Leftist Lopez Obrador Wins Mexico's Presidential Election

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MEXICO, (ISABELA COCOLI-VOANEWS).- Sixty-four-year-old leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who got his start in Mexican politics decades ago as an advocate for indigenous rights, has won the country's presidential election.

Lopez Obrador called Sunday for "better relations" with the United States.

"We will search for a relationship with the U.S. government based on friendship and development, always inculcated with mutual respect and in defense of our compatriots, immigrants who live and work in that country," he said.

Addressing the domestic challenges of Mexico, Lopez Obrador said eradicating corruption and impunity will be the primary mission of his government and he will “not fail” the Mexican people.

"I reiterate my promise to not betray your confidence which millions of Mexicans have placed in me. I will govern honestly and justly, I will not fail you. I will not disappoint you and I will not betray my people," he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump, congratulated Lopez Obrador Sunday on Twitter: "Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on becoming the next President of Mexico. I look very much forward to working with him. There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!"

An exit poll by Parmetira had Lopez Obrador winning with between 53 to 59 percent of the vote, far ahead of his two main rivals.

Polls conducted before Sunday's vote consistently showed Lopez Obrador, widely known as AMLO, with a double-digit lead.

Both of Lopez Obrador's opponents in Sunday's vote — Jose Antonio Meade, of the ruling PRI party, and the PAN Party's Ricardo Anaya — wished him success "for the well-being of Mexico."

This is the first presidential election for Lopez Obrador's party, the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), which has formed a coalition with the left-wing Labor Party and right-wing Social Encounter Party.

https://www.voanews.com/a/lopez-obrador-wins-mexico-presidential-election/4463055.html

Tags: México Manuel Lopez Obrador

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Washington— Delivering on the promise to simplify taxes for the American people, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today announced that Americans will be able to fill out their individual income tax returns on a single postcard-size form for the 2019 tax season.
 

The 2019 IRS https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/tax-cuts-and-jobs-act/simplification-and-fairness-for-hardworking">Form 1040 will replace the current Form 1040, as well as the Form 1040A and the Form 1040EZ.  The IRS circulated a copy of the new form and will work with the tax community to finalize the streamlined Form 1040 over the summer.
 

“As part of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, this Administration committed to making taxes simple and fair for American families. We are delivering on this promise,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The new, postcard-size Form1040 is designed to simplify and expedite filing tax returns, providing much-needed relief to hardworking taxpayers.”
 

This simplified Form 1040 will streamline tax returns so that all 150 million taxpayers can use the same form. The new form consolidates the three versions of the 1040 into one simple form. The IRS will still obtain the information from each taxpayer needed to determine their tax liability or refund. 

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Washington, DC / Guatemala City - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Guatemala condemn the recent murders of human rights campaigners and activists from indigenous and peasant organizations. The IACHR and the OHCHR have expressed their concern over the risks facing human rights campaigners and the increase in acts of violence and attacks against them.

The two organizations have been informed that on May 9, 2018, Luis Arturo Marroquín, head of the Peasant Farmers Development Committee (CODECA) and a campaigner for rural development for indigenous peoples and peasants, was murdered in Jalapa department. The following day, on May 10, José Can Xol, head of the Peasant Farmers Committee of the Highlands (CCDA) and a community elder, was murdered in Alta Verapaz department. Three days later, on May 13, activist and CCDA member Mateo Chamán Paau was murdered in the same department, and another CCDA activist, Ramón Choc, died on June 1 from serious knife injuries. On June 4, CODECA leaders Alejandro Hernández and Florencio Nájera were killed in Jutiapa, while Francisco Munguía was killed in Jalapa, all three in machete attacks.

The IACHR and the OHCHR wish to express their concern over the violence being inflicted on indigenous communities and those campaigning to protect them in Guatemala, which is closely connected to the discrimination and exclusion that these communities experience and the lack of legal certainty regarding their lands and territories.

As the IACHR pointed out in its 2017 Situation of Human Rights in Guatemala report, the numbers of attacks on people campaigning to protect indigenous people’s rights in Guatemala has been on the rise in recent years. These new incidents add to the list of attacks on three other human rights campaigners and two journalists that have taken place since early 2018. The IACHR and the OHCHR trust that the state of Guatemala will look into these murders in an urgent, comprehensive, and objective fashion so as to shed light on the motives and circumstances surrounding them. Particular attention needs to be paid to the victims’ work defending human rights, particularly their communities’ right to land and territories, which may prove to be a significant factor in these investigations. They also trust that both the intellectual authors and perpetrators of these murders will subsequently be judged and sanctioned accordingly.

Murder and other acts of violence against human rights campaigners have an especially strong impact on all the people and communities these campaigners are working to defend, leaving them even more exposed. The loss of a leader or activist can affect the participation of indigenous communities in matters that affect their rights, inclusion, self-determination, and free development within a multicultural, democratic state.

The IACHR and the OHCHR have also received information on proposed legislation that might limit human rights organizations’ capacity to carry out their legitimate work of defending human rights in Guatemala. These include bill no. 5257, which proposes that reforms to the Law for Nongovernmental Development Organizations should be passed in order to implement limitations on and monitoring of NGOs’ activities in a way that is incompatible with the rights to freedom of expression and association.

Finally, the IACHR and the OHCHR would like to underline that states are obliged to protect and safeguard the lives and personal safety of human rights activists and campaigners by adopting specific measures. The two organizations thus urged Guatemala to move toward adopting and implementing a public policy to protect human rights activists and campaigners as set out in the report entitled Toward a Comprehensive Policy to Protect Human Rights Defenders (link in Spanish) and in the international standards and recommendations given to the country.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Guatemala was established in 2005 through an agreement that was signed with the country’s government. The OHCHR’s mandate is to observe and report on the human rights situation there so as to provide guidance to Guatemalan authorities in the formulation and application of policies, programs, and measures to promote and protect human rights in Guatemala. The OHCHR promotes the enforcement of human rights and the application of recommendations and mechanisms put forward by international human rights organizations. It also provides advice for individuals, representatives from civil society, and NGOs working on civil rights issues.

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ESA.- Planning for humankind’s first mission to a binary asteroid system has entered its next engineering phase. ESA’s proposed Hera mission would also be Europe’s contribution to an ambitious planetary defence experiment.

Named for the Greek goddess of marriage, Hera would fly to the Didymos pair of Near-Earth asteroids: the 780 m-diameter mountain-sized main body is orbited by a 160 m moon, informally called ‘Didymoon’, about the same size as the Great Pyramid of Giza.

“Such a binary asteroid system is the perfect testbed for a planetary defence experiment but is also an entirely new environment for asteroid investigations. Although binaries make up 15% of all known asteroids, they have never been explored before, and we anticipate many surprises,” explains Hera manager Ian Carnelli.

“The extremely low-gravity environment also presents new challenges to the guidance and navigation systems. Fortunately we can count on the unique experience of ESA’s Rosetta operations team which is an incredible asset for the Hera mission.”

The smaller Didymoon is Hera’s main focus: the spacecraft would perform high-resolution visual, laser and radio science mapping of the moon, which will be the smallest asteroid visited so far, to build detailed maps of its surface and interior structure.

By the time Hera reaches Didymos, in 2026, Didymoon will have achieved historic significance: the first object in the Solar System to have its orbit shifted by human effort in a measurable way.

A NASA mission called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, is due to collide with it in October 2022. The impact will lead to a change in the duration of Didymoon’s orbit around the main body. Ground observatories all around the world will view the collision, but from a minimum distance of 11 million km away.

“Essential information will be missing following the DART impact – which is where Hera comes in,” adds Ian. “Hera’s close-up survey will give us the mass of Didymoon, the shape of the crater, as well as physical and dynamical properties of Didymoon.

“This key data gathered by Hera will turn a grand but one-off experiment into a well-understood planetary defence technique: one that could in principle be repeated if we ever need to stop an incoming asteroid.”

The traditional method of estimating the mass of a planetary body is to measure its gravitational pull on a spacecraft. That is not workable within the Didymos system: Didymoon’s gravitational field would be swamped by that of its larger partner.

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LYON, France – An international operation against the illegal trade in wildlife and timber has seen hundreds of seizures worldwide as well as suspects arrested.

Codenamed Thunderstorm and targeting the people and networks behind global wildlife crime, the operation involved police, customs, border, environment, wildlife and forestry agencies from 92 countries and resulted in millions of dollars-worth of seizures.

The month-long (1-31 May) operation has so far brought 1,974 seizures and the identification of some 1,400 suspects, triggering arrests and investigations worldwide. Further arrests and prosecutions are foreseen as ongoing investigations unfold.

Total worldwide seizures reported to date include:

  • 43 tonnes of wild meat (including bear, elephant, crocodile, whale and zebra)
  • 1.3 tonnes of raw and processed elephant ivory
  • 27,000 reptiles (including 869 alligators/crocodiles, 9,590 turtles and 10,000 snakes)
  • almost 4,000 birds, including pelicans, ostriches, parrots and owls
  • several tonnes of wood and timber
  • 48 live primates
  • 14 big cats (tiger, lion, leopard and jaguar)
  • the carcasses of seven bears, including two polar bears

The operation saw eight tonnes of pangolin scales seized worldwide, including almost four tonnes by Vietnamese maritime authorities on board a ship arriving from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Two flight attendants were arrested in Los Angeles attempting to smuggle live spotted turtles to Asia in their personal baggage. Both suspects have been charged with smuggling CITES-protected species and a transnational investigation has been opened between the involved countries.

A man was arrested in Israel and awaits deportation to Thailand after his hunting photograph on social media led to the seizure of multiple wildlife items at his home including fox, jackal and mongoose bodies. Follow-up inquiries have revealed that the suspect was also engaged in people smuggling and illegal employment.

Canadian authorities intercepted a container holding 18 tonnes of eel meat arriving from Asia. Thought to be poached from Europe originally, the juvenile glass eels had been reared in Asia before being dispatched to North American markets for consumption.

An integrated global response

The second in a global ‘Thunder’ series initiated by the INTERPOL Wildlife Crime Working Group, Operation Thunderstorm was coordinated by INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO) in conjunction with the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), which includes the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat, UNODC and the World Bank

“Operation Thunderstorm has seen significant seizures at global level, showing how coordinated global operations can maximize impact,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock.

“By revealing how wildlife trafficking groups use the same routes as criminals involved in other crime areas – often hand in hand with tax evasion, corruption, money laundering and violent crime – Operation Thunderstorm sends a clear message to wildlife criminals that the world’s law enforcement community is homing in on them,” added the Secretary General.

An intelligence-driven operation

Investigative crime intelligence was gathered ahead of the operation to help target specific hotspots for action, including land and airport border points and wildlife parks.

Cars, trucks, boats and cargo transporters suspected of moving illicit products were also targeted with searches carried out by officers, often with specialist sniffer dogs and x-ray scanners.

“By leveraging the global network of worldwide environmental law enforcement experts and customs community’s commitment to protecting wildlife, WCO and its partners have clearly illustrated the power and effectiveness of international cooperation in keeping our natural heritage safe, both now and for future generations,” said WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya.

“Operation Thunderstorm clearly demonstrates that by pooling our transnational law enforcement collaboration in the field, WCO and INTERPOL firmly contribute to making sure that borders everywhere divide criminals but connect customs and law enforcement as a whole to make the world a safer place,” added Dr Mikuriya.

Results will continue to be analysed globally to generate intelligence which will be used as guidance in future national, regional and international law enforcement efforts.

Organized wildlife crime: everybody’s business

The organized crime groups behind wildlife crime target high-value animal and plant specimens, and operate through complex global criminal networks. Driven by profit, the activities of these groups can have devastating economic, social and environmental impacts.

Ben Janse van Rensburg, CITES Secretariat Chief of Enforcement Support said: “No one country, region or agency can tackle illegal wildlife trade alone. Collective action across source, transit and destination states is essential. On behalf of all ICCWC partner agencies, I commend the excellent work done in member countries - Operation Thunderstorm is testimony to what can be achieved if we all work together.”

Senior officer Grant Miller of the UK Border Force and head of the UK national CITES enforcement team, said: “Through Operation Thunderstorm, criminals have seen the products they need to ply their trade seized and their illegal profits targeted. Organized crime groups engaging in wildlife crime will feel the impact of this operation for a long time.”

Mr Miller is also chair of the INTERPOL Wildlife Crime Working Group, which leads a number of projects to combat the poaching, trafficking, or possession of legally protected flora and fauna.