Authorities disarm entire police force of Acapulco in Mexico
Mexican state and federal authorities disarmed the police force of Acapulco during an ongoing investigation into possible gang infiltration. The state government said they took the action “because of suspicion that the force had probably been infiltrated by criminal groups” and “the complete inaction of municipal police in fighting the crime wave.” The police were reportedly stripped of their vests, guns and radios and taken for background checks. Last year, the Washington Post labeled Acapulco, once a resort for foreigners, as “Mexico’s Murder Capital.”
Authorities consider Guerrero, the state where Acapulco is located, one of the most violent areas in Mexico. The U.S. Embassy of Mexico City issued a warning last Tuesday that U.S. citizens should avoid the region of Guerrero. Acapulco Mayor Evodio Velázquez Aguirre, who warned of the unruly police force in 2015, is offering the city’s full cooperation with investigators, according to Mexico News Daily.
Indonesia earthquake and tsunami kill hundreds
The Indonesian island of Sulawesi suffered devastation last weekend as earthquakes, aftershocks and tsunamis struck the island’s cities. Damaged roads, downed buildings and broken communications slowed rescue efforts. At least 384 people were confirmed dead in the city of Palu alone, according to disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. Officials say a magnitude 7.5 earthquake last Friday triggered multiple aftershocks and a tsunami. The tsunami struck the city of Palu as an unknown number of people, possibly hundreds, were attending a beach festival.
The chief of the meteorology and geophysics agency, Dwikorita Karnawati, said, “The situation is chaotic, people are running on the streets and buildings collapsed,” adding, “There is a ship washed ashore.” One air traffic controller reportedly died in a quake after staying in the air tower to make sure a flight left safely, AirNav reports.
Palu prison warden Adhi Yan Ricoh reported that more than half of the prison’s 560 inmates escaped when the prison’s walls collapsed. He told security staff to focus on search and rescue efforts.
“Don’t even think to find the inmates,” he said. Indonesian President Joko Widodo is instructing the security minister to oversee the government’s response to the devastation.
Senator Jeff Flake delays Kavanaugh vote
Before Republicans voted to favorably recommend the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court last Friday, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake announced he would not vote for Kavanaugh without an FBI investigation.
The Republican later told reporters, “I’ve felt that this delay is as much to help him as us,” he said, adding, “My hope is that some Democrats will say, ‘Hey, we may not change our vote, but this process was worthy of the institution, and we feel satisfied.’”
The nation listened last Thursday as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh gave competing testimonies. Ford alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school. According to Ford, Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge locked her in a bedroom while Kavanaugh forcefully laid on top of her and tried to remove her clothes. She says what “terrifies [her] the most” is that, when she attempted to scream for help, Kavanaugh placed his hand over her mouth.
“It was hard for me to breathe,” she said, “and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me.”
She appeared visually uncomfortable throughout the testimony. When asked for her most enduring memory of the event, Ford, who is a psychologist, said, “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense.”
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin acknowledged allegations of mistaken identity. “Dr. Ford, with what degree of certainty do you believe Brett Kavanaugh assaulted you?” He asked. She answered, “100 percent.”
In his opening statement, Kavanaugh denied all accusations and said, if Ford was assaulted, he was not the attacker. “This has destroyed my family and my good name, a good name built up through decades of very hard work and public service at the highest levels of the American government,” Kavanaugh said.
Republican Senator Lindsay Graham came to Kavanaugh’s defense, arguing passionately that the whole hearing was “an unethical sham.”
Turning to Democrats, he argued, “If you wanted an FBI investigation, you could have come to us,” he said. “What you [Democrats] want to do is destroy this guy’s life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020.” He added, “To my Republican colleagues, if you vote no, you’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I have seen in my time in politics.” At the request of the Senate, President Trump approved a limited FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh last Friday.