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John Romagnoli
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Biden, Bernie forces clash during convention meeting"Disgusting, disturbing, unacceptable," said Nina Turner, Sanders’ former campaign co-chair.

7/30/2020 9:09:40 PM

Herman Cain dies from coronavirus after being hospitalised following Trump’s Tulsa rallyHerman Cain, a business executive and former Republican presidential candidate, has died after contracting the novel coronavirus. He was 74 years old.The prominent conservative businessman was hospitalised weeks after he attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on 20 June, where he served as a surrogate for the Black Voices for Trump committee.

7/30/2020 9:37:00 AM

South Korean general sacked over defector's returnThe man's departure only came to light when Pyongyang -- which insists it has not had any coronavirus cases -- announced at the weekend that a "runaway" who had returned across the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone was suspected of having the disease. Inter-Korean relations have been in a deep freeze following the collapse of a summit in Hanoi between Kim and US President Donald Trump early last year over what the nuclear-armed North would be willing to give up in exchange for a loosening of sanctions.

7/31/2020 12:10:22 AM

Austin, Texas, joins growing number of U.S. cities in declaring racism a 'public health crisis'Dozens of cities and counties have passed similar declarations in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

7/30/2020 2:18:22 PM

U.S. government to launch 'overwhelming' COVID-19 vaccine campaign by November"The fine line we are walking is getting the American people very excited about vaccines and missing expectations versus having a bunch of vaccines in the warehouse and not as many people want to get it," the official said. "You may not hear a lot about promoting vaccines over the airwaves in August and September but you'll be overwhelmed by it come November." The official cautioned that there is still uncertainty around the timing of when a vaccine will actually be available.

7/30/2020 3:59:08 PM

Did the CIA Torture an Undercover DEA Agent for a Mexican Drug Cartel?Narcos: Mexico’s first two seasons revolve around the 1985 murder of undercover DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was abducted, tortured and slain by the Guadalajara Cartel he was investigating. Mining thrilling drama from reality, the Netflix series is a true story about bravery and villainy that’s overflowing with larger-than-life figures, be it the bold Camarena, the ruthless cartel kingpins Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo and Rafael Caro Quintero, or the resolute DEA agents intent on bringing to justice those responsible for their comrade’s killing—the latter group led by Walt Breslin, a take-no-prisoners American tasked with leading the retaliatory mission against the drug lords.Unlike most of those featured in Netflix’s hit, Walt Breslin isn’t a real person but a composite character based largely on DEA agent Hector Berrellez, the supervisor of the inquiry into Camarena’s assassination. And in Amazon’s new The Last Narc, Berrellez tells his own harrowing tale of taking on Guadalajara’s kingpins—and in the process delivers revelations about the U.S. government’s own culpability in the death of one of their own.Netflix Exposes Trump’s Shady Mob Ties in ‘Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia’The Nazi Hunter Taking On Mark ZuckerbergDirected by Tiller Russell, The Last Narc is a four-part docuseries (premiering July 31) about the vast conspiracy that fatally ensnared Camarena. In a dim, empty bar illuminated only by light streaming through a background doorway and window, the candid Berrellez recounts his own involvement in the War on Drugs. Brought up by a tarot card-reading mom (here seen plying her supernatural trade), and compelled to pursue a law-enforcement career after his brother became hooked on heroin at age 12, Berrellez is a bearded, weathered cowboy with a glint in his eyes that says he means business. Forthrightly reminiscing about pulling guns on suspects—and shooting down one dealer during an undercover bust gone awry—he instantly comes across as the real deal, and thus a fascinating tour guide into this sordid cartel milieu.Berrellez’s career took off once he joined the DEA, and he was soon ordered to figure out who had done in Camarena. According to wife Geneva “Mika” Camarena and colleagues Mike Holm and Phil Jordan, Camarena was a daring and driven agent determined to take down the mighty Guadalajara Cartel, and he certainly put a dent in their empire when he discovered (and, with the help of pilot Alfredo Zavala, photographed from the sky) Rancho Búfalo, a sprawling marijuana plantation that was subsequently torched by Mexican soldiers, thereby costing the cartel billions. On its own, that blow was enough to put Camarena in Gallardo, Quintero and Carrillo’s crosshairs. But worse still, it indicated that he was closing in on them, even though they had virtually everyone on their payroll, from local cops and politicians to Miguel de la Madrid, the then-current president of Mexico, as well as his predecessor, Jose Lopez Portillo.On February 7, 1985, the cartel struck, seizing Camarena as he left the office to meet Mika for lunch. At 881 Lope de Vega—a residence owned by Ruben Zuno Arce, a dealer and associate of Quintero—Camarena was horribly tortured, and kept alive (so he could suffer more) by doctor Humberto Álvarez Machaín. After 36 hours, he fell into a coma and was lethally bludgeoned with a piece of rebar by one of Quintero’s gunmen. He was then buried in Arce’s La Primavera forest (a de facto cartel graveyard), only to later be dug up so he could be “found” by authorities.Berrellez’s knowledge of cartel culture and operations is extensive and compelling, as is his explanation of the investigative hurdles he faced while trying to take down his targets. His insights alone make The Last Narc an eye-opening non-fiction account of underworld mayhem. Russell’s series, however, also benefits from the input of three cartel henchmen—Jalisco State Police officers Jorge Godoy and Rene Lopez, and their boss Ramon Lira—who relay their experiences as bodyguards for Gallardo, Quintero and Carrillo, as well as their direct participation in Camarena’s kidnapping and murder, all before they switched sides and became informants for Berrellez. From describing that broad-daylight snatching of Camarena, to revealing how Carrillo and Quintero argued about how to deal with their prisoner (the former wanted him released; the latter wanted him offed), their commentary affords a window onto a clandestine world fueled by greed, mercilessness, substance abuse and a sense of invulnerability.Stunning first-person details abound in The Last Narc, provided by colorful characters led by Berrellez—a no-nonsense crime fighter who seems tailor-made for a big-screen action franchise, even in older age—and Godoy, who behaves in such a weird manner during his interview that it’s not clear if he’s drunk, mad, or some combination of the two. In a late scene, Godoy closes his eyes and brushes at his shoulders to dispel the spirits (of Camarena, and others) that haunt him. It’s a sight that’s all the more transfixing for being so weird, and it’s in keeping with the general gonzo nature of the proceedings, which (as in Narcos: Mexico) eventually implicate the CIA and DEA as complicit in Camarena’s execution. Led by Berrellez and others’ testimony, the series contends that Cuban-born CIA agent Felix Rodriguez partially conducted Camarena’s interrogation and torture, because the U.S. government feared that he had stumbled upon a much larger conspiracy—namely, that the CIA was in bed with the cartels, moving guns, drugs and cash through them in order to covertly fund Nicaragua’s anti-communist Contras.That theory might not be new, but Berrellez’s discussion about his primary role in exposing the scheme—and the personal and professional ramifications he suffered as a result—lends it persuasive credence. The Last Narc thus transforms from a simple murder-mystery into a wide-ranging expose about the entangled relationship between the CIA, the Mexican government, the DFS (Mexico’s secret police, created by the CIA) and the cartels. In doing so, it renders Camarena a casualty of a war that was fundamentally unwinnable, since all interested parties had a stake in maintaining the status quo, regardless of the harm it caused the Mexican and American populations. Consequently, the lasting impression left by Russell’s series isn’t shock or outrage, but despair over a plague supported by a greedy many, and combated by a courageous few who, for their heroic efforts, received nothing but disgrace and death.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

7/31/2020 2:11:50 AM

Coronavirus: 10 die drinking sanitiser after Indian state shuts liquor shopsLocal liquor shops were shut under a local coronavirus lockdown in a village in Andhra Pradesh.

7/31/2020 10:30:50 AM

The White House reportedly scrapped a national testing plan because the virus was mostly hitting blue statesLives likely could've been saved if the White House had focused on people rather than politics when the pandemic began, Vanity Fair reports.Unlike other countries, the U.S. has struggled to present a unified national strategy on COVID-19 testing, and the country now leads the world both in confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths. But it reportedly had experts developing a testing plan since the virus' beginnings -- and then scrapped it entirely once it appeared the virus was largely hitting Democratic states, one expert tells Vanity Fair.Despite his lack of scientific or governmental experience, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner took charge of the testing plan and stacked a team with "bankers and billionaires," Vanity Fair writes. But diagnostic testing experts were eventually called in, and the team created a plan to tackle testing supply shortages and delays in reporting results."The plan, though imperfect, was a starting point," Vanity Fair writes, and "would have put us in a fundamentally different place" today, one person who worked on it said. But it faced resistance from the top of the White House, where Trump reportedly worried high test numbers would hurt the economy and his re-election prospects. And perhaps most disturbingly, one member of the team suggested there was no point in rolling out the plan because the virus seemed to be hitting blue states, an expert told Vanity Fair. "The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy," the expert said.All of that might explain why Kushner was so hopeful just a few months ago. > Jared Kushner, April 29: "I think you'll see by June a lot of the country should be back to normal and the hope is that by July, the country's really rocking again."> > July 31: > > .> > -- Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) July 31, 2020More stories from theweek.com New Lincoln Project video imagines what it's like to wake up from a coma in 2020 Could America split up? France needs actual champagne socialism

7/31/2020 10:23:00 AM

A Louisiana woman who planted seeds from a mysterious package says she's not worried. But the USDA is, and it's asking people not to plant these unknown seeds."Then we saw the post saying don't plant them. I mean, I'm not scared about it, I'm not worried about it, but I guess people are," Aucoin told WAFB.

7/30/2020 11:10:25 PM

In attempt to discourage people from funding the Syrian regime, the US State Department sanctions Bashar al-Assad's son"Syria sanctions are not intended to harm the Syrian people....or hinder our stabilization activities in northeast Syria," the State Department said.

7/30/2020 12:23:35 AM

Top News Stories


Plus: Microsoft’s monopolistic days, life without a Covid vaccine, and bogus hand sanitizer.

7/31/2020 8:00:00 AM

This year, some worthy contenders got nods—Watchmen! Zendaya!—but quite a few essential performances were overlooked.

7/31/2020 8:00:00 AM

This electric toothbrush uses Bluetooth to keep your teeth happy and clean, but they'll start chattering when you see the price tag.

7/31/2020 8:00:00 AM

A centuries-old anti-Semitic myth is spreading freely on far-right corners of social media—suggesting a new digital Dark Age has arrived.

7/31/2020 8:00:00 AM

This week, we list the Amazon Prime benefits you don’t know about, and tell you how to take advantage of them while you shelter in place.

7/31/2020 7:00:00 AM

Underwater “sexual parasitism” between male and female allows two bodies to become one. Now we know the reason why.

7/31/2020 7:00:00 AM

Synthetic video and audio seemed pretty bad. Synthetic writing—ubiquitous and undetectable—will be far worse.

7/31/2020 7:00:00 AM

The movement of demonstrators echoes the fluid collective responses of the animal world, as groups respond to threats and signal across large spaces.

7/31/2020 6:00:00 AM

Your membership gets you more than free two-day shipping. Here's what you may be missing.

7/31/2020 6:00:00 AM

The former Google engineer, who pleaded guilty to stealing the company's self-driving car technology, says he'd be at heightened risk for Covid-19.

7/31/2020 6:00:00 AM