Just the facts-The BL news-02-01-2019

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The Nogales CBP Port Director Michael Humphries said Thursday that the drug was seized Saturday from a tractor-trailer carrying produce from Mexico after it was stopped for inspection at the border crossing.

Authorities say illicit fentanyl in recent years has become the biggest source of fatal overdoses in the United States.
Mexican traffickers are increasingly smuggling the drug into the United States, mostly hidden in northbound passenger vehicles crossing at ports of entry in the Nogales and San Diego areas.
Law enforcement says the illicit version of the painkiller is now seen mostly as a white powder that can be mixed with heroin and as blue pills that are counterfeits of prescription drugs like oxycodone.

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The US blames Russia for the decision to withdraw from INF Treaty

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo placed the onus of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the decades-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, known as the INF treaty, on Russia.

The treaty has been a centerpiece of arms control since the Cold War. Pompeo spoke At a morning press conference at the State Department

The American withdrawal had been expected for months. It follows years of unresolved dispute over Russian compliance with the 1987 pact, which bans certain ground-launched cruise missiles. Russia denies violating the treaty.
Pompeo says the U.S. will suspend its obligations to the treaty on Saturday. Pompeo says that if Russia doesn't come into compliance, the treaty "will terminate."
President Trump also blamed Russia for the U.S. pullout of a landmark nuclear arms treaty, arguing that it should not be constrained by a deal Moscow is violating.

U.S. officials also expressed concern that China, which isn't part of the treaty, is deploying large numbers of missiles in Asia that the U.S. can't counter because it's bound by the treaty.
U.S. withdrawal raises the prospect of further deterioration in U.S.-Russian relations, which already are arguably at the lowest point in decades, and debate among U.S. allies in Europe over whether Russia's alleged violations warrant a countermeasure such as the deployment of an equivalent American missile in Europe.

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-The BL news-across Latin America-02-10-2019

-Canada partially withdraws from Cuba

-European Parliament recognizes Venezuela's interim president

-First month of Bolsonaro in Brazil

-López Obrador fires officials who signed illegal contracts




-Canada partially withdraws from Cuba


Heres what's happening across Latin America February 1, 2019
Canada is withdrawing half of its embassy staff from Cuba for what it calls a mysterious brain diseases


Canada will withdraw half of its personnel from the embassy in Cuba, reducing it from 16 to 8, after registering another mysterious case of a sonic disease.
Doctors confirmed that the fourteenth Canadian showed identical symptoms to those previously affected, including both embassy staff and family members.
The United States also withdrew most of its delegation from the Caribbean island last September after 26 people were affected by what they described as sonic attacks.
The Cuban authorities rejected the accusations and declared that this is a plan to discredit the regime.


European Parliament recognizes Venezuela's interim president


In Venezuela, the European Parliament recognizes Guaidó as president.


In Venezuela, interim President Juan Guaidó was recognized by the European Parliament.
This recognition is in addition to that of other countries, including the United States, which granted Guaidó control of Venezuela's financial accounts and foreign exchange reserves.
The interim president and opposition leader declared that he will appoint new positions for the state oil company PDVSA and its subsidiary in the United States, Citgo.
Although oil represents 90 percent of Venezuela's exports, mismanagement has caused production to plummet.
The sanctions recently imposed by the United States will block $7 billion in oil company assets and $11 billion in 2020 exports.
PDVSA workers demonstrated in support of Nicolás Maduro.



The first month of Bolsonaro in Brazil


In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro closes his first month in office.


The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, today celebrates his first month in office, marked by a paradigm shift compared to his predecessors.
The thirty-eighth president of the Republic, began his term fulfilling one of his campaign promises: Increase Brazil's pressure on Maduro, recognizing the opponent Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela.
He also decreed the easing of the possession of firearms and the reduction of the number of ministries from 27 to 22.
He also attended his first international event in Davos, Switzerland; supported the creation of a new aviation company between Embraer and Boeing and promoted a new MERCOSUR.
Bolsonaro reiterated that he would eliminate corruption, defend the family, the true human rights and trade without ideological biases.


López Obrador fires officials who signed illegal contracts


In Mexico, López Obrador fires three officials implicated in "The Master Swindle."


Mexican President López Obrador announced that he has asked three corrupt officials involved in the "Master Swindle" to step down.
The “Master Swindle” was a network of 128 shell companies, through which the government diverted more than $400 million through state agencies, civil servants, public universities and private companies.

That and more can be found at thebl.com and the bl facebook pages.

You can follow us on twitter at thebl_com and subscribe to our youtube channel at the, for the BL news I’m Rich Crankshaw, we’ll see ya next time.

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