Taxi Hits Pedestrians Near Moscow’s Red Square, Injuring 8

06/16/18 The New York Times

nissan_tsuru_taxiEight people, including two from Mexico, were injured Saturday when a taxi crashed into pedestrians on a sidewalk near Red Square in Moscow.

Russian police said the driver in the crash has been detained. Moscow’s traffic monitoring agency said the driver claimed the crash wasn’t premeditated.

Video circulating on Russian social media and some news websites showed the taxi approaching a stopped line of cars, then veering onto the sidewalk and striking pedestrians. It then hit a traffic sign and bystanders tried to wrestle the driver out of the taxi, but he broke their grip and ran away; it was not clear how he was finally detained.

The source of the video wasn’t specified, but it appeared to be a handheld recording of footage from a video monitor.

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Mexico’s could-be president is a lot like Trump. That doesn’t mean they’d get along.

06/17/18 The Washington Post

AMLOMEXICO’S LEADING presidential candidate says he represents “good and honest people” against a “mafia of the powerful.” He says, “Only I can fix corruption.” He disparages the country’s democratic institutions, saying “we live in a fake republic” and alleging, without evidence, a plot to rig the election. He promises to undo the landmark achievements of his predecessor and build up Mexican industries at the expense of trade. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in short, bears more than a passing political resemblance to President Trump — which doesn’t mean the two are likely to get along.

If Mr. López Obrador wins the July 1 vote, bilateral relations already poisoned by Mr. Trump are likely to become still more toxic. Like his two main opponents in the presidential race, the populist front- ­runner has condemned the U.S. president — once calling his rhetoric racist and “neo-fascist” — and vowed to reject his demand that Mexico pay for a border wall. Mr. López Obrador says he favors a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement with higher wages for Mexican workers, but many of his policies aim at curtailing trade with the United States, particularly in energy and agricultural products. He says he would reassess one landmark reform, the opening of Mexico’s oil industry to foreign investment, and cancel another, an education revamp that broke the power of corrupt teachers’ unions.

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Mexico delivers a World Cup earthquake with defeat of Germany, the defending champ

06/18/18 The Washington Post

football-ball-sport-soccer-50713.jpegClose your eyes, and you would have sworn you had stepped into Estadio Azteca, that madhouse in Mexico City.

“Cielito Lindo,” punctuated by the familiar “ay-ay-ay-ay” singalong, graced the sound system during World Cup pregame frolicking here Sunday.

There was also the unscripted noise, that incredible boom that rattles the brain, created by tens of thousands of Mexican soccer supporters, many from homes in the United States, who have journeyed extraordinary distances to watch perhaps the country’s most capable team.

Open your eyes, and you would have seen section after section glazed in green, up and down Luzhniki Stadium, easily outnumbering those backing the opposition, reigning champion Germany.

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Rains from Tropical Storm Carlotta pound Mexico’s coast

06/16/18 The Washington Post

hurricaneHeavy rain and wind from Tropical Storm Carlotta lashed Mexico’s Pacific coast southeast of Acapulco ahead of its expected landfall late Saturday or early Sunday.

Carlotta, the third named storm of the Pacific hurricane season, was meandering just off Mexico’s coast, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

It said that Carlotta had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (85 kph), and its center was located about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south-southeast of Acapulco. The storm was drifting northward Saturday afternoon.

The hurricane center says the storm threatens torrential rains for the coastline of the southern states of Guerrero and Oaxaca, with up to 10 inches possible in some areas. Flash flooding and mudslides are also possible.

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Headlines from Mexico

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1. The joint-bid of Mexico, Canada, and the United States to host the 2026 World Cup, was selected by FIFA’s congress this week. The bid, called “United 2026,” is the first tri-nation hosting of the football tournament. It will make Mexico the first country to have hosted the World Cup three times, albeit only 10 games will be held in Mexico in 2026.

Read more: La Jornada, El Universal, Reforma

2. Mexico saw two more assassinations of local level candidates this past week. They add to a total of 113 candidates murdered since September. International institutions and organizations, such as the European Union, have started to pay attention and voice their concerns regarding the levels of security afforded to candidates in Mexico.

Read more: El Universal, Excelsior, Reforma

3. Hurricane Bud intensified to become a category 4 hurricane, although experts foresee that it will weaken before making landfall. The hurricane is expected to impact six Mexican states: Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, Nayarit, Sinaloa and Durango.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El Universal, El Economista

4. The third presidential debate took place this Tuesday in Merida, receiving many negative reviews. According to Reforma, the third debate had the lowest viewership of the three debates. El Pais, declared that “no candidate won, democracy lost”. In the end, most experts concluded that the debate would not have a significant impact on the election results.

Read more: Reforma, Excelsior, El Pais, El Universal

5. Edgar Valdes Villarreal, better known as “La Barbie”, a drug lord in the Beltran-Leyva Cartel, was sentenced to 49 years in prison in the United States under charges of drug trafficking and money laundering. He was also fined $192 million USD, which prosecutors say is a conservative estimate of the value of the cocaine Valdez imported into the United States.

Read more: El Financiero, Excelsior, El Universal, Reforma

Mexican financial authorities see market volatility on Fed normalization

06/14/2018 Reuters

financeMexico’s financial stability board said on Thursday the U.S. Federal Reserve’s normalization of monetary policy could stoke greater volatility in financial markets and crimp financing in emerging market economies.

The board, which includes members of the finance ministry and the central bank, said it is “likely” Mexico’s economy and financial system will continue to face a complex scenario due to uncertainty on trade relations with United States and Mexico’s July 1 presidential election.

“A process of monetary policy normalization by the U.S. Federal Reserve that is not as gradual as anticipated could cause greater volatility in international financial markets and prompt more restrictive financing conditions in emerging economies,” the board said in a statement.

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Another political murder rocks Mexico in last weeks of presidential race

06/15/2018 Reuters

gun - crime sceneGunmen shot and killed a mayor running for re-election in Mexico on Thursday, the second murder of a politician in a week after a candidate running for federal office was shot in the back of the head while taking a selfie with a supporter.

At least 113 politicians have been killed in the bloodiest election campaign in Mexico’s modern history, and the violence appears to be intensifying in the final weeks before the July 1 nationwide election.

Political assassinations have rocked the electoral season leading up to July 1, when voters will decide over 3,000 down-ballot seats and elect a new president.

Widespread disenchantment with the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) over record levels of violence, political corruption and sluggish economic growth has helped propel leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to lead voter preferences for the presidency.

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