We Didn’t Write About A Chubby Deranged Megalomaniac With The World’s Worst Haircut
|IN A NUTSHELL: MUST READ|
50 Teenage Migrants Were “Deliberately Drowned” by Traffickers Off the Coast of Yemen: As many as 50 Somali and Ethiopian migrants, many of them teenagers, are believed to have been “deliberately drowned” when a human smuggler in charge of a boat forced more than 120 people into the waters off the coast of Yemen, according to UN’s International Organization on Migration (IOM). The average age of the passengers was 16, and 22 people who were on the boat are reportedly still missing. The IOM said that, during a routine patrol, it discovered the shallow graves of 29 people on a beach along the Arabian Sea. Those who had survived and made it to shore had buried the dead upon reaching land.
“The survivors told our colleagues on the beach that the smuggler pushed them to the sea, when he saw some ‘authority types’ near the coast,” an IOM spokesperson said in a statement. The survivors also said that they believed the trafficker returned to Somalia to pick up more migrants. Since January 2017, an estimated 55,000 people have left the Horn of Africa to pass through Yemen and find better economic opportunities in Gulf countries. About a third of these migrants are female, and more than half are under the age of 18.
|NUTS AND BOLTS: SHOULD READ|
FBI Agents Raid Home of Trump’s Former Campaign Manager: Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, met with Senate Intelligence staffers on July 25 to answer questions about his meeting with Don Jr. and others at Trump Tower in June 2016, the purpose of which, allegedly, was to receive damaging information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.
Less than 24 hours later, in the early morning hours of July 26, FBI agents conducted a surprise raid of the Manafort home in Alexandria, VA seeking documents, financial records, and other materials related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Before agents can conduct such a raid, they have to convince a federal judge that probable cause exists that a crime has been committed, and it is necessary to immediately seize any evidence. The search warrant requested documents related to tax, banking, and other matters. Mueller and his team had been looking into Manafort’s personal finances and his professional career as a highly-paid foreign political consultant.
Investigators in the Russia inquiry previously requested that documents be voluntarily surrendered, and if not, that they might subpoena them. The surprise raid by FBI agents with a search warrant signals a much more serious and aggressive approach; it also shows there is concern that evidence might either disappear or be tampered with.
|KEEPING OUR EYE ON|
State Department Employees in Havana Can’t Hear Anybody Now: Direct from the Stranger Than Fiction files: Since late 2016, several people working at the US Embassy in Cuba have suffered from a variety of unusual and bewildering physical symptoms that the US now believes were caused by “acoustic attacks.” The employees affected were not at the same place at the same time, but at least two people were in such serious condition they were brought back to the US for treatment, and one official said they may have permanent hearing loss. For several months the State Department raised concerns with Cuban officials and even sent medical personnel to Cuba, but the Cubans insisted they were also perplexed. One official told CNN: “We have worked with the Cubans to try and find out what is going on. They insist they don’t know, but it has been very worrying and troublesome.” The cause of the symptoms remains a mystery, and a State Department spokesperson said the FBI is now looking into the matter.
Israeli Government To Build Anti-Tunnel Gaza Wall: On Thursday, Israel warned Hamas leaders not to interfere with the construction of a border wall designed to stop tunnels between the two sides. The Israeli government said it had mapped militant hideaways hidden under civilian areas in the Palestinian enclave that would be attacked if violence breaks out again. The threat followed a rocket launch from Gaza on Tuesday that caused no damage in Israel and then an Israeli airstrike on a Hamas facility the following day that wounded seven people. Such incidents have been relatively rare since the last Gaza war in 2014.
But with Gaza’s increasing poverty and “political drift,” both sides worry another conflict could erupt. Last September, Israel went public with its sensor-equipped underground wall being built on its side of the 37 mile-long border, a counter-measure developed after Hamas fighters used tunnels to blindside its army during the 2014 war. Israeli media published new information on Thursday about the wall, which will cost $1.1 billion and will be completed within two years. The chief of Israel’s southern command, Major-General Eyal Zamir said: “If Hamas chooses to go to war over the barrier, it will be a worthy reason (for Israel) to go to war over. But the barrier will be built.” Hamas has not yet commented.
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