Category Archives: Noticias
Federal authorities are reporting a record number of whales getting tangled in crabbing gear off the West Coast.
The Center for Biological Diversity environmental group announced the development Wednesday, citing new figures from the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The conservation group says 71 cases of whales caught in fishing lines were reported off California, Oregon and Washington last year. Fishing gear was identifiable in 29 cases, and of those, 22 animals were caught in commercial Dungeness crab gear.
Numbers of such entanglements have been climbing yearly. Whales caught in the ropes of crabbing pots can starve or die from infected wounds.
A spokeswoman for California’s Fish and Wildlife Department did not immediately return a request for comment.
California recently passed legislation meant to encourage crabbers to remove unused crabbing gear from the ocean.
Officers late Wednesday arrested the driver of a possibly stolen vehicle after a nearly hourlong pursuit across the San Fernando Valley that saw speeds of more than 110 mph.
It was at least the second pursuit of the night in Southern California.
Authorities chased the driver of a black sedan on the northbound 5 Freeway near Burbank, but about 10 p.m., the driver ditched the vehicle under the overpass at Hollywood Way, according to Burbank Police Lt. Adam Cornils.
It was unknown why the driver was being sought by authorities.
The male driver was seen getting into a pickup under the overpass, but it’s unclear whether he carjacked the vehicle or was picked up by an associate. At least one other person was inside the pickup with the suspect, and police could not confirm whether it was a kidnapping scenario.
“We don’t know — there’s a couple possibilities,” Cornils said. “Maybe he summoned someone to pick him up.”
Burbank police spotted the pickup heading south on Hollywood Way at Verdugo Avenue, and later turned over the pursuit to the LAPD and the California Highway Patrol.
The chase continued winding around Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys and North Hollywood.
Just before 11 p.m., the pickup skidded through a red light at Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Oxnard Street, went out of control and slammed into a building.
Images broadcast by KCAL-TV Channel 9 showed police arresting the driver and detaining the passenger.
Earlier in the evening, police pursued a white Dodge Dart around the Valley as the driver — who was suspected of being under the influence — traveled on the 118 and 405 freeways. The driver exited in Panorama City and came to a stop at an apartment complex near Tupper Street and Van Nuys Boulevard, according to LAPD Officer Drake Madison.
A driver and a passenger got out of the Dodge sedan and at least one person was detained by police.
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An editorial in the weekly publication of the largest Mexican Roman Catholic Archdiocese, Desde la fe—Catholic Seminary of Information and Training—warned Mexicans that helping President Donald Trump build a wall on the United States border would make them “traitors of the homeland,” Reuters reported.
“Any company intending to invest in the wall of the fanatic Trump would be immoral, but above all, its shareholders and owners should be considered traitors to the homeland,” the editorial said.
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Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo earlier this month warned firms it would not be in their “interests” to participate in building the wall, but the editorial accused the Mexican government of responding “tepidly” to those considering the wall as a business opportunity, according to Reuters.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, said the editorial reflects the views of the diocese.
The Desde la fe editorial, which was posted online, said the barrier would increase prejudice and discrimination against Mexican people.
“In practice, signing up for a project that is a serious affront to dignity is shooting yourself in the foot,” the editorial said.
According to Reuters, Mexican cement maker Cemex has said it is “open” to providing estimates on the raw materials needed for the wall but will not take part in the bidding process to build it.
Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, another business that provides construction materials, has said it might work on the project.
On March 11, The Guardian reported that one in 10 firms bidding on Trump’s wall are owned by Hispanic Americans. Some 600 businesses have expressed interest in the $21 billion project.
“We’re not into politics,” Jorge Diaz, manager of De la Fuente Construction, Inc., said. “We’re not left or right.
“We’re a construction company and that’s how we survive,” Diaz said. “We don’t see it as politics. We just see it as work.”
Next Wednesday is the deadline for companies interested in the project to submit “concept papers” to the federal government, The Guardian reported today.
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The myth of “jobs Americans won’t do” is once again on the rise.
And just like the last time you heard about this alleged economic malaise, it is nonsense.
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The most recent peddlers of the labor shortage bunk are homebuilders. They say that they could be building many more homes if only they could find the workers to build them. The shortage of workers is creating a shortage of homes, driving up prices and putting homeownership out of reach for more Americans, they claim.
Thousands of construction workers left the industry during the recession, many of them heading to the energy sector. The assumption was that they would return when energy lagged and homebuilding recovered. They did not. The labor shortage in building actually worsened in 2016 — a surprise to most analysts.
“We thought we’d see a flow back of workers from the energy sector,” said Rob Dietz, chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders. “The labor shortage has basically grown and accelerated. It’s the top challenge in the building industry right now.”
Dietz points to both an immigration and a generational challenge. The workforce is aging, with the typical age of a construction worker now 42. More Americans are going to college now, and so they are less likely to pursue a career in construction. Simply put, young Americans don’t want to build houses anymore. That leaves the business to immigrant laborers.
“These jobs, Americans don’t want,” Myers said. “We have a hard-working Hispanic labor force here in Denver that really is the foundation for the construction industry.”
If there’s a massive job shortage in homebuilding, however, wages should be skyrocketing. That’s not happening.
The average hourly wage adjusted of nonsupervisory workers engaged in the construction of buildings was $25.65 in January 2017, according to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s an increase of just 7.18 percent over the inflation adjusted January 2007 average of $23.93. In other words, real wage increases in building construction have averaged around 0.72 percent per year over the past decade.
That increase is less than the 8.6 percent real wage gains of nonsupervisory private sector workers overall during the same period.
The fact that construction work wage gains lag behind those of the U.S. workforce is clear and decisive evidence that there is no labor shortage. These aren’t jobs that Americans won’t do–they are jobs that homebuilders aren’t willing to pay for.
With that in mind, let’s get back to CNBC’s report:
Labor is the top concern among the nation’s builders, according to an NAHB survey, and worry over its cost and availability is growing.
“Because the building industry is highly decentralized — there are 40,000 homebuilding companies in the country — you do see poaching. There are situations where you can recruit a worker, and they can work for you for a quarter or two, and then they’re working for another subcontractor down the road,” Dietz said.
Myers says he tries to build relationships with subcontractors. He has one-on-one meetings to build brand loyalty, but he admits, it often comes down to cold, hard cash.
Imagine that. In America’s capitalist economy, employers are complaining that workers leave to work for competitors because they just aren’t loyal enough. They make their decisions based on “cold, hard cash.”
The picture is even bleaker on a longer time horizon. Way back in 1961, the average hourly wage in construction was $3.48. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $28.35 today. Which means that we’re paying construction workers less today than we were 56 years ago.
So why are the homebuilders arguing there is a labor shortage? Because they want the U.S. to import more immigrants to hold down the price of hourly construction labor.
And they’re barely pretending otherwise. Here’s how CNBC puts it:
Immigrants make up about a quarter of the overall construction workforce, but that share is likely higher for residential homebuilding, partly due to a large number of undocumented workers. Builders say they make sure their contractors are legal to work, but they have less control over the subcontractors who often move from site to site. Even that group is shrinking, as President Donald Trump tries to impose travel bans and threatens to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
“There is a fear to get out into the labor force, I think there is an uncertainty,” Myers said. “I had one of our trades who became a citizen last year ask me if that could be taken away from him. Even for the people who are legal and documented, it’s a factor that is holding back the labor force.”
Myers has it backward. What’s holding back the labor force isn’t a lack of workers. It’s the insistence of homebuilders that they be served a constant stream of cheap labor to keep their production costs down and profits up.
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Two more Republicans announced their support on Wednesday for the Supreme Court majority-vote “constitutional option,” following the news that additional Democratic senators have promised to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
Democrats slam the constitutional option as the so-called “nuclear option,” because it would end their ability to filibuster by changing Senate rules to allow a simple majority of fifty-one votes to force a floor vote. Under current rules, approval from 60 Senators — meaning all 52 Republicans plus eight Democrats — is needed to hold a vote.
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On Wednesday, Sen. Corey Gardner (R-CO) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said they are prepared to vote for the constitutional option.
“Neil Gorsuch will be an associate justice on the United States Supreme Court,” Gardner told the Denver Post. “It’s just a matter of how it happens.”
Toomey told the Philadelphia Daily News, “If that [confirming Gorsuch] means we have to change the Senate rules, it will be a very sad day for the Senate, but if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.”
Gorsuch, who has been nominated by President Donald Trump to replace iconic conservative jurist Justice Antonin Scalia, has received praise from across the political spectrum in the past. But Senate Democrats and left-wing activist groups are now criticizing his record as they try to block his nomination.
On Wednesday, Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) both announced they would join Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s promised filibuster to block Gorsuch from receiving a vote on the Senate Floor. At least twenty Democratic senators have suggested they will support a Democratic filibuster.
Heinrich argued that the Senate cannot confirm Judge Gorsuch until the Senate has completed its open-ended investigations into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia. “It would not be responsible to move forward with President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee until these Russia-related allegations are resolved,” he told the New Mexico Political Report. Kaine, meanwhile, was sparser on the explanation of his opposition to Gorsuch,
Kaine simply made a political argument, telling the Associated Press that the judge’s rulings “do not demonstrate a philosophy that belongs on the Supreme Court.”
The Human Rights Campaign issued a press release calling for “pro-equality” senators to filibuster Gorsuch because he once referred to homosexual marriage as “part of the liberal social agenda” and also joined in a decision denying female hormones to an imprisoned man.
Across the aisle, a parallel group of Republican senators has resigned themselves to using the so-called “nuclear option,” changing Senate rules to allow a simple majority of fifty-one votes to invoke cloture and force a floor vote as opposed to the sixty now required. Two more prominent Senate GOPers said they are prepared to take this step Wednesday: Sen. Corey Gardner (R-CO), from whose state Gorsuch hails, and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).
The Senate is currently scheduled to vote on Gorsuch’s confirmation, April 7.
A 16-year-old girl who ran away from a group home in Santa Ana on Feb. 14 has been found safe and returned to her family, police said Wednesday.
Esli Samaria Vasquez stayed in contact with her father to let him know she was safe, police said.
She was seen Tuesday outside a liquor store in Anaheim, when she called her father to tell him she could not return home because someone was threatening her.
An employee of the liquor store confirmed seeing Vasquez arguing with an unknown male outside the store in the 1800 block of West Katella Avenue.
The teenager was located Wednesday.
This is not the first time Vasquez has run away, authorities said.
Here’s where things stand heading into Day 70 of the Trump administration:
The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee stood side by side on Wednesday to address its investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election and possible ties to the Trump campaign. They stood in contrast to the political discord on the House side, announcing that as soon as Monday, they’ll begin privately interviewing 20 people on the matter.
Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the Republican chairman of the committee, said staff is “within weeks” of completing a review of “thousands of pages” of documents the intelligence community has made available to them.
Also on Wednesday, my colleagues revealed one of the sources of striking allegations in the controversial dossier assembled on behalf of Trump’s political opponents.
The mystery man identified in parts of the dossier as “Source D,” who claimed to know that Russia holds evidence of encounters between Trump and prostitutes in Moscow, is Sergei Millian, president of the Russian American Chamber of Commerce. Millian’s identity was first reported by the Wall Street Journal and confirmed by The Washington Post.
Millian, who The Post reported provided the information in confidence to an associate, who in turn reported it to the dossier’s author, also said that Trump had a long-standing relationship with Russian officials, who supplied his campaign with harmful information about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton throughout the race. Millian claimed, in other words, that Trump is guilty of colluding with Russia. Trump has denied the dossier’s allegations, which have not been proved. Millian did not address questions about his role but told a Russian TV program in January that he does not have damaging information on Trump.
The FBI is investigating possible collusion as part of its probe of Russian meddling in the presidential race.
Therefore, establishing or dismantling Millian’s credibility as a source is vitally important — and also extremely difficult, as The Post’s Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger explain in Thursday’s paper:
By his own evolving statements, Sergei Millian is either a shrewd businessman with high-level access to both Trump’s inner circle and the Kremlin, or a bystander unwittingly caught up in a global controversy.
An examination of Millian’s career shows he is a little of both. His case lays bare the challenge facing the FBI as it investigates Russia’s alleged attempts to manipulate the American political system and whether Trump associates participated.
It also illustrates why the Trump administration remains unable to shake the Russia story. While some of the unproven claims attributed in the dossier to Millian are bizarre and outlandish, there are also indications that he had contacts with Trump’s circle.
IVANKA TRUMP OFFICIALLY JOINS HER FATHER’S TEAM
The president’s elder daughter was a key member of his campaign team and planned to serve as an informal adviser to his White House, but ethics watchdogs worried that Ivanka Trump’s nebulous role lacked accountability. So now, Ivanka will become an official, unpaid government employee.
Ivanka Trump’s attorney, Jamie Gorelick, said she will submit all financial disclosure and conflict-of-interest forms required of federal employees within 30 days. She also will seek a security clearance.
“We are pleased that Ivanka Trump has chosen to take this step in her unprecedented role as first daughter and in support of the president,” the White House said in a statement. “Ivanka’s service as an unpaid employee furthers our commitment to ethics, transparency, and compliance and affords her increased opportunities to lead initiatives driving real policy benefits for the American public that would not have been available to her previously.”
A ROLE FOR CHRIS CHRISTIE, AFTER ALL
He isn’t chief of staff or attorney general, but the New Jersey governor is the head of a newly launched commission charged with combating drug addiction.
Trump campaigned on ending the nation’s opioid crisis, and the formation of the Christie-led commission represents a step toward keeping his promise.
“Opioid abuse has become a crippling problem throughout the United States,” Trump said during a listening session at the White House on Wednesday. “This is a total epidemic. And I think it’s almost untalked-about, compared to the severity that we’re witnessing.”
This move to fulfill a campaign promise comes on the heels of Trump’s failure to fulfill one of his biggest pledges, the quick repeal and replacement of Obamacare. Will voters see it as an adequate consolation prize?
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is leading a filibuster against Judge Neil Gorsuch, called a press conference Wednesday to further his and his fellow Democrat senators’ commitment to blocking President Donald Trump’s SOTUS nominee.
However, during a 2013 press conference, Schumer took on a different perspective and heartily spoke against the very conduct he and his fellow Democat lawmakers are engaged in, saying Democrats prefer “up-or-down” votes over obstruction, “no matter who’s in power.”
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At the time, he stated,”We much prefer the risk of up-or-down votes in majority rule, than the risk of continued total obstruction. That is the bottom line, no matter who’s in power.”
Also on Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz said, “The notion of filibustering federal judges” was largely invented by Schumer.
Wednesday’s press conference, which was led by Schumer and Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), drew attention to the alleged use of “dark money” being spent by special interest group Judicial Crisis Network and to ask for the disclosure of the donors who are funding the $10 million campaign supporting Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Schumer argued against Republican talk of invoking the “nuclear option,” saying that all recent high court nominees have reached a 60-vote threshold. He suggested the same for Gorsuch.
“Republicans should not make it their choice to go nuclear,’ Schumer said. “And if the nuclear option is invoked, it’s because our Republicans in the Senate chose to do so.”
Schumer suggested, instead, replacing Gorsuch with a different nominee—a tactic that would further stall President Trump from filling the seat left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing. Schumer suggested the reason Gorsuch “is having trouble earning 60 votes” is because he “represents the hard-right special interests wing of American politics.” He also said,”We believe in a 60-vote threshold. That’s why we filed a cloture motion.”
Schumer continued, “Judge Gorsuch, we believe, does not belong on the bench. We also believe there are Republicans who are reluctant to change the rules,” he said of certain lawmakers to whom he referred as “free actors.” He added, “We hope they don’t.”
The Hill reported earlier this month that “Gorsuch declined to take the bait” when Whitehouse asked him if as a “matter of courtesy to the process,” he would ask his anonymous backers to reveal themselves to the public. “You could ask right now as a matter of courtesy, as a matter of respect for the process, that anybody funding this should declare themselves right now so we can evaluate who is behind this effort,” Whitehouse reportedly said.
Gorsuch replied, “It would be a politics question and I’m not, with all respect senator, going to get involved in politics.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Blumenthal seemed to make an argument as to why Republicans would want to confirm Gorsuch. “Gorsch has showed himself to be skillful, artful, articulate, and a deeply conservative judge with that bend, who can sway his colleagues.”
Schumer again emphasized, “If they’re so quick to change the rules this time, they’ll change the rules again next time.”
In the past, Schumer has expressed his regret over Senate Democrats’ decision to trigger the nuclear option in 2013, in order to decrease the number of senators needed to confirm Cabinet picks from 60 to 51 votes.
“I wish it hadn’t happened,” Schumer said in an interview with CNN, about the move that was triggered by former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
The move is dubbed the “nuclear option” because by altering the filibuster rules it stands to blow up bipartisan Senate relations.
“I argued against it at the time,” Schumer said. “I said both for Supreme Court and in Cabinet it should be 60, because on such important positions there should be some degree of bipartisanship. I won on Supreme Court, lost on Cabinet. But, that’s what we have to live with now.”
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Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials confirmed that at least twelve people died in a two-vehicle crash involving a church bus.
A total of fourteen members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas, traveled to the Garner State Park area in Uvalde County, west of San Antonio. The church bus collided with a white pickup truck at about 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The cause of the collision is under investigation.
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DPS Spokesman Sergeant Conrad Hein told the Associated Press two passengers in the bus and the driver of the pickup truck sustained injuries in the crash. An ambulance transported the survivors to a hospital where they are undergoing treatment for their injuries.
The crash killed twelve passengers in the bus, Hein confirmed.
The bus and the pickup truck both sustained heavy damage to the front drivers-side area indicating a head-on collision. The rear of the bus landed on a roadway guardrail.
Church officials confirmed the seniors traveling in the bus were returning home from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment located in Leakey, Texas, about nine miles from the scene of the crash. They said members of the church are ministering to the family members of those killed in the crash.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott and First Lady Cecilia Abbott offered a message of condolence. The statement from the governor’s office reads:
We are saddened by the loss of life and our hearts go out to all those affected. We thank the first responders working on the scene in the wake of this unimaginable tragedy, and ask that all Texans join us in offering their thoughts and prayers.
The names of the deceased church members and the identity of the driver are being withheld at this time.
Federal agents in San Diego have arrested the attorney general for the Mexican state of Nayarit on charges that he conspired to smuggle heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine into the U.S.
Edgar Veytia, 46, was detained Monday at the U.S. border in San Diego on an indictment handed down by a grand jury in New York, Ralph DeSio, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said Wednesday.
As attorney general, Veytia is the top law enforcement official in Nayarit, a state in western Mexico between the cities of Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.
The indictment charges Veytia with conspiring to manufacture and distribute illicit drugs and import them into the U.S. from 2013 — the year he became attorney general — until February of this year. Court papers refer to Veytia by a range of aliases, including Diablo, Eepp and Lic veytia.
Federal officials did not release additional details about the inquiry except that it involved agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.
The indictment was filed March 2 in the Eastern District of New York and unsealed Tuesday by a U.S. magistrate judge in Brooklyn.
After his arrest, Veytia appeared before a federal magistrate judge Tuesday and was being held in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego, according to custody records.
Defense attorney Guadalupe Valencia said he was retained to represent Veytia for removal proceedings to New York, where the criminal case was filed. The removal hearing is scheduled for April 11.
“It’s a brand new case,” Valencia said. “No one has any info other than the indictment.”
Roberto Sandoval Castañeda, the governor of Nayarit, issued a statement pledging to uphold public safety. At a news conference, he also announced that Carlos Alberto Rodriguez Valdez would assume the duties of attorney general.
“I want to make it very clear to the people of Nayarit, men and women, as your governor, I will personally take care of security,” Sandoval Castañeda said. “We will not lower our guard; we will remain one of the safest states.”