Three dead, dozens injured in western Japan earthquake

TOKYO (AP) — A strong earthquake knocked over walls and set off scattered fires around metropolitan Osaka in western Japan on Monday morning, killing at least three people and injuring dozens.

The Osaka prefectural government’s disaster management department said two people were found dead, while the Ibaraki city official confirmed a third victim. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said more than 40 were injured in Osaka and nearby prefectures of Hyogo and Kyoto.

One victim was a 9-year-old girl who was knocked down by a concrete wall at her elementary school as she walked by. A man in his 80s died in the collapse of a concrete wall in Osaka city. An 84-year-old man in nearby Ibaraki died after a bookshelf fell on top of him at home, according to city officials.

The magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck shortly after 8 a.m. north of Osaka at a depth of about 13 kilometers (8 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The strongest shaking was north of Osaka, but the quake rattled large parts of western Japan, including Kyoto, the agency said.

The quake knocked over walls, broke windows and set off scattered building fires. It toppled book shelves in homes and scattered goods on shop floors. It also cracked roads and broke water pipes, leaving homes without water.

The morning commute was disrupted, as dozens of domestic flights in and out of Osaka were grounded, while train and subway service in the Osaka area including the bullet train were suspended to check for damage. Passengers were seen exiting trains on the tracks between stations.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Giuliani says Trump could pardon Manafort

By Karoun Demirjian
The Washington Post

WASHINGTON – White House lawyer Rudy Giuliani suggested Sunday that President Donald Trump might pardon his former campaign manager Paul Manafort if he is convicted – but only after special counsel Robert Mueller III has completed his investigation.

“When it’s over, hey, he’s the president of the United States, he retains his pardon power, nobody’s taking that away from him,” Giuliani said on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked whether Trump would pardon Manafort should he be convicted. “I couldn’t and I don’t want to take any prerogatives away from him.”

But Giuliani stressed that Trump has not issued, would not issue and should not issue any pardons related to the Mueller probe while it is still ongoing, so as not to give the appearance that he has anything to hide.

“The president has not issued pardons in this investigation. The president is not going to issue pardons in this investigation, and my advice to him as long as I am his lawyer is not to do it because you just cloud what is becoming now a very clear picture of an extremely unfair investigation with no criminality involved of any kind,” Giuliani said.

Manafort was jailed last week over charges that he attempted to tamper with witnesses related to his pending trial on federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges. Trump reacted by playing down Manafort’s role in his campaign.

But the president has issued several pardons in recent weeks, which some have interpreted as a signal to affiliates being targeted by Mueller’s probe not to cooperate with the investigation.

Even members of the president’s own party have urged him to stop talking about pardons.

“I think it would be more helpful if the president never mentioned the word ‘pardon’ again with respect to the investigation,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Sunday on …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Democrats rush to border to decry family separation

(Bloomberg) — Democrats escalated their attacks on President Donald Trump’s policy of separating immigrant children from parents who illegally cross the Mexican border, as public outrage over the practice balloons into an election-year headache for Republicans.

As controversy rages over the separations, first lady Melania Trump, in a rare foray into policy matters, said Sunday through a spokeswoman that the U.S. must be a country that “governs with heart.”

Several Democrats, including some who are seen as 2020 presidential candidates, traveled to McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley area in Texas on Sunday to meet with U.S. border authorities and tour a former Walmart Inc. store that’s been converted into a detention center for nearly 1,500 immigrant boys.

The McAllen delegation was led by Senators Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Separately, Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who’s challenging Republican Senator Ted Cruz in November, planned to visit a a new facility opened near El Paso he described as a “tent city.”

‘Child Abuse’

Julian Castro, the former San Antonio mayor who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Obama administration, joined protesters outside a border patrol processing center in McAllen, where temperatures hit 97F (36C) at mid-afternoon.

“It amounts essentially to state-sponsored child abuse that is traumatizing young children by taking them away from their parents, not letting them know when they’re going to see their parents again, keeping them in conditions that we wouldn’t want any of our children in,” said Castro, who’s seen as a potential 2020 presidential candidate.

Trump has refused to accept responsibility for the family separation policy, which administration officials say is intended to deter undocumented immigrants from making the trek to the U.S. border with their children.

Unspecified Law

The president has repeatedly blamed the policy on Democrats, citing an unspecified law that he says requires children …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Border Patrol chase leads to five deaths

BIG WELLS, Texas (AP) — At least five people were killed and several others hurt Sunday as an SUV carrying more than a dozen people during a suspected “smuggling event” crashed while fleeing from Border Patrol agents in South Texas, authorities said.

The SUV carrying 14 people went out of control at more than 100 mph and overturned on Texas Highway 85, ejecting most of the occupants, Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd said.

“From what we can tell the vehicle ran off the road and caught gravel and then tried to recorrect,” Boyd said, adding that “caused the vehicle to turn over several times.”

Four victims were dead at the scene, Boyd said. He said at least one and possibly two others died at a hospital.

The Border Patrol said in a statement Sunday night that two other vehicles had been traveling alongside the SUV earlier in the day. An agent suspected they were conducting a “smuggling event,” according to the statement, which did not elaborate.

The border agent stopped one of the vehicles and another agent stopped a second one. Multiple people from both vehicles were arrested.

The third vehicle kept going when agents encountered it, and a sheriff’s deputy took over the chase prior to the fatal crash, the border patrol said.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions over the treatment of immigrants at the southern border. The Trump administration has said tougher immigration policies — even separating children from their parents — are needed to deter immigrants from coming to the country illegally. Over a six-week period ending in May, about 2,000 children had been separated from their families, administration officials said Friday.

Most of the occupants in the SUV were believed in the country without legal permission. Boyd said the driver and one passenger were believed to be U.S. citizens. The driver was among …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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