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Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' begins life term in Colorado 'Supermax' prison

Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' begins life term in Colorado 'Supermax' prisonA jury convicted him of drug trafficking and engaging in multiple murder conspiracies as the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of Mexico’s largest, most violent drug-trafficking organizations. “We can confirm that Joaquin Guzman is in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons at United States Penitentiary (USP) Administrative Maximum (ADX) Florence, located in Florence, Colorado,” the U.S. Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.



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Iran begins uranium enrichment beyond limit set by 2015 nuclear deal in latest violation

Iran begins uranium enrichment beyond limit set by 2015 nuclear deal in latest violationAt a news conference on Sunday, Iran nuclear agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said that the increased uranium enrichment would begin "within hours."



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Biden Begins Drawing Contrasts With His Democratic Rivals

Biden Begins Drawing Contrasts With His Democratic Rivals(Bloomberg) — Joe Biden returned to the campaign trail with a new drive to contrast his views with those of other Democratic presidential hopefuls after a rough debate performance last week highlighted his tenuous grasp on front-runner status.After spending the first two months of his campaign focused on attacking President Donald Trump, the former vice president turned his attention to rivals in his own party. He began a two-day swing across Iowa to make his case for moderation as other leading candidates pull the party leftward.Biden zeroed in on health care Wednesday, arguing that Democrats should be concentrating on improving the Affordable Care Act instead of replacing it with an entirely new system such as Medicare for All. “I fundamentally disagree with anyone who says, ‘Scrap Obamacare,’” he told voters in Waterloo, at his first public appearance since last Thursday’s debate. “I’m against any Republican who wants to scrap it, I’m against any Democrat who wants to scrap it.”At a campaign stop in Iowa on Thursday, Biden said he wouldn’t respond to attacks from rivals by digging up controversies from their pasts. During the debate last week, California Senator Kamala Harris criticized him in deeply personal terms about his record of opposition, when he was in the Senate, to federally mandated busing to desegregate schools.“I’m not going to go back and use the same tactic they’re trying to use,” he said in Independence, where he walked in a Fourth of July parade. “I’m not going to go back and talk about the record of anyone from 10, 20, 30 years ago. There’s a lot out there that a lot of people would like to do differently than they did but everything is lost in context.”Asked if he understood that the conversation about race has changed, he said: “Absolutely, positively I do. As much or more than anyone.”On Wednesday, members of Biden’s communications team had dueled with Harris’s campaign on Twitter about the busing issue.Pressed on whether she’d support such a mandate for busing now, Harris told reporters in West Des Moines, “I believe that any tool that is in the toolbox should be considered by a school district.”Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield tweeted in response that “it’s disappointing that Senator Harris chose to distort Vice President Biden’s position on busing — particularly now that she is tying herself in knots trying not to answer the very question she posed to him!”Harris’s national press secretary Ian Sams responded by saying that Biden had called busing an “asinine concept” and the back-and-forth continued with Sams later adding that he and Harris both thought Biden is “a good guy” and “That’s why a simple ‘working with segregationists to stop busing 40 years ago was wrong, and I shouldn’t have done it’ would be welcome.”He was referring to Biden’s comments from last month about two fellow senators in the 1970s who were advocates of segregation.Praising ObamacareOn Wednesday, Biden pointed out that many presidents before Barack Obama had tried to pass a health care bill and not succeeded. “We have to finish the job and make health care a right not a privilege,” he said.He has not yet rolled out his full health care plan, but suggested that he would favor a hybrid public-private system that could help the uninsured get coverage.“We can’t start over. There’s no time to start over in my view,” he said. “Building on what we’ve got, not starting over. Allowing people to keep their employer-based insurance or their private insurance or any insurance they have if they want. But if they don’t, allowing them the ability to buy into a public option, a health care plan like Medicare.”Biden’s shift to a more direct comparison with other candidates for the Democratic nomination comes as his poll numbers have fallen.A Quinnipiac national poll released Tuesday found Biden slipping to 22%, just 2 percentage points ahead of Harris at 20%. Senator Elizabeth Warren was next with 14% then Senator Bernie Sanders with 13%. A CNN national poll found Biden slipping 10 percentage points in one month — to 22%. Behind him was Harris with 17%, 9 percentage points higher than in CNN’s previous poll, and Warren with 15%, an 8-percentage-point gain, and Sanders with 14%, a 4-percentage-point drop.And a Focus on Rural America poll released on Wednesday showed a significant drop for Biden in Iowa and that he was essentially tied with Warren and Harris. David Binder Research, which conducted the survey, also works for Harris’s presidential campaign but began the poll before it was hired by Harris’s team.Biden’s campaign said Wednesday that it raised $ 21.5 million in the second quarter, second to Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, who took in $ 24.8 million.Biden’s team was quick to note that he entered the race on April 25, nearly a month into the quarter, meaning that he took in more per day than any other candidate. Sanders said that his campaign raised $ 18 million during the second quarter. Harris and Warren have not yet disclosed their fundraising totals.(Adds Biden campaign stop Thursday in fifth through seventh paragraphs.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Epstein in Waterloo, Iowa at jepstein32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Max Berley, Scott LanmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Jury begins deliberations in U.S. Navy SEAL's war crimes trial

Jury begins deliberations in U.S. Navy SEAL's war crimes trialA military jury began deliberations on Monday in the war crimes trial of a U.S. Navy SEAL after closing arguments in which prosecutors said the defendant’s own words proved his guilt and the defense cited a lack of physical evidence to support the charges. The case against Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, whose prosecution has drawn White House interest, went to a seven-member jury of U.S. Marines and Navy personnel as the trial phase of his court-martial entered its third week. The jurors were to due resume deliberations on Tuesday morning.



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First Democratic Debate Begins With All Eyes on Sen. Elizabeth Warren

First Democratic Debate Begins With All Eyes on Sen. Elizabeth WarrenJim Watson/AFP/GettyIn the opening moments of Wednesday night’s first Democratic debate, it was clear where the spotlight was: on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the highest-polling candidate of the 10 presidential hopefuls on stage in Miami. The debate’s moderators directed four questions to Warren in the first 20 minutes, more than any other candidate, and those questions touched at the heart of her policy agenda —  the economy, income inequality, and sweeping change to the nation’s health care system.That gave Warren an opportunity to get at the heart of her stump speech from the get-go. “We need to make structural change in our government and our economy and in our country,” she said to wrap up the debate’s first answer, to applause. The rest of the field found themselves chasing Warren’s agenda, too, illustrating just how much the liberal senator has set the policy framework of the crowded 2020 primary.  The first question, for example, directed to Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) was framed as a response to an idea championed by Warren: breaking up Facebook, Amazon, and Google, something Booker has criticized. “Why do you disagree?” he was asked. In recent weeks, Warren has surged to the top tier of the two dozen-strong field of Democrats after a shaky first stretch in the race. Several polls have shown her trailing only former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) nationally and in key states, even surpassing Sanders in some surveys. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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The Latest: Egypt begins vote on extending el-Sissi's rule

The Latest: Egypt begins vote on extending el-Sissi's ruleCAIRO (AP) — The Latest on Egypt's vote on a referendum potentially extending President el-Sissi's rule to 2030 (all times local):



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Benjamin Netanyahu begins forming coalition as US hails prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace

Benjamin Netanyahu begins forming coalition as US hails prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peaceBenjamin Netanyahu yesterday began negotiations to form a new Right-wing coalition after seeing off a centrist challenger in a close election and securing a fifth term as Israel’s prime minister.  Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party won the same number of seats as Blue & White, a centrist coalition led by former general Benny Gantz, but the victory of other Right-wing parties gave the prime minister a clear path to a majority government.  “I already began talks with the leaders of the Right-wing parties, our natural partners,” Mr Netanyahu told his cheering supporters in Tel Aviv. “I intend to finish the work quickly, with the aim of forming a stable national government.”  The result was hailed by Donald Trump, who said the prime minister’s victory meant “a better chance” for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but was met with dismay by Palestinians. The election will cement Mr Netanyahu’s reputation as the most successful election-winner in Israeli history and prove that his brand of divisive Right-wing politics is the country’s dominant political force. Israel election The 69-year-old has been in power for 13 years and is now on course to overtake David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding father, as the country’s longest-serving prime minister.  Despite his election success, Mr Netanyahu is still facing criminal corruption charges that have the potential to drive him from office by the end of the year. Opponents suspect he will use his new majority to try to pass an immunity law to shield himself from prosecution.  Mr Netanyahu, known in Israel as “Bibi”, denies all wrongdoing and claims the prosecutions are part of a politically-motivated witch hunt against him and his family.   Mr Netanyahu (left) defeated Benny Gantz (right) Credit: ABIR SULTAN/EPA-EFE/REX That explanation appeared to satisfy a majority of Israeli voters, who cast their ballots for parties committed to keeping Mr Netanyahu in power.  “I know some of the things Bibi did are wrong but I’m not looking for a rabbi. I’m looking for a leader,” said Yaakov Lemash, 76, after voting for Likud. Mr Netanyahu’s Likud and Mr Gantz’s Blue & White each appeared to have won 35 seats in Israel’s 120-member parliament. But while Likud and the Right-wing parties had a clear route to a majority, Mr Gantz did not have enough allies on the Centre-Left.   The former general, who rose from a commando to the head of Israel’s military, conceded the election on Wednesday evening. But his party said it was already gearing up to fight another election next year if the criminal case against Mr Netanyahu drives him from office Letters from Jerusalem RHS Speaking at the White House, Mr Trump praised Mr Netanyahu as a friend and ally. "I never made it a promise but everybody said you can’t have peace in the Middle East with Israel and the Palestinians," Mr Trump said. "I think we have a chance and I think we have now a better chance with Bibi having won.” The president handed Mr Netanyahu a major pre-election boost by recognising Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights two weeks before polling day.   The White House has said it will release its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, referred to as “the Deal of the Century” sometime after the Israeli elections.  Skeptics question whether the long-awaited plan will ever be released, as it has been pre-emptively rejected by the Palestinians and may cause political difficulties for Mr Netanyahu and America’s Arab allies.    “I never made it a promise”pic.twitter.com/Npi6wDwQJ6— Noa Landau נעה לנדאו (@noa_landau) April 10, 2019 Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian official, said Israelis “overwhelmingly voted for candidates that are unequivocally committed to entrenching the status quo of oppression, occupation, annexation and dispossession in Palestine”. The next step in the election is for Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, to summon party leaders for consultations before formally announcing next week who will be tasked with forming a government.    Mr Netanyahu’s potential coalition partners began publicly announcing their demands in return for joining the government. One small Right-wing party demanded two ministerial posts, while another called for a harder line against Hamas in Gaza.   Israel’s two ultra-Orthodox parties increased their standing from 13 to 16 seats, giving them more sway within a future coalition.  The parties are focused on budgets for religious communities but also on preventing public transportation on Shabbat, the Jewish holy day, and blocking a compromise to allow more liberal Jews space at the Western Wall.  Mr Netanyahu was dogged throughout his last term by Naftali Bennet and Ayelet Shaked, two ambitious young ministers from a hardline conservative party who perpetually assailed the prime minister from his Right.   In a disastrous political miscalculation, Mr Bennett and Ms Shaked’s new party looked like it failed to pass the minimum vote threshold, leaving both of them without ministries or even parliamentary seats.



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Major weekend winter storm packing heavy snow begins 2,500-mile cross-country sprint

Major weekend winter storm packing heavy snow begins 2,500-mile cross-country sprintA major winter storm threatens heavy snow and rain from California to New England this weekend. Forecasters warn Midwest motorists could be stranded.



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Canada begins extradition of top Chinese executive to US

Canada begins extradition of top Chinese executive to USCanada began extraditing Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to the United States on Friday, the latest move in a case that has roiled relations between the North American neighbors and China. The 47-year-old businesswoman was changing planes in Vancouver in December when she was detained at Washington’s request on suspicion of violating US sanctions on Iran — sparking arrests of Canadians in China that were seen as retaliatory. “Today, Department of Justice Canada officials issued an Authority to Proceed, formally commencing an extradition process in the case of Ms. Meng Wanzhou,” the government said in a statement.



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Final battle to liberate last Islamic State village begins after civilians evacuated

Final battle to liberate last Islamic State village begins after civilians evacuatedWestern-backed forces say they plan to crush the Islamic State terror group within two days after launching an operation to clear out the group's final stronghold. The Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led group that has been the US-led coalition’s main ally against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in Syria, commenced their final assault on the village of Baghuz just after sunset on Friday night. “After evacuation of thousands of civilians and our comrades who were held hostage in Baghouz, the operation to clear the last remaining pocket of Isil started at 18:00 this evening,” Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the SDF said. Mr Bali told The Daily Telegraph that said the operation is expected to last two days, but may take a week to complete as hardened jihadists fight back with heavy weapons and suicide car bombs. Isil, which once ruled over eight million people in a proto-state covering large swathes of Syria and Iraq, now controls a patch of land about 700 metres across on the banks of the Euphrates river. The demise of ISIL in Syria and Iraq The operation follows three weeks of evacuations of civilians from the tiny pocket. About 17,000 people, mostly women and children, have left in the past 16 days. SDF commanders estimate there are around 1,000 Isil fighters remaining in the pocket, along with an unknown number of non-combatants.   They may include John Cantlie, a British journalist who was kidnapped in 2012. Ben Wallace, the UK Security Minister, said last month that there was reason to believe Mr Cantlie is still alive. Photo Dispatch: Syria's fight against ISIL Although the fall of Baghuz would mark the end of the group’s pretensions to a caliphate, SDF officials have warned it will continue to present a security threat.   Sleeper cells using guerrilla tactics continue to carry out drive-by shootings and suicide bombings in liberated areas. Some fighters still hold some desolate territory in a remote area west of the Euphrates River. “All the remaining fighters are experienced and professional. They the true radicals and jihadist fighters. Therefore they will fight to the end,” Mr Bali said. “We do not expect any to surrender.”



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