women, were secretly moved through the streets of Kabul throughout the night and up to just seconds before ISIS detonated a bomb into the huddled mass of Afghans seeking safety and freedom,” Mann, a retired Green Beret commander who led the operation, recounted.
“This Herculean effort couldn’t have been done without the unofficial heroes inside the airfield who defied their orders to not help beyond the airport perimeter, by wading into sewage canals and pulling in these targeted people who were flashing pineapples on their phones,” he added.
In a move criticized by many, the Pentagon has not permitted uniformed U.S. service members to venture outside of the airport’s perimeter to rescue Americans and Afghans seeking U.S. protection. But non-uniformed individuals, including former Navy SEAL Jason Redman, have not faced those same restrictions.
Redman, one of Task Force Pineapple’s members, spent Wednesday night shepherding Afghans he knew to safety.
“The whole night was a roller-coaster ride,” he recalled. “People were so terrified in that chaotic environment. These people were so exhausted, I kept trying to put myself in their shoes.”
Looking back at the effort, however, Redman’s sense of pride and accomplishment was tainted by disappointment, especially with the political leaders who allowed the situation to unravel to the point that it did only to, in his opinion, not do enough to resolve it.
According to ABC, he expressed deep frustration “that our own government didn’t do this. We did what we should do, as Americans.”
A California parole board on Friday granted the release of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, on his 16th attempt.
According to The Los Angeles Times, “The move sparks a 90-day review period by parole staff.” The outlet reported, “After that, Gov. Gavin Newsom – or whoever might replace him in next month’s recall election – could still decide to block Sirhan’s release.”
Sirhan reportedly smiled and gave two thumbs up after the decision was announced.
Sirhan, 77, has been incarcerated for 53 years. Kennedy was vying for the Democratic presidential nomination when he was shot by Sirhan at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968. Kennedy died the next day. The following year, Sirhan admitted to committing the murder. Five others were wounded during the incident.
Kennedy was a 42-year-old U.S. senator from New York, and brother to former President John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated in 1963.
Sirhan was a 24-year-old Palestinian immigrant at the time of the killing. He said he was displeased with Kennedy’s support of Israel, but did not remember committing the crime. After being convicted of first-degree murder in 1969, Sirhan was sentenced to death. However, the punishment was later commuted to life in prison with the possibility for parole in 1972.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón’s office did not oppose Sirhan’s release, standing by a new policy prohibiting prosecutors from attending parole hearings.
“The role of a prosecutor and their access to information ends at sentencing,” a spokesman for Gascón said in a statement. “The parole board’s sole purpose is to objectively determine whether someone is suitable for release. If someone is the same person that committed an atrocious crime, that person will correctly not be found suitable for release.”
Still, two of Kennedy’s sons said they supported parole for Sirhan.
According to the Associated Press, Douglas Kennedy, who was a toddler when his father was killed, “told a two-person board panel that he was moved to tears by Sirhan’s remorse and that the 77-year-old should be released if he’s not a threat to others.”
“I’m overwhelmed just be being able to view Mr. Sirhan face to face,” he reportedly said. “I’ve lived my life both in fear of him and his name in one way or another. And I’m grateful today to see him as a human being worthy of compassion and love.”
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who was 14 when his father died, submitted a letter to the parole board advocating for Sirhan’s release.
“While nobody can speak definitively on behalf of my father, I firmly believe that based on his own consuming commitment to fairness and justice, that he would strongly encourage this board to release Mr. Sirhan because of Sirhan’s impressive record of rehabilitation,” the letter said.
In 2018, Kennedy Jr. said he visited Sirhan in prison and believed a second gunman could have killed his father.
More details from the AP:
The Los Angeles Police Department, relatives of some of the victims and members of the public submitted letters opposing Sirhan’s release, Parole Board Commissioner Robert Barton said at the start of Friday’s proceeding, held virtually with Sirhan appearing on camera from a San Diego County prison.
“We don’t have a DA here, but I have to consider all sides,” Barton said, noting it would consider arguments made in the past by prosecutors opposing his release, depending on their relevance.
Sirhan’s lawyer, Angela Berry, said the board should base its decision on who Sirhan is today and not what he did more than 50 years ago. She said he is not a threat to the public.
“I would never put myself in jeopardy again,” Sirhan told the panel on Friday. “You have my pledge. I will always look to safety and peace and non-violence.”
Dozens of students enrolled in a school district in San Diego County, California, are reportedly stuck in the Middle East as the U.S. military accelerates plans to evacuate forces from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan by the end of the month.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, “At least 24 students from the Cajon Valley Union School District in El Cajon and 16 parents are stranded in Afghanistan after taking a summer trip abroad.” According to the outlet, “Cajon Valley Supt. David Miyashiro told school district board members via text message Tuesday that he and other Cajon Valley staff met virtually with U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Bonsall) and his staff about the situation.”
“Congressman Issa and his staff are working diligently to determine the facts on the ground, any bureaucratic barriers that can be removed, and the best ways to help those stranded leave Afghanistan and return home safely,” a staffer from Issa’s office said in an email to the Union-Tribune. “We won’t stop until we have answers and action.”
An ABC 7 report said the students were currently in Kabul with their parents after visiting extended relatives “on a non-school-sanctioned trip.” When the Taliban took control, some were already en route to the airport.
Jo Alegria, a member of the Cajon Valley School Board, said the district was trying to help expedite the students and their families’ return to America after they could not get to the airport for their scheduled flights.
Multiple families on special visas for U.S. military service reportedly contacted Mike Serban, who heads the Family and Children Engagement (FACE) program, which works with refugee families with children enrolled in the district’s 28 schools. Parents were concerned that students “would lose a seat in the classroom,” according to the Union-Tribune.
“They reached out specifically to us to find out (if we could) hold a spot for them in school,” Serban told ABC. “We said absolutely, it’s the least we can do to ease any of your stress.”
Serban told CBS8 News that the families were “trying to find their way to the airport or on an airplane.”
“We’re working really closely with our federal government officials in reaching out to them, to make connections, to get the two connected so that the federal government knows who’s there and how they can support them to get them back here to the United States,” Serban said.
President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the U.S. was on pace to withdraw from Afghanistan by August 31, a deadline a Taliban spokesman said would not be extended.
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A federal appeals court denied President Joe Biden’s plea to block the reinstatement of former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy that kept migrants in Mexico while awaiting their asylum hearings rather than releasing them into the interior of the United States.
Last week, Trump-appointed Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk ordered the Biden administration to reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), commonly known as Remain in Mexico, after it ended the program in June and started releasing thousands of MPP migrants into the U.S.
Biden’s DHS appealed the permanent injunction by Kacsmaryk, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to issue a stay blocking the injunction. On Thursday, Judge Jennifer Elrod, appointed by former President George W. Bush, along with Judges Andy Oldham and Cory Wilson, both appointed by Trump, denied Biden’s request.
Elrod, Oldham, and Wilson write that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas failed to weigh the impact on border states that ending Remain in Mexico would have. Likewise, the court asserts that Texas, in particular, is harmed by the elimination of Remain in Mexico.
The three-judge panel writes:
DHS “failed to address whether there was ‘legitimate reliance’ on” MPP. In its seven-page June 1 Memorandum, DHS does not directly mention any reliance interests, especially those of the States. The closest the June 1 Memorandum gets is a reference to “the impact [terminating MPP] could have on border management and border communities.” But the Memorandum makes clear that “border communities” do not include border states. And the vague reference to “border management” is insufficient to show specific, meaningful consideration of the States’ reliance interests. [Emphasis added]
In response, the Government concedes that it failed to consider the States’ reliance interests. But it argues that is irrelevant because “the States have no cognizable reliance interest in a discretionary program.”We reject that argument for several reasons. [Emphasis added]
As the Supreme Court explained, “[w]hen an agency changes course, … it must be cognizant that longstanding policies may have engendered serious reliance interests that must be taken into account.” Those reliance interests included states’ interests. So if the termination of DACA — a discretionary, immigration program — must consider states’ “potential reliance interests,” then so does termination of MPP. That is particularly true here because the district court found as a matter of fact — and the Government does not contest — that states like Texas face fiscal harm from the termination of MPP. [Emphasis added]
The court also found that Mayorkas’ ending of Remain in Mexico “failed to consider DHS’s prior factual findings on MPP’s benefits.”
“In its October 2019 Assessment of MPP, DHS found that ‘aliens without meritorious claims—which no longer constitute[d] a free ticket into the United States—[were] beginning to voluntarily return home,’” the New Orleans-based court writes:
DHS also found thatMPP addressed the “perverse incentives” created by allowing “those with nonmeritorious claims … [to] remain in the country for lengthy periods of time.” These benefits, DHS emphasized, were a “core component” or “cornerstone” of the agency’s prior immigration policy. [Emphasis added]
Nonetheless, the June 1 Memorandum did not expressly mention, let alone meaningfully discuss, DHS’s prior factual findings. Instead, the Secretary changed policies based on his own findings that contradict DHS’s October 2019 findings. But an agency must provide “a more detailed justification” when a “new policy rests upon factual findings that contradict those which underlay its prior policy.” The Secretary did not provide the required “more detailed justification.” This further indicates that the termination of MPP was arbitrary and capricious. [Emphasis added]
The court states that DHS, in following federal statute, “can parole an alien” into the U.S. on a case-by-case basis, can release an alien on bail or conditional parole while they await deportation proceedings, or hold them in federal custody.
“What the Government cannot do, the district court held, is simply release every alien described in § 1225 en masse into the United States,” the appellate court writes:
The Government has not pointed to a single word anywhere in the [Immigration and Nationality Act] that suggests it can do that. And the Government cannot claim an irreparable injury from being enjoined against an action that it has no statutory authorization to take. [Emphasis added]
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt first filed their lawsuit challenging Biden’s end to Remain in Mexico in April, arguing that the move spurred “a huge surge of Central American migrants, including thousands of unaccompanied minors, passing through Mexico in order to advance meritless asylum claims at the U.S. border.”
The case is Texas v. Biden, No. 21-10806 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.
As of 2020, FAIR estimates that there are approximately 14.5 million illegal aliens residing within the United States. This number is marginally higher than FAIR’s previous estimate of 14.3 million in 2019.
Based on FAIR’s most recent comprehensive fiscal cost study, illegal aliens are likely imposing a net fiscal burden of at least $133.7 billion. That’s an increase of nearly $2 billion over the past year.
Despite these alarming figures, the increase in the illegal alien population grew at a lower-than-expected rate. This can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including:
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic. As many as 60 percent of all new illegal aliens in any given year are those who have overstayed visas. Thanks to a timely travel freeze implemented by the Trump administration to stop the spread of the virus, far fewer people entered the United States in recent months, so far fewer people had the opportunity to overstay their visas. Additionally, with fewer available jobs in the United States, especially in industries that attract illegal aliens, traffic at the southern border slowed significantly for several months during a time of year when apprehensions typically increase significantly.
The implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Prior to this program, there was a dramatic increase in fraudulent asylum claims made by illegal aliens trying to enter the United States for purely economic reasons. Thousands of these asylum applicants would be released into the United States, then never show up for their hearings. The MPP requires that many asylum applicants wait outside the United States while their case is processed, providing they have a safe country that will host them, such as Mexico.
Several issues persist that continue to drive illegal aliens into the United States or encourage them to stay here. These include:
An increasing number of sanctuary jurisdictions throughout the United States, where local and state law enforcement are prohibited from cooperating with federal immigration law enforcement.
Many corporations continue to exploit illegal labor to lower labor costs and pad their profits.
An increasing number of states and jurisdictions offering social welfare programs and other benefits to illegal aliens, including in-state tuition, driver’s licenses, and even COVID-19 relief funds.
A massively backlogged immigration court system.
The promise of a wide-sweeping amnesty from the incoming administration.
President-elect Joe Biden pledges to dramatically decrease immigration enforcement, remove methods of deterrence, and offer amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Due to these promises, FAIR projects that the illegal alien population under a Biden administration will increase dramatically. More information can be found about President-elect Biden’s plans to dramatically increase legal and illegal immigration in FAIR’s report “By the Numbers: How the Biden/Harris Immigration Platform Will Fuel a Staggering Increase of Immigrants and Population Growth.”
Difficulty in Estimating the Illegal Alien Population
Estimating the size, distribution, and characteristics of the illegal alien population is an inexact science. The methods used by those claiming to have calculated a definitive figure should be viewed skeptically due to the fact that there is no completely reliable source of information on illegal aliens. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) only (loosely) counts foreign nationals who enter and leave the United States in a lawful manner. In truth, we do not know exactly how many people cross the border unlawfully and evade immigration authorities. We can only estimate these figures based on how many individuals U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) believe slip through their detection.
Most current estimates regarding the total number of illegal aliens are based on U.S. Census Bureau data or survey data collected by private research organizations. Far too many of these studies presume that nearly all unlawful migrants respond to demographic questionnaires and that they provide accurate information to federal census agents. As people whose very presence in the United States is an ongoing violation of law, many illegal aliens understandably see no personal value in revealing any information about their legal status. Therefore, when asked about how, when, and why they entered the United States, illegal aliens have a strong motive to either lie, claiming they are lawful migrants or citizens, or refuse to respond at all.
Indeed, there are few mechanisms in place to verify the accuracy of the information respondents provide. Because of this, the Census Bureau’s weighted results from the “American Community Survey” (ACS) can vary by millions, depending on what information is requested and how questions are phrased. Because of this, it is important to not solely rely on Census-related information.
How We Reached our Estimate
To determine FAIR’s estimate of the total number of illegal aliens in the United States, we first calculated an approximate total number of all foreign-born residents currently presumed to be living here. In order to do this, we first analyzed the latest relevant information available from the Census Bureau’s 2018 ACS.
Again, it’s important to realize that the ACS does not capture the entire illegal alien population in the United States. In the past, most reputable research organizations have considered a raw calculation based on ACS data to be anywhere from 15-35 percent lower than the actual suspected total illegal alien population. This is also in line with the most recent estimates from the federal government. However, most research organizations that produce estimates of the illegal alien population are pro-mass migration, and they dishonestly purport that ACS data is fully accurate in order to create a false impression that the illegal alien population in the United States is smaller than it really is.
So, after we subtracted the total number of lawfully present migrants in the country from the total foreign-born population to reach our base illegal alien population, we assume that this total is underestimated by approximately 30 percent. We then estimated the net number of illegal aliens suspected to have entered the country since 2018. We do this by applying estimates from CBP, ICE, and other federal agencies regarding how many illegal aliens successfully enter the country balanced against how many are apprehended and deported. Finally, after combining these two numbers, we reached our estimate of 14.5 million.
Who is an Illegal Alien?
An illegal alien is anyone who:
Entered the United States without authorization, or
Anyone who unlawfully remained in the United States once their authorized time of stay expired.
It is important to define exactly who is and is not an illegal alien because many organizations deliberately misclassify some illegal aliens in a dishonest effort to portray that population as smaller than it is in reality. Many organizations and mainstream media sources incorrectly classify unaccompanied alien minors (UAMs), recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and/or those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) as being lawfully present in the United States.
Such classifications are inaccurate. Individuals who have been granted any form of deferred action or who have received TPS have not been granted “lawful status.” Rather, federal immigration authorities have acknowledged their unlawful presence and have opted to defer their removal from the country temporarily. These types of limited relief from removal are subject to revocation or rescission in a wide variety of circumstances.
FAIR offers a detailed explanation of who should be considered an illegal alien in a study titled “Why ‘Illegal Alien’ is the Correct Term.”
Where Do Illegal Aliens Live in the United States?
Unsurprisingly, illegal aliens tend to live near the United States’ border with Mexico or in states with sanctuary policies that offer welcoming environments and protection from immigration enforcement. The ten states with the largest estimated illegal alien populations account for just under three-fourths (71%) of the national illegal alien total.
However, this is not to suggest that states which hold a comparatively small share of the illegal alien population are unaffected by its negative effects. In fact, as FAIR has pointed out in other studies, illegal immigration often hits these states the hardest.
The following graphics estimate how many illegal aliens reside in each state, as well an estimate for the total number of illegal aliens and their children.
 Basing the total number of foreign-born residents in the United States on responses to the ACS question requesting citizenship information yields a weighted total that is more than two million individuals lower than when the estimate is based on survey questions regarding how long respondents have lived in the country.
 To estimate the total number of lawful migrants in the United States, we examined both data from the ACS and the comprehensive “Yearbook of Immigration Statistics” published annually by the DHS. This is the approach most commonly used by other reputable organizations that produce estimates on this matter. Our totals closely resemble the most commonly reached estimate of roughly 35.2 million.
 As noted earlier in this study, most professional statisticians considered 30 percent to be the most accurate assumption for how many illegal aliens are typically missed by the Census. This is also approximately the figure used by the Federal government in their most recent projections.
Report: Russia, Saudi Arabia Snub Biden; Refuse To Increase Oil Production
Tim Pearce 4 – 5 minutes
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies reportedly plan to reject a petition from the Biden administration to pump more oil into the world market.
OPEC+, a coalition of oil-rich countries led by Russia and Saudi Arabia, believes that there is no need for the cartel to bump up its schedule for planned increases in oil output, according to Reuters. Biden requested last week that OPEC+ countries increase output to aid the global economic recovery.
One of the four sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters there was no need to release extra oil more quickly, while another said there was no concern that the planned schedule of increases would leave any demand unmet.
Two other OPEC+ sources said the latest data from OPEC and from the West’s energy watchdog – the International Energy Agency (IEA) – also indicated there was no need for extra oil.
OPEC+ is an international cartel of major oil producers which includes the 13-nation OPEC and 10 other countries. The cartel came together in 2016 when OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, struck an agreement with a group of non-OPEC countries led by Russia to limit oil production with the goal of influencing the global price of oil.
National security advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement released by the White House last week that OPEC+ should increase its oil output to help drive down prices to help pull the global economy out of a recession caused by widespread government lockdowns and the spread of COVID-19. Sullivan said:
Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery. The price of crude oil has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.
While OPEC+ recently agreed to production increases, these increases will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022. At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough.
President Biden has made clear that he wants Americans to have access to affordable and reliable energy, including at the pump. Although we are not a party to OPEC, the United States will always speak to international partners regarding issues of significance that affect our national economic and security affairs, in public and private. We are engaging with relevant OPEC+ members on the importance of competitive markets in setting prices. Competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery.
The Biden administration’s petition to Russia and Saudi Arabia comes as the White House has pursued an anti-fossil fuel agenda in the United States, shutting down major oil and gas industry projects and pushing greater investment in green energy.
As one of his first acts as president, Biden revoked a permit from the Keystone XL Pipeline project allowing the planned pipeline to cross over from Canada into the United States. Biden’s action effectively killed the pipeline, costing thousands of jobs. If completed, the pipeline would have shipped over 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
In June, Biden suspended oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s 1002 area, a massive oil preserve located in Alaska. Former President Donald Trump finalized a plan to open the area to oil development in 2020 after decades of Alaskan officials lobbying the federal government.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown is speaking out about anti-cop rhetoric in the wake of a shooting that left one police officer dead and another in critical condition.
Brown made the comments in a press conference announcing that three individuals have been arrested and charged in connection with the shooting: two brothers who were allegedly directly involved with the shooting and a third person who is suspected of supplying the brothers with an illegal weapon.
“’I think that the people of Chicago need to pray, not only for the recovery of our officer who is fighting for his life’ but also for other officers on the street doing the job, Brown said, lamenting what he called low support for the police from the public and members of the media, who often focus on police reform issues and not acts of heroism,” the Chicago Tribune said late Monday.
“It’s past time to stop this, you know, imbalanced treatment of police officers here in Chicago and everywhere in this country,” Brown added. “We’re flawed. Just like the media gallery is flawed. Just like every profession in our country is flawed. But they go down dark alleys none of you would go down to protect you.”
Brown said that investigators do not yet know why Officer Ella French and her partner pulled over an SUV on Chicago’s south side Friday night around 9 pm.
Body came footage “shows the three occupants were out or in the process of being taken out of the vehicle when [first suspect] Eric Morgan ran, leading one officer to chase and apprehend him nearby,” according to Chicago police sources who spoke to the outlet. “The second suspect, Emonte Morgan, pulled away from French and made a move back toward the inside of the vehicle. As the officers tried to apprehend him, he allegedly fired a gun, striking both officers.”
Morgan was wounded in the altercation. Both officers were also wounded. French died of her injuries at a nearby hospital. Her partner is still recovering but his condition is reportedly improving.
“Emonte Morgan, 21, is charged with first-degree murder in Saturday’s fatal shooting of 29-year-old officer Ella French, as well as attempted murder and other charges,” Fox News added. “His brother, 22-year-old Eric Morgan, faces charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and obstruction of justice.”
Federal prosecutors have also charged an “Indiana man who allegedly told investigators he was in a relationship with one of the brothers, with straw-purchasing the gun that was ultimately used to kill French,” per the Tribune. The suspect gave the weapon to one of the Morgan brothers after buying it under “false pretenses” in Indiana.
French was the first Chicago Police Officer killed in the line of duty since 2018, and the first female cop to lose her life on the job since the late 1990s.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been largely silent on the incident since Monday, after a group of officers, standing watch over their colleague outside his hospital room, turned their back on the mayor when she paid a visit to the recovering officer.
“Lightfoot was given the cold shoulder by CPD rank and file about midnight Saturday at the University of Chicago Medical Center when she approached them on the 7th floor as they grappled with the shootings of two fellow officers,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported, per The Daily Wire. “Just moments before about 30 officers turned their backs on the mayor, Lightfoot tried to talk to the male officer’s father, who himself is a retired Chicago police officer. He clearly wanted nothing to do with Lightfoot, according to two sources who were there. The father excoriated the mayor and blamed her for what had happened.”
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member. Read more in:
…Eric Morgan, 22, charged with 2 felony gun counts and obstruction of justice connected to the shooting death of Chicago Police Officer Ella French and the wounding of her partner. Seen a 2018 mugshot from Wisconsin and CPD bodycamera image from Saturday's traffic stop. pic.twitter.com/ODnbektBUZ
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard