The BL News- Just the Facts 02/14/2019

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The BL News- Just the Facts 02/14/2019

Fentanyl tops fatal drug overdoses.

A flood of illicit fentanyl flowing from Mexico into southwestern U.S. states has pushed the synthetic opioid into the top spot for all fatal drug overdoses across the country.

The so-called “Mexican-oxy" is now being seized in record numbers at ports of entry in Arizona and California. The lethal drug being concocted by the Sinaloa cartel and smuggled into the United States is having a sweeping impact nationwide, with fentanyl now involved in most of the fatal overdoses in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fentanyl-related fatalities from 2016 to 2017, the latest figures available, accounted for some 28,000 of about 70,000 overdose deaths from all drugs combined.

The cartels are mainly using their long-established drug trafficking routes through ports of entry in Arizona and California. From there, the drugs are shipped all across the country.

And while most of the seizures are still occurring at ports of entry in the San Diego area, authorities are now seeing a surge at the border in Arizona.

Just last month at a border crossing in Nogales, Arizona, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents made their biggest bust ever valued at over 3 million dollars.

DEA statistics show Arizona fentanyl seizures rose to 445 pounds, including 379,557 pills, in the fiscal year ending in October 2018, up from 172 pounds (78 kilograms), including 54,984 pills, during the previous 12-month period.

Sketches released of serial killers victims.

The FBI released sketches drawn by an admitted serial killer of some of his victims, along with other information on a string of unsolved cold-case homicides investigators say the man confessed to.

The bureau updated on Tuesday information it had posted in November on its website. The update included drawings made recently by admitted serial killer Samuel Little, based on his memories of some of his victims.
An FBI statement says Little targeted "marginalized and vulnerable women who were often involved in prostitution and addicted to drugs." The bureau hopes the information will generate tips and clues from the public that could help solve the dozens of unsolved homicides.

The Texas Rangers say Little has confessed to 90 homicides nationwide over the past four decades. Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland in Odessa, Texas, said 50 cold homicide cases have been closed as a result and most of the unsolved homicides remaining are in California.

Los Angeles police detectives conducted a major cold case review in 2013 after Little was arrested for the murder of three Los Angeles women in the 1980s.

US Defense Secretary says no unilateral withdrawal from Afghanistan

The United States will not reduce its troop presence in Afghanistan on its own, the top Pentagon official said Thursday in pledging that any moves will be fully coordinated with American allies.
The acting US Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan is in the Brussels for a three-day NATO defense ministers meeting.
Shanahan has previously said that he is encouraged that President Donald Trump's administration is exploring all possibilities for ending a 17-year war, the longest in American history.
But he stressed that peace terms are for the Afghans to decide.
Shanahan stressed that even though ISIS has been defeated, they have not yet been eliminated.
Until now, the Taliban has refused to talk directly to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's government.

Senators Pray over new Border deal

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says he's praying that President Donald Trump will sign the border security deal into law to prevent another government shutdown.
Grassley was presiding over the Senate opening on Thursday when after the morning prayer, he added:
Congress is expected to vote Thursday on the bipartisan accord to prevent another partial federal shutdown ahead of Friday's deadline.
The package funds several departments but does not provide $5.7 billion Trump was asking for the border wall with Mexico. Instead, it allows nearly $1.4 billion for border fences and barriers.

The BL news-across Latin America-02-14-2019

-Guaidó gives an ultimatum to the army for the entry of humanitarian aid
-Central America Denounces that migratory flows are organized for political purposes
-Cuba declares new Magna Carta violates international law
-López Obrador hopes that the condemnation of "El Chapo" will serve as a lesson

Guaidó gives an ultimatum to the army for the entry of humanitarian aid.

The self-proclaimed president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, announced that on February 23 humanitarian aid would enter the country.

Guaidó, who continues to garner support among the international community, urged the people to take to the streets, in what he hopes will be the greatest demonstration in Venezuela's history.
As interim president, he ordered the Armed Forces to facilitate the entry of international food and medicine across the border.
Nikolas Maduro and the army refuse to allow the entry of humanitarian aid because they claim that there is a possibility of foreign intervention.

Central America Denounce that migratory flows are organized for political purposes.

Experts denounced on Tuesday that migrants from caravans heading to the United States are being used and deceived for political ends.

Guatemalan intel head Mario Duarte revealed that both non-governmental organizations and sectors of the Honduran political opposition have been responsible for organizing and directing the caravans.
He indicated that the migrants are being used as simple weapons of destabilization and political delegitimization against the president of the United States, Donald Trump.
Joseph Humire, an expert in national security and counter-terrorism, said that the migratory flow is also trying to destabilize Latin America.

Cuba declares new Magna Carta violates international law

The OAS believes that the constitution promoted by the Cuban regime, which will be voted on February 24, could violate international law, and called an extraordinary meeting on Friday.

Jaime Aparicio, former president of the Inter-American Judicial Committee, convened Tuesday by the organization, said the new Magna Carta lacks fundamental guarantees.
He said that it supports all the rights of the individual to the dictates of socialist ideology and that any disobedience is considered treason.
He also indicated that the referendum does not comply with the fundamental principles of the inter-American system.
And that, therefore, the OAS Charter could be invoked, and Cuba's relations with member states could be penalized.
Also, Laritza Diversent, Director of the Cubalex Democratic Studies Center that promotes reforms in the Cuban legal system, confirmed that the constitution supports the application of the Law to the interests of the Communist Party.
He explained that it contains a large number of legal loopholes and ambiguities that would favor an increase in repression.
Opposition leader Rosa María Payá Acevedo called on the international community not to recognize the results of the referendum, as happened with Maduro's second term in Venezuela.

López Obrador hopes that the condemnation of "El Chapo" will serve as a lesson.

The president of Mexico said he hopes the imminent life sentence imposed on Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman will serve as a lesson.

López Obrador declared that one should think about the precious gift that is freedom and about the respect that one owes to others.
He then indicated that investigations would continue into the officials who, according to "El Chapo," accepted bribes, including former President Peña Nieto.
On Tuesday, a U.S. court found Guzman guilty of all charges against him, including commanding a worldwide drug trafficking network.

That and more can be found on our website, for the BL News, I’m Rich Crankshaw, we’ll see ya next time.

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