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Biden Visits US-Mexico Border, First Time in Since 2008

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Biden Visits US-Mexico Border

On his first trip to the region after two years in office, President Joe Biden walked a muddy stretch of the US-Mexico border and inspected a busy port of entry on Sunday, a visit overshadowed by the fraught politics of immigration, as Republicans blame him for record numbers of migrants crossing into the country.

The president observed border officers in El Paso demonstrate how they search vehicles for drugs, money, and other contraband during his first stop. He then went to a dusty street with abandoned buildings and walked along a metal border fence that separated the United States city from Ciudad Juarez.

His final stop was the El Paso County Migrant Services Center, but no migrants were in sight. As he learned more about the services available, he asked a volunteer, “If I could wave the wand, what should I do?”

Biden’s nearly four-hour trip to El Paso was tightly orchestrated. Except for when his motorcade drove alongside the border and about a dozen migrants lined up on the Ciudad Juárez side, he encountered no migrants. His visit did not include any time spent at a Border Patrol station, where illegal immigrants are apprehended and held before being released.

The visit appeared to be intended to demonstrate a smooth operation for processing legal migrants, weeding out smuggled contraband, and treating those who had entered illegally in a humane manner, creating a counter-narrative to Republicans’ claims of a crisis situation equivalent to an open border.

However, his visit is unlikely to appease critics on both sides, including immigrant advocates who accuse him of instituting cruel policies similar to those of his hardline predecessor, Donald Trump.

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Biden given letter from Texas governor

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, handed Biden a letter as soon as he touched down in the state, saying the “chaos” at the border was a “direct result” of the president’s failure to enforce federal laws. During his tour, Biden took the letter from his jacket pocket and told reporters, “I haven’t read it yet.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called Biden’s visit a “photo op,” tweeting that the Republican majority would hold the administration “accountable for creating the most dangerous border crisis in American history.”

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego welcomed Biden’s visit, but said the president was unable to see how large the group of newcomers was due to a recent lull in arrivals.

“He didn’t get to see the real difficulties,” Samaniego, a member of the local delegation that welcomed Biden, said. “It was fortunate that he was present. It’s just the beginning. However, we still need to do more and spend more time with him.”

Hundreds of migrants gathered Sunday outside the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in El Paso, where they have been sleeping outside and receiving three meals a day from faith groups and other humanitarian organizations.

Biden Turns His Back on Venezuelans at the US-Mexico Border

Venezuelans abandoned by Biden

Among the migrants were several pregnant women, including Karla Sainz, 26, who was eight months pregnant. She was traveling with her 2-year-old son, Joshua, in a small group. Sainz left her three other children with her mother in Venezuela.

“I’d like to ask President Biden for permission or something so we can work and continue,” she said. Juan Tovar, 32, one of several people in her group, suggested he was leaving for political reasons as well. “The worst is socialism,” he said. “In Venezuela, they kill us, torture us, and we can’t criticize the government. We are in worse shape than Cuba.”

Noengris Garcia, who was also eight months pregnant, was traveling with her husband, teen son, and small family dog from the Venezuelan state of Portuguesa, where she ran a food stall.

“We don’t want money or a house,” Garcia, 39, explained. “All we want to do is work.”

Asked what he’s learned by seeing the border firsthand and speaking with the officers who work along it, Biden said: “They need a lot of resources. We’ll go get it for them.”

El Paso is currently the busiest crossing point for illegal immigrants, owing in large part to Nicaraguans fleeing repression, crime, and poverty in their home country. They are among four countries’ migrants who are now subject to immediate deportation under new rules enacted by the Biden administration last week, which drew harsh criticism from immigration advocates.

Biden’s recent border security policy announcements and border visit were intended to mitigate the impact of upcoming immigration investigations promised by House Republicans. However, any long-term solution will necessitate action by a deeply divided Congress, where multiple attempts to enact major changes have failed in recent years.

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Texas to Mexico City

Biden traveled south from Texas to Mexico City, where he will meet with the leaders of Mexico and Canada on Monday and Tuesday for a North American leaders summit. Immigration is one of the topics on the agenda.

During Biden’s first two years in office, the number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border has increased dramatically. During the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, there were more than 2.38 million stops, the first time the figure surpassed 2 million. The administration has struggled to crack down on border crossings, hesitant to take measures similar to those implemented by Trump’s administration.

The policy changes announced this week are Biden’s most significant move yet to limit illegal border crossings, and they will turn away tens of thousands of migrants. At the same time, 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Venezuela will be allowed to enter the United States legally if they travel by plane, find a sponsor, and pass background checks.

The United States will also turn away migrants who do not first seek asylum in a country they passed through on their way to the United States. Migrants are being asked to fill out a form on a phone app in order to visit a port of entry on a pre-determined date and time.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters on Air Force One that the administration is attempting to “incentivize a safe and orderly way and cut out the smuggling organizations,” adding that the policies are “not at all a ban,” but rather an attempt to protect migrants from the trauma that smuggling can cause.

Some welcomed the changes, particularly leaders in cities where migrants had gathered. However, immigrant advocacy groups chastised Biden for adopting policies similar to those of the former president. Officials from the administration disputed that assessment.

In his 50 years in public service, Biden has spent very little time at the US-Mexico border.

The White House could only point to Biden’s drive by the border during his presidential campaign in 2008. He dispatched Vice President Kamala Harris to El Paso in 2021, but she was chastised for largely avoiding the action because El Paso was not the crossroads hub that it is now.

Trump, who has made hardening immigration a signature issue, has made several trips to the border.

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

Politics

G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

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AP - VOR News Image

Paris police find no weapons on a man detained at Iran’s consulate.

Police said Friday that they discovered no weapons on a man held at the Iranian consulate in Paris after responding to a report of a suspicious man carrying a grenade and an explosives vest.

A Paris police spokesperson told The Associated Press that authorities were verifying the man’s identity but discovered no such weapons on him or in his car.

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AP News – VOR News Image

G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to be publicly identified under police procedure.

Some of the police, special agents, and firefighters who rushed to the situation at the consulate were later spotted leaving the area after being arrested. A police cordon remained in place, although traffic had resumed in the area.

According to the official, the individual was observed late Friday morning, and police initiated a special operation as soon as they were notified.

The event occurred at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East, as Paris prepares to host the summer Olympics.

The director of the United Nations’ nuclear inspector says there was no damage to the Isfahan nuclear facility following a purported Israeli drone attack on a major air base near the Iranian city.

When asked about the nuclear facility on Sky News, International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi stated, “There hasn’t been any damage at the site or anything that would indicate that (there) were hits nearby or something that could lead you to believe that there was an intention to reach these places.”

The Isfahan facility has three small research reactors supplied by China, as well as fuel production and other activities for Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

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G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

Isfahan also contains locations related with Iran’s nuclear program, such as the subterranean Natanz enrichment facility, which has been frequently attacked by suspected Israeli sabotage strikes.

Iranian authorities claim that air defenses fired on a key air base in Isfahan, which has long housed Iran’s fleet of American-made F-14 Tomcats, purchased prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Missile remnants were discovered Friday near Latifiya, southwest of Baghdad.

An official with an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with journalists, said the missile was shot down due to jamming efforts. The Iraqi army lacks jamming systems similar to those used to destroy the rocket, but Iran has handed such gear to its allied militias.

It was unclear whether the rocket was part of an Israeli attack on Iran or last weekend’s Iranian attack on Israel. Local media images of the site showed what seemed to be an air-to-surface missile. There were no reports of Iran firing air-to-surface missiles during Saturday’s onslaught, which comprised over 300 drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles.

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G7 Warns Of New Sanctions Against Iran As World Reacts To Apparent Israeli Drone Attack

Tehran launched the attack in response to a purported Israeli strike in Syria on April 1, which killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consulate building.

SOURCE (AP)

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Police Arrest Six People Over US$14.5 Million Gold Heist in Canada

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Gold Heist in Canada
Largest Gold Heist in Canadian History: File Photo

Six people have been arrested, including a jeweler and a commercial airline employee, and police have issued warrants for three more suspects in connection with what they say the single-largest gold robbery in Canadian history.

According to Peel Regional Police in Ontario, a joint investigation with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) resulted in the filing of nearly two dozen charges against the suspects in connection with the nearly $20 million Canadian dollar ($14.5 million) heist that occurred a year ago.

During a news conference in Ontario on Wednesday, Peel Regional Police Detective-Sergeant Mike Mavity told reporters that 400 kilograms of gold bars weighing more than 900 pounds, as well as approximately CA$2.5 million ($1.8 million) in stolen bank notes, were hijacked at Toronto Pearson International Airport after arriving on a commercial flight from Europe.

In total, 6,600 gold bars of various sizes were stolen, each of which was “99.9% pure and contained individualized serial numbers,” according to Mavity.

Gold Heist Air Canada

Gold Was in Hull of Air Canada aeroplane: File Photo

According to Peel Regional Police in Ontario, a joint investigation with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) resulted in nearly two dozen charges being filed against the suspects in connection with the nearly $20 million Canadian dollar heist that occurred on April 17, 2023.

On April 17, 2023, the gold and money were loaded into the hull of an Air Canada flight in “an approved airline container” bound for Toronto.

At 3:56 p.m. same day, the flight arrived at Toronto Pearson International Airport, and the gold and cash were quickly removed from the aircraft and transported to an Air Canada facility.

At 6:32 p.m., a man suspect came at air can freight driving a 5-ton truck and approached the property with what police called a counterfeit airway bill, a document used by carriers to track shipments.

Shortly after, a forklift arrived and loaded the item into the suspect’s truck. The suspect then drove off.

fake shipping bill

Fake Shipping Bill: Photo Peel Police

According to a police press release, officials discovered the document bill at 2:43 a.m. the next day to be a duplicate of an airline bill for a valid shipment of fish delivered and picked up the day before.

According to Mavity, the fake bill was produced at the Air Canada facility, and when officials discovered the products were gone, they used security footage to monitor part of the suspect’s subsequent trip until losing track of the truck in north Milton, an Ontario suburb.

Police stated that the crime was an inside operation and that a former Air Canada manager was wanted in the case.

So far police said they have arrested the following suspects in connection to the gold heist case:

  • Air Canada employee Parmpal Sidhu, 54, of Ontario
  • Jewelry store owner Ali Raza, 37, of Toronto
  • Amit Jalota, 40, of Ontario
  • Ammad Chaudhary, 43, of Ontario
  • Prasath Paramalingam, 35, of Ontario

All five were released on bail and are scheduled to appear in court at a later date, Mavity said.

The truck driver who allegedly picked up the gold, Durante King-Mclean, 25 of Ontario, is currently in custody in the U.S. on firearms and trafficking related charges.

Here are the suspects at large:

  • Air Canada manager Simran Preet Panesar, 31, of Ontario
  • Archit Grover, 36, of Ontario
  • Arsalan Chaudhary, 42, of Ontario

Only CA$90,000 ($65,000) of the more than CA$20 million recovered, said to Peel Regional Deputy Chief Nick Milinovich.

According to US Today, U.S. ATF Special Agent Eric DeGree, King-Mclean was detained in Pennsylvania following a traffic stop that resulted in the seizure of 65 illicit guns destined for Canada. According to DeGree, King-Mclean attempted to flee after police discovered the firearms in a rental car he was driving.

According to Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick, two of the individuals identified by police worked for the airline’s cargo division at the time of the crime.

“One left the company prior to the arrests announced today, and the second has been suspended,” he stated, according to the site. “Because matter is now before the courts, we are unable to speak further.

According to the announcement, only about CA $90,000 (one kilogram of gold) has been found and melted down into bangle bracelets. According to authorities, the remaining gold was most likely melted down and used to purchase illicit weaponry.

“I commend our investigators, the ATF, other law enforcement partners, and our community for working together to identify and arrest those responsible for this brazen crime,” Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said in a statement this week.

Anyone with information regarding the case should contact Peel Regional Police.

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2023: Poland Arrests Man Suspected Of Spying For Russia To Aid Zelenskyy Assassination Plot

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NDTV - VOR News Image

WARSAW, Poland – A Polish man has been arrested on suspicion of preparing to spy for Russia’s military intelligence in an alleged plot to assassinate Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Polish prosecutors said Thursday.

According to a statement released by Poland’s National Prosecutor’s Office, the individual, known only as Pawel K. under Polish privacy regulations, was accused of preparing to transmit airport security information to Russian agents and was arrested in Poland on Wednesday.

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AP News Image

Poland Arrests Man Suspected Of Spying For Russia To Aid Zelenskyy Assassination Plot

The man was looking for contact with Russians directly involved in the war in Ukraine and was expected to provide detailed information about the Rzeszow-Jasionka airport in south-east Poland, near the Ukrainian border, which serves as the gateway for international military and humanitarian supplies to Ukraine. It also caters to leaders and politicians traveling in and out of Ukraine. The airport is controlled by US soldiers.

If convicted, the guy faces up to eight years in prison, according to the statement.

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AP News – VOR News

Poland Arrests Man Suspected Of Spying For Russia To Aid Zelenskyy Assassination Plot

The prosecutors claimed that close cooperation with Ukrainian prosecutors and security agencies, who tipped them off and provided crucial evidence, made the arrest possible. They stated the case is progressing.

On Thursday, prosecutors in Germany announced the arrest of two German-Russian individuals on suspicion of espionage, with one accused of agreeing to carry out assaults on potential targets, including US military bases, in the hopes of damaging supplies to Ukraine.

Dieter S. and Alexander J. were arrested Wednesday in Bayreuth, Bavaria, according to German federal authorities.

Since Moscow initiated its campaign on Ukraine in February 2022, several persons have been arrested in Poland on suspicion of spying for Russia, including a dual Russian-Spanish citizen.

russia

CNN – Vor News Image

Poland Arrests Man Suspected Of Spying For Russia To Aid Zelenskyy Assassination Plot

Poland, a European Union member, has been a loyal backer of neighboring Ukraine and Zelenskyy in their fight against Russia’s aggression for more than two years.

SOURCE – (AP)

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