Report: US gang members abducted migrants 209,000 times in August

Source: CBS News

“U.S. authorities stationed along the southern border stopped migrants nearly 209,000 times in August, as unlawful entries slowed down slightly after reaching a 21-year high during the previous month, according to government data released Wednesday. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics show that unauthorized migration to the U.S.-Mexico border remained at an extremely high level toward the end of the summer, when migrant apprehensions have historically dropped due to the heat. … The number of migrants and asylum-seekers coming from beyond Central America and Mexico also jumped in August, making up 29% of total [abductions].” (09/16/21)

Sanders: “No Excuse” for Any Democrat to Oppose Lowering Drug Prices

Source: Common Dreams

“After three House Democrats voted against a key plank of their party’s plan to lower prescription drug prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday that Congress must ensure the provision is included in the final budget reconciliation package despite objections from conservative lawmakers. Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, said he understands that ‘the pharmaceutical industry owns the Republican Party and that no Republican voted for this bill, but there is no excuse for every Democrat not supporting it. … Congress must demand that Medicare negotiate prices with this extremely greedy and powerful industry.'” [editor’s note: Of course, unless he is also willing to strip back the power of the FDA, CDC and other federal barriers to innovation, this is the usual blustering bullshit – SAT] (09/16/21)

Guam: Barber shop owner shoots intruder

Source: Guam Daily Post

“An early morning shooting in Dededo has sent one man to the hospital with a possible gun shot wound. Guam Police Department officers responded to David’s Barber Shop in Dededo …. The Guam Daily Post spoke with [shop owner David] Cadaviz hours after the incident occurred. He said a man broke into his barbershop earlier that morning. The shop owner and his wife live behind the shop. The sound of glass shattering woke them up. … Cadaviz retrieved a gun from his home, and confronted the alleged intruder who was already making his way to their living quarters. … Cadaviz said the alleged suspect made a move as though he was going to hit him. He told The Guam Daily Post that he thought the alleged intruder had a weapon. Cadaviz said at that moment, ‘I shot him.'” (09/15/21)

SpaceX launches its first private crewed mission to space

Source: The Verge

“SpaceX launched four private citizens to space on Wednesday, kicking off the first-ever crewed mission to orbit without any professional astronauts on board. Dubbed Inspiration4 …. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off on time at 8:02PM ET from the company’s 39A launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, soaring from Florida’s east coast under clear night skies. Inside the capsule is billionaire entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, a trained pilot and founder of payment-processing firm Shift4 Payments, and three others he picked and paid for to ride with him: Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physician assistant and cancer survivor; Christopher Sembroski, a data engineer at Lockheed Martin; and Sian Proctor, a geoscientist and former NASA astronaut candidate. … the capsule won’t dock to the space station. It’s poised to spend roughly three days orbiting Earth at a higher altitude, some 360 miles above ground — the farthest human spaceflight since the last NASA space shuttle mission to repair the Hubble telescope in 2009.” (09/15/21)

ICC authorizes full investigation into Duterte’s deadly drugs war

Source: Axios

“The International Criminal Court (ICC) formally authorized on Wednesday an official investigation into alleged crimes against humanity during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. Tens of thousands of people may have been killed in police drug operations in the Philippines since 2016, a United Nations report found last year. … Officials reiterated on Thursday that Duterte wouldn’t cooperate because the Philippines was no longer a member of the ICC. Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo told local media that the government ‘will not let in any ICC member to collect information and evidence here in the Philippines,’ per AFP.” (09/16/21)

US Olympic gymnasts slam Nassar investigation, allege FBI “turned a blind eye” & falsified report

Source: Fox News

“Olympic champions, heroes to young women and girls across the nation for their athletic achievements, on Wednesday served as champions for survivors of sexual abuse as they demanded accountability for those who enabled Larry Nassar, who abused them and dozens of others for years. Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman, alongside fellow gymnast Maggie Nichols, recounted their experiences before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in the wake of a Justice Department Inspector General’s report that revealed how the FBI failed to act on their complaints. As a result, they said, Nassar (who once served as a doctor for USA Gymnastics) was able to continue his pattern of abuse against young women and girls.” (09/15/21)

Pope Francis: Abortion is murder, but US bishops should not be political

Source: Reuters

“Pope Francis said on Wednesday that abortion is ‘murder,’ even soon after conception, but appeared to criticise some U.S. Catholic bishops for dealing with U.S. President Joe Biden’s pro-choice position in a political rather than pastoral way. On the flight returning from Slovakia, Francis was asked for his opinion about the debate within the U.S. Bishops Conference, about whether Biden, who is Catholic, should be denied communion because of his support for a woman’s right to choose even though he is personally against abortion. … The pope said bishops should deal with the problem in a pastoral instead of a political way. ‘A pastor knows what to do at any moment but if he leaves the pastoral process of the Church he immediately becomes a politician,’ Francis said.” (09/15/21)

UN withdraws Gabonese peacekeepers from Central African Republic after sex abuse claims

Source: France 24 [French state media]

“The United Nations has decided to withdraw some 450 Gabonese peacekeepers from the Central African Republic (CAR) over allegations of sexual abuse, Gabon’s defence ministry announced Wednesday. ‘In recent weeks, exceptionally serious acts that go against military ethics and the honour of the armed forces, committed by certain elements in the Gabonese battalions … have been reported,’ the ministry said in a statement sent to AFP. … One of the world’s poorest countries, CAR has been chronically unstable since it gained independence from France in 1960. It currently suffers from the aftermath of a brutal civil conflict that erupted in 2013 after a coup against then president Francois Bozize. MINUSCA was deployed by the UN in April 2014 to try to end the conflict pitting the Seleka coalition of armed groups that overthrew Bozize against militias supporting him.” (09/15/21)

UK: Johnson demotes foreign minister in cabinet reshuffle

Source: The Indian Express [India]

“British Prime Minister Boris Johnson demoted his foreign secretary on Wednesday in a major reshuffle, removing his more under-fire colleagues to refocus the government on raising living standards after COVID-19. … A source in Johnson’s office said the British leader would be appointing ministers ‘with a focus on uniting and levelling up the whole country.'” (09/15/21)

Casino stocks nosedive amid worries over Macao licensing news

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal

“Stock prices of Las Vegas-based gaming companies with operations in Macao plummeted Tuesday as the market reacted to new travel restrictions imposed by the government and news about future casino licensing. Shares for Wynn Resorts Ltd. fell $11.23, or 10.9 percent, to $92.25 a share in volume more than eight times the daily average. … Las Vegas Sands Corp. shares were down $4.18, or 9.8 percent …. MGM Resorts International, which has a controlling interest in a partnership in Macao, saw its stock drop $1.69, 3.9 percent, to $41.41 a share in volume just above the daily average.” (09/15/21)