Authorities in the western Ukrainian region of Vinnytsya ordered an evacuation early on Saturday, saying an infrastructure site had been struck in a Russian attack.
“At this time there is no need for a general evacuation, apart from the immediate area around the site of the hit, said Vasyl Polishchuk, head of administration for the town of Kalynivka, according to the town’s website.
It did not say what target had been struck or what weapon had been used. Regional Governor Serhiy Borzov had reported the hit on an unspecified infrastructure site, a term Ukrainian officials sometimes use to refer to facilities involved in power generation or other industries.
Earlier reports said drones had been operating in the area.
Migrants were stranded in Mexico on Friday miles from the U.S. border after the freight train they were traveling on top of abruptly stopped, amid the ongoing suspension of dozens of northbound trains over fears around migrant safety.
Hundreds of migrants were seen by a Reuters witness aboard a stationary train in a desert-like area near Villa Ahumada, some 123 km (76.43 miles) from the border town of Ciudad Juarez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
“They’re treating us like animals,” said Sasha Pacheco, who was on the stationary train, surrounded by her family including an infant.
“We’re in a desert, there’s only one tree… we’re just an hour (from our destination), but it would take a day walking with a baby.
“Why would they take us if they’re going to do this to us?” she asked, adding that there were no options to get buses or taxis from their current spot.
Sixty northbound cargo trains run by Mexico’s Ferromex were stopped last week, after about half a dozen migrants suffered death or injury. The company later said it restarted some routes where there was no known “heightened risk.”
Banners on the side of the train stopped in Villa Ahumada read, “Thank you Ferromex,” put up by migrants who had been initially grateful that the trains had begun the journey.
Grupo Mexico, which owns Ferromex, could not immediately be reached about the sudden train stoppage with migrants aboard near Villa Ahumada.
Earlier in the day, a spokesperson said they had no additional updates to share about the exact number of trains still stopped.
“Concentrations of migrants continue to be monitored, and trains are moved, ensuring continuity of traffic, but avoiding high risks for people and for operations,” they said.
Venezuelan migrant Marlon Vera, who’d been traveling for two months, told Reuters that the train he was traveling on had stopped for several days before being halted once again near Villa Ahumada.
“We’re here… without food, water, facing the cold, the heat,” he said.
The stoppage of trains in the past week has caused around $1 billion worth of goods to be stuck at the border.
Meanwhile, further east, in the border city of Piedras Negras that sits opposite Eagle Pass, Texas, Venezuelan migrant Jose Julian said on Friday he had similarly been stranded while traveling aboard the cargo trains.
He said he had climbed aboard a freight train along with some 2,000 other migrants in Monterrey several days ago, but somewhere past Torreon, the train stopped.
“They left us in the middle of the desert,” he said, speaking on the banks of the Rio Grande river. “They didn’t care that there were children.”
He said it took 10 hours on foot to reach the next town, and in total three days to make it to the border.
For years, migrants trying to reach the United States have crisscrossed Mexico on cargo trains. Collectively, such trains have become known as “La Bestia,” (The Beast), for the risks riding via rail represented.
Serbia deployed sophisticated tanks and artillery on the frontier after deadly clashes erupted at a monastery in northern Kosovo last week, the White House said.
The violence in which a Kosovo policeman and three Serb gunmen were killed marked one of the gravest escalations for years in Kosovo, a former Serbian breakaway province.
“We are monitoring a large Serbian military deployment along the border with Kosovo,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. “That includes an unprecedented staging of advanced Serbian artillery, tanks, mechanized infantry units.”
“We believe that this is a very destabilizing development,” he said. “We are calling on Serbia to withdraw those forces from the border.”
The buildup happened within the past week, but its purpose was not yet clear, Kirby said.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had telephoned Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to urge an “immediate de-escalation and a return to dialogue.”
And White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke to Kosovo’s prime minister.
Serbia’s Vucic did not directly deny there had been a recent buildup but rejected claims that his country’s forces were on alert.
“I have denied untruths where they talk about the highest level of combat readiness of our forces, because I simply did not sign that and it is not accurate,” Vucic told reporters. “We don’t even have half the troops we had two or three months ago.”
Serbia said on Wednesday that the defense minister and head of the armed forces had gone to visit a “deployment zone” but gave no further details.
The clashes on Sunday began when heavily armed Serb gunmen ambushed a patrol a few kilometers from the Serbian border, killing a Kosovo police officer.
Several dozen assailants then barricaded themselves at an Orthodox monastery, sparking an hourlong firefight in which three gunmen were killed and three were arrested.
Kosovo’s government has accused Belgrade of backing the entire operation. A member of a major Kosovo Serb political party admitted to leading the gunmen, his lawyer said Friday.
Kirby said the attack had a “very high level of sophistication,” involving around 20 vehicles, “military-grade” weapons, equipment and training.
“It’s worrisome,” he said. “It doesn’t look like just a bunch of guys who got together to do this.”
Peacekeeping force expected to grow
NATO would be “increasing its presence” of its peacekeeping force known as KFOR following the attack, Kirby added.
In Brussels, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that the U.S.-led alliance was ready to boost the force to deal with the situation.
Kosovo broke away from Serbia in a bloody war in 1998-99 and declared independence in 2008 — a status Belgrade and Moscow have refused to recognize.
It has long seen strained relations between its ethnic Albanian majority and Serb minority, which have escalated in recent months in northern Kosovo.
The chief executives of GM and Ford blasted United Auto Workers leaders on Friday, and UAW chief Shawn Fain responded in kind, hours after the union escalated the strike that is now in its third week.
Fain on Friday expanded the first-ever simultaneous strike against the Detroit Three, ordering workers to walk off the job at Ford’s Chicago assembly plant and GM’s (GM.N) Lansing, Michigan, assembly plant. He said Stellantis was spared after last-minute concessions by the Chrysler parent.
“It’s clear that there is no real intent to get to an agreement,” GM CEO Mary Barra said late Friday, while Ford CEO Jim Farley said the union was holding a deal “hostage” over a dispute over future electric vehicle battery plants. The UAW responded on social media that neither CEO had attended bargaining this week.
“And yet, Barra and Farley made a combined $50 million dollars last year,” the union added.
The harshly worded personal statements showed increasing frustration with the pace of negotiations that are entering their third week.
Farley said the UAW demands “could have a devastating impact on our business.” He said the dispute centered around wages and benefits at new electric vehicle battery plants that have yet to start production.
“I don’t know why Jim Farley is lying about the state of negotiations,” Fain said in response. “It could be because he failed to show up for bargaining this week, as he has for most of the past 10 weeks.”
The union and the companies remain far apart on key economic issues and the CEO statements suggested they are not close to resolving many sticking points. Fain has stuck with a demand for 40% pay hikes over a four-year contract, a position supported this week by President Joe Biden. The companies have offered pay hikes of about 20%.
Barra accused Fain of dragging workers into a long, unnecessary strike and trying to “make history for himself” with the action. “Jeopardizing our future is something I will not do,” Barra added.
The union continued its deliberate approach to the strike, choosing to walk out of just two additional assembly plants – rather than the sweeping impact of a walkout at the Detroit Three’s most profitable plants that make pickup trucks.
In addition, the union is trying to conserve a limited strike fund that may be strained by additional strikes at Mack Trucks facilities and Detroit-area casinos that are also represented by the UAW.
“The strike costs the union a lot of money. It’s $500 per worker per week. With the additional 7,000 (workers walking out) we are talking about over $12 million a week out of the strike fund,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at AutoForecast Solutions.
Fain said differences with Ford include retirement benefits and job guarantees.
The total number on picket lines has grown to 25,000, or about 17% of the union’s members at the three automakers.
Rather than the hammer blow of a mass walkout it has wielded historically, the UAW is strategically playing the companies against each other, using reprieves from expansion of work stoppages as encouragement with different automakers the last two weeks.
Workers on Friday walked out of the Ford assembly plant in Chicago that builds the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs, as well as the GM plant in Lansing that makes the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave SUVs.
Farley said the union’s decision to expand walkouts at Ford threatened thousands of supplier jobs. He added many suppliers are “on a knife’s edge” because a more than two-week strike at the Michigan factory that builds Bronco SUVs and Ranger trucks.
Farley said the UAW chief was holding a deal hostage to the fate of electric vehicle battery plants, including three that Ford is building with outside companies and one it has planned to own itself in Marshall, Michigan. The UAW wants those workers represented by the union and paid the highest-tier wages.
Ford is now reconsidering the size and scope of the $3.5 billion Marshall battery plant in part because of uncertainty over labor costs, Farley said.
Stellantis also blamed the UAW for the failure to reach a new contract.
GM said in an earlier email to employees that it still has not received a comprehensive counteroffer to its Sept. 21 proposal. “Calling more strikes is just for the headlines, not real progress,” the company said.
Stellantis (STLAM.MI), which was spared an additional walkout, said: “We have made progress in our discussions, but gaps remain. We are committed to continue working through these issues in an expeditious manner.”
Fain said that moments before he was due to address members at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), Stellantis made significant changes in its proposal. That led to a half-hour delay in his announcement, and spared Stellantis from escalation.
Fain cited progress with Stellantis around cost of living allowance payments, as well as right to strike over product commitments and plant closures. Talks continue at all three companies.
Arthur Wheaton, director of labor studies at Cornell University, said: “What Shawn Fain wanted is a tit for tat: If you’re good for us at the table, we won’t mess with you. If you’re bad with us at the table, we will escalate the strike.”
The UAW has ratcheted up pressure over the past two weeks. Workers went on strike on Sept. 15 at one plant each from GM, Ford and Stellantis. The union escalated on Sept. 22, when workers walked off the job at GM and Stellantis distribution facilities in 20 states nationwide.
UAW workers also are threatening to walk off the job at heavy truck maker Mack Trucks on Sunday, and at three Detroit casinos. A UAW strike has shut down a plant that builds axles for Mercedes-Benz’s Alabama vehicle factory.
A New Mexico man was charged with attempted murder for shooting a demonstrator at a protest over plans to reinstall a statue of a Spanish conquistador outside a civic complex in northern New Mexico, police said.
Twenty-three-year-old Ryan Martinez of Sandia Park was arrested on Thursday after he shot a 42-year-old man while attempting to disrupt the peaceful protest outside county offices in Espanola, state police said in a statement.
The return of the statue of 16th-century colonial ruler Juan de Onate was planned for Thursday but postponed by Rio Arriba County officials due to security concerns. The bronze was taken down in 2020 during nationwide anti-racism protests to topple monuments to European colonizers and Confederate officials.
The wounded man, a Hopi Native man from Seattle, Washington, was in critical condition at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque awaiting surgery, said Mateo Peixinho, an organizer for the protest rally.
A public defender assigned to Martinez did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“We strongly believe this fits the definition of a hate crime and domestic terrorism due to the fact that he was wearing a MAGA (Make America Great Again) hat and displaying instigating behavior all morning,” Peixinho said in a statement.
Police said Martinez jumped a low wall and got into a scuffle with protesters before he pulled a handgun from his waistband, fired one shot and fled.
It was the latest violence around statues to Onate, the area’s first colonial ruler, erected in New Mexico in the 1990s to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Spaniards.
A statue protester was shot in 2020 by a counter protester as demonstrators tried to pull down an Onate monument in Albuquerque, the state’s largest city.
U.S. presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will announce he is running as an independent instead of pursuing his long-shot bid to oust President Joe Biden as the Democratic Party nominee, a shift that could complicate the 2024 election.
Anti-vaccine activist Kennedy, a member of a storied U.S. political dynasty, posted a video on YouTube on Friday asking Americans to join him for a “major announcement” in Philadelphia on Oct. 9.
“I’ll be speaking about a sea change in American politics,” he said, decrying corruption in “both parties.”
“How are we going to win against the established Washington interests?” he asks. “It’s not through playing the game” by the current rules, he said.
Kennedy is nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963, and the son of former U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968 during his own presidential bid.
Kennedy said in April he would challenge Biden for the Democratic nomination to run against the Republican nominee, expected to be former President Donald Trump.
Since then, Kennedy has complained that the Democratic Party has “essentially merged into one unit” with the Biden campaign, denying him a fair shot in the nominating contest. Several opinion polls put Biden way ahead of Kennedy in single digit percentages or low double digits.
Kennedy’s plan to run as an independent instead was first reported by Mediaite, a politics website.
Asked about the report, Kennedy’s campaign emailed Reuters a link to Kennedy’s video.
Democrats have expressed concern that any third-party bid could draw votes away from Biden, 80, who faces concerns about the economy and his age in an expected rematch against the Republican frontrunner and presumed nominee Trump, 77.
However, Republicans like Kennedy more than Democrats do by a wide margin, opinion polling compiled by FiveThirtyEight showed, suggesting Trump’s campaign could be impacted as well. Trump faces four criminal prosecutions, including charges he illegally tried to overturn Biden’s 2020 election victory, and his campaign is bleeding cash for legal expenses.
An accused former street gang leader was arrested on Friday on a charge of murder in the Las Vegas shooting death of hip-hop star Tupac Shakur nearly three decades ago, marking a breakthrough for a long-unsolved case that was a defining moment in the history of rap music.
A grand jury in Clark County, Nevada, returned an indictment charging Duane “Keffe D” Davis with one count of murder with a deadly weapon for his alleged role in leading a group of men to kill Shakur in a 1996 drive-by shooting near the Las Vegas strip.
Authorities described Davis as the “shot caller” of a hurried plot to avenge the beating of his nephew, Orlando Anderson, inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena by members of Shakur’s entourage on the night of Sept. 7, 1996, not long before the shooting.
“He orchestrated the plan that was carried out to commit this crime,” Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant Jason Johansson said at a news conference.
Police showed hotel security footage of several men kicking and punching a person they identified as Anderson near a bank of elevators before security personnel broke up the altercation. One of those seen attacking Anderson was identified as Marion “Suge” Knight, co-founder and then-CEO of Los Angeles-based Death Row Records, which produced Shakur’s records.
That incident, Johansson said, led to “the retaliatory shooting death of Tupac Shakur.”
After obtaining a gun from an unnamed associate, Davis, along with Anderson and two other men, Terrence Brown and Deandre Smith, boarded a white Cadillac and rode off to locate the black BMW that Knight had driven away from the hotel with Shakur as his passenger.
When Davis and the others caught up to Shakur and Knight’s vehicle, shots were fired from the Cadillac into the passenger side of the BMW. Shakur, struck four times, died in a hospital six days later at the age of 25.
Knight, who was grazed in the head by a bullet fragment but suffered only minor injuries, was sent to prison the following month for violating terms of his probation in a previous assault case when he was caught taking part in the MGM melee.
Authorities did not say who actually fired the gun at Shakur. The other three men who were in the Cadillac with Davis, including his nephew, are all since deceased, they said.
A rival “gangsta” rap star from the New York-based label Bad Boy Records, Christopher Wallace, was shot to death in Los Angeles in March 1997 in a murder that still remains unsolved.
Wallace, who performed as Notorious B.I.G., had become embroiled in an escalating East Coast-West Coast rap feud before his death, and his killing was rumored to have been a possible act of retaliation for Shakur’s murder months earlier.
Johansson said the violence at the MGM stemmed from animosity between two rival Los Angeles-area street gangs – the South Side Compton Crips, of which Duane was the reputed leader, and Mob Piru, with which Death Row Records and Knight were closely affiliated.
Members of both groups were in Las Vegas the night of the killing to attend a world heavyweight title boxing match between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon.
Johansson said detectives had pieced together most of the circumstances and people involved in the series of events that led to the shooting in the first few months of their investigation, but they long lacked “the necessary evidence to bring this case forward and present it for criminal charges.”
The case was “reinvigorated” in 2018 by “Davis’s own admissions to his involvement in this homicide investigation that he provided to numerous different media outlets.”
Davis had admitted in interviews and in his 2019 memoir, “Compton Street Legend,” that he was in the Cadillac from which gunfire had erupted during the shooting.
That sparked a renewed push by police to solve the case, with a concerted wave of witness interviews and evidence collection that led investigators to obtain a search warrant for Davis’ home in July. Additional evidence uncovered there paved the way for the indictment, Johansson said.
Davis was arrested outside his home on Friday morning and was in police custody, prosecutors said. Reuters was unable to reach Davis and it was not immediately clear whether he had secured legal representation.
Shakur, an influential performer widely regarded as one of rap music’s greatest artists, was also one of its most commercially successful, selling more than 75 million records worldwide.
He was best known for raw lyrics laced with violence, sex and profanity describing life in the ghetto. His album “All Eyez on Me,” released shortly before his death, celebrated his own outlaw image.
Beloved by his fans and detested by politicians for songs that sometimes celebrated violence and misogyny, Shakur was no stranger to trouble, having spent much of the last two and a half years of his life in and out of court, jail or hospitals.
Shakur, who became arguably more popular in death than in life, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.
Knight, his producer, pleaded no contest in a Los Angeles courtroom in September 2018 to a charge of manslaughter for a 2015 hit-and-run killing in Compton, accepting a 28-year prison sentence under a deal with prosecutors days before his murder trial was to begin.
Earlier this week a New York judge issued a “financial death sentence” for Donald Trump, ensuring he’ll be hit with massive financial penalties, including the dissolution of his companies, and the likely seizure and sale of his assets. Now, in a curious bit of timing, Page Six is reporting that Melania Trump has just renegotiated her prenup with Donald Trump.
Page Six says that Melania managed to get Donald to agree to commit to even more money, including a minimum amount of money for Barron Trump. Okay, fine, but the question is what money? Donald Trump’s financial house of cards is about to get the plug pulled on it. He’ll be lucky if he has anything left to his name at all by the time the fraud case plays out.
So what’s really going on here? There’s no way to know for sure. We’ve seen things play out rather differently in other related instances of financial implosion. For instance Rudy Giuliani’s wife quickly divorced him the minute it became clear that his money was all going to be taken, thus allowing her to walk away with her half. But according to Page Six, there’s no talk of divorce when it comes to Donald and Melania Trump.
One hypothetical possibility could be that Melania is waiting until Donald is convicted in his criminal trials before filing for divorce, under the premise that the courts are more likely to side with her and give her what’s in the prenup if her husband is a convicted criminal. But in such case what does she think is going to be left of Donald’s money by then? By that point Donald might be completely penniless – and half of nothing is still nothing.
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