9 Dallas airport employees admit to drug-smuggling plot

Pictured top row (from left) are Ruben Benitez-Matienzo, Jose Luis Gaston-Rolon, Domingo Villafane Martinez, Juan Camacho Melendez, Nelson Pabon, Luis Javier Collazo Rosado, Jean Loui Vargas-Malave, and Joshua Israel Pagan Zapata.  (Dallas County Sheriff’s Dept.) The nine employees believed they were smuggling methamphetamine into commercial airlines for Italian organized crime located in other states from 2016 to 2018. In actuality, the nine employees were part of an FBI undercover operation. The methamphetamine was fake. During the detention hearing, Ray Harrison, lead FBI agent in the case, said, “On each transaction the undercovers, who were Italian and portrayed themselves as Italian organized crime figures, pulled out the kilos, showed it to them, counted it, told them it was crystal methamphetamine, and …

Abrams still mulling 2020 bid: ‘I’ll probably jump in myself’ if voter suppression isn’t a top priority for others

(CNN)Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is still weighing a 2020 run for president, she said in an interview Thursday, once again teasing a run for a major office in the coming election. “For me, the most important and urgent conversation of the day is the fight for free and fair elections, because I believe that that is an existential crisis facing our democracy,” she said, later adding, “we can not win elections in America for the people if we do not have candidates who are fighting against voter suppression.” Abrams said the ability to maximize turnout and reframe Democrats’ motivation in the 2020 election are key factors for a winning candidate. “We also have to have candidates who are …

South Africa elections: Incoming results suggest ruling ANC set to win diminished majority

Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN)Despite years of corruption allegations, a sluggish economy and sustained electricity blackouts, South Africa’s ruling ANC looks set to win a substantial majority in a critical national election. In the previous election, in 2014, the ANC won with 62% of voter support. The election year before that — 2009 — the party won 66% of the vote. In 2004, it got close to 70% of the vote. The partial results show the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), trailing with just under 22% of the vote — at this stage, their support looks to remain flat — a disappointment result for the official opposition. The election has not been without its hitches. The commission on Thursday …

Trump just raised tariffs on Chinese goods. China says it will hit back

Hong Kong (CNN Business)A trade war between the world’s two largest economies is escalating again, after the United States hit China with higher tariffs and Beijing vowed to retaliate. Reactions in Asia markets were mixed. Having started the day in positive territory, Japan’s Nikkei Index fell nearly 1% in afternoon trading. The Shanghai Composite Index rose more than 2% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up around 1%. A Chinese delegation led by Beijing’s top trade negotiator Vice Premier Liu He arrived in Washington on Thursday for the latest round of trade talks. Under the current circumstances, Liu said he “hopes to engage in rational and candid exchanges with the US side,” Chinese state media outlet Xinhua reported. Liu …

The Republicans taking on Trump in 2020 despite the very, very slim odds

The Republican class of 2020 is serious about defeating the incumbent president even pumping their life savings in their campaigns or quitting their careers Donald Trump won the Republican nomination with ease in 2016, defeating more than a dozen rivals before going on to win the presidential election. Ahead of 2020, all eyes are now on the spectacularly crowded 2020 Democratic primary race. But it is easy to forget, or not notice, that Trump will need to beat off 52 Republican challengers, from across the country, if he is to have any chance of a second term. The presidents declared rivals are less vaunted this time round. So far only national name recognition. But the rest of the class of …

‘Case Closed’ On The Mueller Report? Some Republicans Say Not So Fast.

Robert Mueller despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declaring “case closed” Tuesday on the Mueller report and any related probes of the Trump administration. In an address on the Senate floor earlier that day, McConnell argued that pressing forward with Democratic requests for testimony and documents related to the Mueller report would needlessly divide the country. “This ought to be good news for everyone. But my Democratic colleagues seem to be publicly working through the five stages of grief,” he added, describing the Democrats as having an “absolute meltdown” over Mueller’s decision not to recommend bringing charges against President Donald Trump. But some rank-and-file GOP senators said they’d like to hear the special counsel testify anyway so that he …

Liverpool stun Barcelona: Where does Champions League ‘classic’ rank in competition’s great games?

(CNN)Few gave Liverpool a chance against Barcelona ahead of their Champions League semifinal against Barcelona on Tuesday. “We played against maybe the best team in world,” Klopp told BT Sport. “Winning is difficult, but winning with a clean sheet, I don’t know how they did it. “Divock and Shaq didn’t play a lot. Putting a performance in like that, it was so important. It shows what’s possible in football. It’s so nice. It’s really nice. “I saw James Milner crying on the pitch after the game. It means so much to all of us.” But how does Liverpool’s remarkable victory rank against the competition’s greatest and most memorable matches? Here’s a look back at some of the best. Obviously, the …

Arizona Lawmakers Liken Porn To Poison, Declare It A Public Health Crisis

In a 16-13 vote, the Arizona State Senate “Pornography is a crisis leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts,” the The measure, first introduced by Rep. Michelle Udall (R), also states that pornography normalizes violence against women and children, in addition to “increasing the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution and child pornography.” State Sen. Sylvia Allen (R) said porn is the “root problem” of many other issues facing society today.  told Arizona Central. said the bill will have zero impact during her response on the Senate floor.  Although pornography often depicts sexual violence, it does have its benefits. Porn is often used as a safe and accessible tool for people to test out different fantasies and …

Appeals court allows Trump’s policy of returning some asylum seekers to Mexico to continue for now

(CNN)A federal appeals court is allowing the Trump administration to continue returning some asylum seekers to Mexico for the duration of their immigration hearings, for now. During oral arguments in late April, the three-judge panel — made up of two judges appointed by Democratic presidents and one appointed by a Republican — grappled with whether the policy should be allowed to continue, diving into technical matters and raising concerns about the process itself without providing much indication about where they stood on the policy overall. Judge Paul J. Watford, who had expressed skepticism about the process, relayed those concerns again in his concurring opinion. “In my view, DHS has adopted procedures so ill-suited to achieving that stated goal as to …

Democratic congressman says he is ‘ready’ to throw Barr in jail

Washington (CNN)A Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee said Tuesday he does not want to throw Attorney General William Barr in jail but is “ready to do so.” Doggett is one of the more liberal members of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Democratic leadership of that committee has requested the IRS turn over the last six years of Trump’s tax returns. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected that request on Monday on advice from the Department of Justice, which is headed up by Barr. Doggett said the tactics being used by Trump to block House Democrats’ investigations makes it seem like he’s “almost begging for impeachment.” “I don’t think it’s time to go there at this …