Mexico, U.S. Express Cautious Optimism on NAFTA Deal

Mexico, U.S. Express Cautious Optimism on NAFTA Deal

Feb 17, 2018

By Anthony Esposito and Lesley Wroughton MEXICO CITY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top U.S. and Mexican officials on Thursday expressed cautious optimism that the North American Free Trade Agreement will be renegotiated, speaking ahead of the next round of trade talks later this month. Asked on local television whether it was more likely the $1.2 trillion trilateral trade pact would survive or die, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said there was cause for optimism, though Mexico should be prepared for all eventualities. “We should be prepared for a future with or without NAFTA,” he said. In Washington, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said it was a priority for the Trump administration to renegotiate NAFTA, declining to speculate on the consequences if the United States withdraws from talks. The seventh round of negotiations in Mexico City will take place Feb. 25 thru March 5, starting and ending a day earlier than initially planned. There is a “window of opportunity” for concluding the talks in March or April, said Moises Kalach, head of the international negotiating arm of Mexico’s CCE business lobby. “That’s the objective,” Kalach told reporters.   Click here for full article on https://money.usnews.com/ Source: https://money.usnews.com  ...

PEP and INM capture two American citizens wanted for human trafficking

PEP and INM capture two American citizens wanted for human trafficking

Feb 15, 2018

MEXICALI BC, February 14, 2018. – As a result of two simultaneous migratory verification operations implemented by the International Liaison Coordination of the State Preventive Police (PEP) and the National Institute of Migration (INM) in Mexicali and Tecate, the arrest of two people wanted by the US justice for the crime of human trafficking was achieved. The first arrest was made when agents of both corporations mounted a surveillance filter on Luís Echeverría Street, in colonia Nationalista, and stopped a woman who showed great nervousness and identified herself as Alicia Anahí “N “, 23 years old, originally from Roswell, New Mexico, United States. After entering her name and description in the database of the Control, Command, Communication and Computing Center (C4), an operator reported that the woman had an arrest warrant for human trafficking and was wanted by the US Marshall, so she was immediately detained. Later on, in another inspection point at Calle Tamaulipas, Residencial San Jorge, in the city of Tecate BC, agents stopped a man who identified himself as Román “N”, 43 years old. After entering his name and description in the database of C4, it was found that he had an arrest warrant issued in San Diego, California on January for which he was immediately detained. The detainees were placed under custody of the corresponding authorities who will determine their legal status. These actions are the result of the  “Cruzada por la Seguridad, tarea de todos” (“Crusade for Security, everyone’s task”) headed by Governor Francisco Arturo Vega de Lamadrid.         Source:...

U.S. breaks ground on new Mexico embassy

U.S. breaks ground on new Mexico embassy

Feb 15, 2018

The United States broke ground on a new $943 million embassy in Mexico City on Tuesday February 13, a move hailed by officials from both countries as a win for diplomacy after months of tension over President Donald Trump’s plan to build a tall border wall. Officials gathered for a ceremony to mark the start of construction for the sprawling embassy, which is nestled close to the headquarters of Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim, and scheduled for completion in 2022. At the groundbreaking, U.S. Ambassador Roberta Jacobson underscored the importance of the bilateral relationship. “Mexico is one of the United States’ closest and most valued partners,” she said. Alabama’s Caddell Construction Co is handling construction. It was one of six firms that presented the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency with a prototype for Trump’s proposed border wall on the Mexican border. Trump’s rhetoric and policies have strained relations between the two countries. Trump has used the contentious issue of whether to shield from deportation young immigrants known as “Dreamers,” including hundreds of thousands of Mexicans, as a bargaining chip to get funding for the wall project. The influential Mexican newspaper Reforma incorrectly reported last year that the new embassy project had been put on hold indefinitely. Though the March story turned out be wrong, it was indicative of the tense atmosphere surrounding Trump’s early months in office. U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta S. Jacobson (3rd R) and Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera (2nd R) attend a ceremony to place the first stone of the new U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico February 13, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Edgard Garrido) Trump has threatened to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a lynchpin of Mexico’s economy, if he cannot rework it to better benefit American workers and interests. The uncertainty around the future of the $1.2 trillion trade deal has rattled markets and spooked investors. At the ground-breaking ceremony, Slim said he had not seen investment affected. “Investment is continuing. Look at all this. There is no better sign,” he told Reuters, pointing at the construction site. The work on the new diplomatic headquarters in Mexico City comes in the wake of Trump...

Florida school shooting leaves 17 dead and 14 injured

Florida school shooting leaves 17 dead and 14 injured

Feb 15, 2018

A gunman unleashed horror at his former high school in South Florida on Wednesday February 14, authorities said, slaughtering at least 17 unsuspecting students and adults and leaving the country asking why another school massacre has happened yet again. The suspect, Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly gunned down students and staff with a rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland shortly before 3 p.m. after activating a fire alarm, sending people outside unaware of what was to come, officials said. He fired shot after shot outside and then followed others running back inside the building, where people who’d heard the shots were taking shelter, officials said. There, he roamed the halls he knew so well, allegedly targeting those huddled in classrooms and then blending in with the students and staff evacuating the school. He was arrested in the neighboring community of Coral Springs later in the day, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said. Cruz had once been expelled from the high school over disciplinary problems, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said, without providing specifics. The young man now stands accused of committing one of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history. He has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, the sheriff’s office said. At least 14 injured people were in area hospitals Thursday. Deadliest mass shootings in modern US history 01:43 “This has been a day where we’ve seen the worst of humanity. Tomorrow is gonna bring out the best in humanity as we come together to move forward from this unspeakable tragedy,” Runcie said. Former classmates said they were not surprised at the identity of the suspected shooter. Cruz loved showing off guns, student Eddie Bonilla told CNN affiliate WFOR. “We actually, a lot of kids threw jokes around Iike that, saying that he’s the one to shoot up the school, but it turns out everyone predicted it. It’s crazy,” Bonilla recalled. Video shows moment police enter classroom 01:00 Alex Azar also said he remembered Cruz. “He always seemed like the unstable type, the type who would do this sort of thing,” Azar told WFOR. “He was always in trouble. … He had that look to him, kind of sinister.” Investigators identified Cruz...

South Africa drought declared national disaster: T-minus 3 months to Cape Town’s Day Zero

South Africa drought declared national disaster: T-minus 3 months to Cape Town’s Day Zero

Feb 14, 2018

According to South African news website eNCA , on Tuesday February 13, South Africa  declared a “national disaster” over the drought that has ravaged parts of the country and threatens to leave the City of Cape Town absolutely without running tap water. In a notice published in the government gazette, the Department of Co-operative Governance said it had elevated the drought to a “national disaster” after it reassessed its “magnitude and severity”. Last week, Co-operative Governance minister Des van Rooyen said this classification means management of the droughts in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape will move to national government. Van Rooyen said more than R70-million has been allocated to deal with the drought. If the city runs out of water in June, as expected, it will be the first major city in a developed country in the world to do so. At the same time, Day Zero, when Cape Town is expected to run out of water, has been pushed back from May 11 to June 1, the city said in a statement on Tuesday Feb. 13. This is “due to the continued decline in agricultural usage, and also as a result of Capetonians reducing their water usage in co-operation with the City of Cape Town’s efforts to bring down consumption,” it said. Earlier this month, the Groenland Water Users’ Association made 10 billion litres of water available by pumping it into the Steenbras Dam. However, residents have still not reached the daily target of 450 litres per day, which equates to 50 litres per person. Currently, usage stands at 526 million litres per day with dam levels at 24,6 percent. “If we continue to work as a team to lower our consumption to 450 million litres per day as required, we will become known as one of the most resilient cities in the world. We are fast becoming a leading example of a large city that is fundamentally changing its relationship with water,” the city said. “The city will continue to implement pressure management to reduce usage, to install water management devices at the properties of high users and to conduct blitzes to ensure that all water users adhere to the water restrictions. All preparations for the possibility of reaching Day Zero...

Grateful Dead song-writer and internet activist John Perry Barlow dead at 70

Grateful Dead song-writer and internet activist John Perry Barlow dead at 70

Feb 11, 2018

John Perry Barlow, a lyricist who co-wrote dozens of songs for The Grateful Dead, died on Wednesday at the age of 70. A post on the website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group Barlow co-founded in 1990 to promote freedom of expression in digital media, said that he “passed away quietly in his sleep.” Barlow contributed lyrics to many Grateful Dead songs from 1971 until the group disbanded in 1995 following the death of frontman Jerry Garcia. Barlow usually collaborated with singer/guitarist Bob Weir, but also co-wrote with keyboardist Brett Mydland. Among the tunes he helped compose were “Cassidy,” “Heaven Help the Fool,” “Looks Like Rain” and “Mexicali Blues.” In addition, Barlow wrote dozens of songs with Weir for Bob’s various solo projects....