‘El Chapo’ judge gunned down in front of his house in Mexico

A Mexican federal judge who presided over appeals from high-profile drug kingpins in recent years was fatally shot in the head outside his home on Monday, authorities said.

Judge Vicente Bermudez handled several legal challenges lodged by lawyers for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the jailed leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, as well Miguel Trevino, ex-leader of the Zetas cartel.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a televised speech on Monday that he ordered his attorney general to investigate the murder, but he did not provide additional information about the case.

Mexico's most wanted drug lord, Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman (AP)

Since March, Bermudez served as a judge overseeing legal challenges and federal trials in the state of Mexico just outside the capital, where Mexico’s maximum security Altiplano prison is located.

Trevino is a prisoner at the Altiplano facility, and Guzman is in a Ciudad Juarez prison, across the border from El Paso, Texas, awaiting extradition to the United States.

Guzman’s lawyers have filed numerous legal challenges aimed at preventing his extradition, but government officials have said it is likely he will be sent to the United States by early 2017.

15 Twisted Facts About Rubik’s Cube

Call the six-sided Rubik’s Cube puzzle a “toy” at your own risk: Ernő Rubik, the Hungarian who invented it in 1974, prefers to think of it as a piece of art. If so, the 350 million-plus cubes sold over the past 40 years might make it one of the most recognizable creative works in history. Check out some facts about its origins, the bizarre cartoon adaptation, and why Will Smith probably deserves royalties.


In 1974, 30-year-old Ernő Rubik was a professor of architecture in Hungary when he had the idea of constructing a handheld puzzle game based on geometry that could help students understand spatial relations. The first prototypes made of wood blocks and paper clips were encouraging; pairing with a toymaker in Hungary, Rubik saw his original Magic Cube get modest distribution. In 1980, when the Cube was licensed by Ideal Toy Company, developers changed the name to Rubik’s Cube; they felt “Magic Cube” invoked ideas about witchcraft.


Although the puzzle has inspired millions of people to find new and efficient solutions to making sure the sides align, its inventor is not among them. In a 2012 interview with CNN, Rubik admitted it took him more than a month to solve the Cube when he first invented it; it still took him a minute to solve it when he began practicing. That statistic that wouldn’t wow any of the modern-day “Cubers,” who strive for times under 10 seconds.



With six sides representing nine blocks of a single color—orange, yellow, green, red, white, and blue—a Rubik’s is said to hold 43 quintillion potential configurations. That’s 43,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible ways to prompt a lengthy series of profanities.


With Rubik’s Cube hysteria gripping the nation in the early 1980s, players were desperate for a strategy that could expedite a solution and make them seem brainy in front of their peers. Their savior: 12-year-old Patrick Bossert, who authored a book, You Can Do the Cube, in 1981 and wound up on the New York Times bestsellers list. Originally meant for his friends, one of Bossert’s pals showed it to his father, who was an editor at Penguin Books; it quickly sold more than 750,000 copies.


Kid 80s via YouTube

Despite the fact that the modest Rubik’s Cube had no narrative, personality, or sentience, ABC still ordered a full season of an animated series about its adventures. Rubik, the Amazing Cube aired 13 episodes on Saturday mornings in 1983. The puzzle was given legs, a face, and magical abilities. To complete the 1980s-ness, Menudo was enlisted to perform the title song.


When Rubik’s Cube made its way to England in 1982, health officials discovered there was more of a risk than just going out of your mind trying to solve it: the plastic discs affixed to the squares were found to contain unsafe levels of lead. The biggest perpetrator: yellow, which, depending on where it was manufactured, had at least 26,250 ppm (parts per million), far more than the 2500 ppm allowed.


KingCubes via YouTube

For the puzzle’s 15th anniversary in 1995, Diamond Cutters International created a fully-functional Rubik’s Cube made out of 185 carats of diamonds. Worth $1 million at the time, the company also issued 2500 silver editions for $2000 each.


With Cubism already installed in art circles, the arrival of Rubik’s Cube led to a variation: Rubik’s Cubism. The playful name refers to the practice of using solved Cubes to create a mosaic effect in artwork. In 2009, Josh Chalom crafted a homage to Da Vinci’s Last Supper by using over 4000 Cubes; a later piece, after Michaelangelo’s Hand of God, took over 12,000 Cubes, measured 29-by-15 feet, and weighed a ton. To take the sting out of his supply budget, Chalom bought Rubik’s knock-offs from China at $1 each.


MovieClips via YouTube

While the Rubik’s Cube has always been a perennial seller, some years have been better than others. In 2006, sales experienced an uptick after the puzzle was featured in The Pursuit of Happyness: Will Smith’s character is seen solving it quickly to let a potential business associate know he’s got some brain power. “That Rubik’s scene was in the trailer, and it blew up from there,” Joe Sequino, a spokesman Winning Moves, which shares Cube manufacturing in America with Hasbro, told The New York Times. “It was the perfect confluence of events, with the movie and with a new generation 27 years later getting turned on to the cube.” In 2008, sales hit a high of 15 million globally.


With so many Rubik’s world records, finding a new angle can be difficult—so Dan Knights decided to get a new perspective. In 2003, the Cube enthusiast jumped from a plane at 12,000 feet, giving him roughly 45 seconds of free fall time to solve the Cube before his parachute would have to be opened. (He drilled a hole in the Cube and tied it to a loop on his wrist so it wouldn’t fall.) The jump—which was commissioned by cable network VH1—was successful: Knights solved it in 32 seconds.



In the time it takes to rear back for a sneeze, 14-year-old Lucas Etter can manipulate the puzzle in a world record time of 4.90 seconds, which he set in November 2015. But you don’t necessarily need to use your hands: Jakub Kipa can solve it in 20.57 seconds using only his feet, a variation that some Cubers find distasteful.


If you’re not shamed enough by the sight of a pre-adolescent solving a Cube faster than you thought possible, you should try watching them do it while blindfolded. Seven-year-old Chan Hong Lik solved one in 2016 by first memorizing the placement of the squares and then obscuring his vision so he can’t see the Cube in motion. It took him just over two minutes and 21 seconds to finish.


Hobbyist Tony Fisher earned a Guinness World Record for his massive Rubik’s Cube, which measures 5 feet across and 5 feet tall. It’s also solvable: Fisher is seen doing it on video (above).


Serious Cubers know that a Rubik’s Cube that hasn’t been properly maintained is going to hamper their efforts. The official Rubik’s web site advises “Cube Lube,” their proprietary silicone formulation that won’t rot the plastic components. And no, it’s not considered a performance enhancer: greasing your puzzle is allowed in the World Championship, held every two years.


In a battle of two of the most iconic plastic blocks of all time, the Rubik’s Cube came up slightly short. In 2014, engineers David Gilday and Mike Dobson constructed a Cube-solving robot from LEGO brick playsets and a Samsung Galaxy S4 cell phone. The brick-bot took care of its opposition in 3.253 seconds. While impressive, a conventionally-designed robot still holds the record for efficiency: two Kansas City Cubers have a device that can solve it in a recognized 1.2 seconds, with the duo constantly striving to beat their own record. Currently, that stands at .900 seconds.

Putin Picks New Paratrooper Chief With Crimea Experience

The paratroopers are an elite unit of the Russian military, with great significance in the Ukraine conflict.

Russia has appointed the man accused of presiding over operations that led to the annexation of part of Ukraine as the commander of the its infamous airborne forces (VDV), the Ministry of Defense announced on Monday.

Colonel General Alexander Serdyukov, who has been outed as the man that oversaw Russia’s Crimean operations in 2014 by both the Ukrainian governmentand Russian media, will now take charge of the paratrooper unit.


The VDV are one of the Russian armed forces’ most elite units and they have additional significance in the Ukraine conflict as paratroopers were deployed in Crimea during the annexation and Russian paratroopers have been captured in eastern Ukraine.

Since 2013, Serdyukov has been serving in the command of Russia’s southernmost forces, centered around the Black Sea.

Serdyukov was hailed as a “competent leader and skilled organizer” by Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, in a handover ceremony appointing him as the new VDV commander.


He steps in after the decree of President Vladimir Putin, after the previous head of the paratroopers, Vladimir Shamanov, was elected to parliament and now has to vacate his post.

Serdyukov was handed the standard of the VDV troops by his predecessor, thanked the Kremlin for entrusting him with the reins to the paratroopers and declared that to him the unit was “like family.”

“I am aware of the problems and difficulties,” he said, vowing to try his utmost to get the airborne troops operating at the highest possible level.


Igor Sutyagin, Russian military expert at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) notes that Serdyukov’s reported experience during Russia’s so-called “special operations” in Crimea is intended as a scare tactic for NATO, making Russia appear more willing to start a conflict with smaller allies than it really is.

“Putin is very good in psychology, in bluffing,” Sutyagin tells Newsweek, noting that the Kremlin is not willing to start a war, but to test western commitment to eastern NATO partners. “It is not about occupation of northern Estonia or eastern Latvia. Just re-read the history of the appeasement policy in 1938, the Kremlin’s current plan is designed along the same recipe.”


“That is why Serdyukov’s alleged Crimean experience is being emphasized and pushed to the front,” he adds. Sutyagin notes that the airborne troops are a much lighter offensive force and the current formation will lack the heavier firepower of extensive tank formations as in Soviet times.

The Russian airborne troops are one of the military’s leading units, pioneering many strategic and technical capabilities before other formations. Airborne troops are set to participate in the first drill in Africa for Russian forces in Egypt this month. Earlier this year one of Putin’s closest allies, Sergey Naryshkin, who now heads Russia’s foreign intelligence, declared Russia’s airborne troops the “best in the world.”

US presidential debate: Trump launches ferocious attack on Clintons

Donald Trump has responded to an outcry over his remarks about groping women by launching a blistering attack against Hillary Clinton and her husband.

The Republican nominee denied ever sexually assaulting women, but turned his fire on ex-President Bill Clinton in a bitter US presidential debate.

“There’s never been anybody in the history of politics that has been so abusive to women,” he said.

Hillary Clinton refused to address his comments about her husband.

Mr Trump’s attack on the Clintons came after moderator Anderson Cooper asked him about a 2005 video released on Friday that revealed Mr Trump bragging about groping women.

The 70-year-old billionaire dismissed the remarks as “just words” and “locker room talk”.

When pressed on whether he had engaged in sexual misconduct, he denied doing so and instead focused on Mr Clinton’s previous indiscretions.

Képtalálat a következőre: „US presidential debate: Trump launches ferocious attack on Clintons”

No criminal charges have been brought against Mr Clinton in any allegations of sexual assault.

Mrs Clinton said the explosive video, which has sparked an exodus of Republicans denying support to their presidential nominee, “represents exactly who he is”.

“With prior Republican nominees, I disagreed with them,” she added, “but I never questioned their fitness to serve.”

Képtalálat a következőre: „US presidential debate: Trump launches ferocious attack on Clintons”

When the two took to the stage in St Louis for their second of three debates, they did not shake hands, striking a bitter tone that would continue throughout.

Mr Trump said if he won, he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Mrs Clinton and she would be in prison over her private email arrangements.

“Everything he just said is absolutely false but I’m not surprised,” she responded. “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.”

“Because you’d be in jail,” he interrupted.

Mr Trump also said his Democratic rival “has tremendous hate in her heart” while criticising her for referring to his supporters as “deplorables”.

Mrs Clinton said she apologised for the comment, adding: “My argument is not with his supporters, it’s with him, about the hateful and divisive campaign he has run.”

The two also sparred on the conflict in Syria, Russian aggression, Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns and his plan for the “extreme vetting” of immigrants arriving from countries with links to terrorism.

The evening concluded when an audience member asked the candidates to say one positive thing about each other.

Képtalálat a következőre: „US presidential debate: Trump launches ferocious attack on Clintons”

Mrs Clinton said his children were a great reflection of him while Mr Trump called his opponent “a fighter” who never gives up.

An hour before the debate began, Mr Trump appeared at a news conference with women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.

He joined three women who allege the former president sexually assaulted them and called the women “very courageous”.

The Republican was under immense pressure after making obscene comments about women in the 2005 video.

At least 33 senior Republicans – including senators, members of Congress, and state governors – have withdrawn their support since the video surfaced on Friday.

Germany manhunt: ‘IS link’ to bomb suspect Al-Bakr – police

German police say a Syrian man arrested after a two-day manhunt probably had links to so-called Islamic State (IS).

Jaber al-Bakr, who arrived in Germany as a refugee, was detained in a flat in the eastern city of Leipzig early on Monday. He had been tied up there.

He had sought help from another Syrian, who alerted police after letting Mr al-Bakr sleep at his flat, reports say.

The hunt began after police found very volatile explosives at Mr al-Bakr’s flat in Chemnitz, south of Leipzig.

In the initial raid in Chemnitz early on Saturday, Mr al-Bakr, 22, evaded capture as officers fired a warning shot in a botched attempt to stop him.

“The methods and behaviour of the suspect suggest an IS context,” said Saxony State Police chief Joerg Michaelis.

He said the suspect had researched bomb-making on the internet. “It is reasonable to assume that an explosives belt was nearly ready, or had been prepared already,” he said.

‘Bomb-making lab’

Police found a detonator, explosives and a kilo of chemicals in the Chemnitz flat.

Mr Michaelis said the substance appeared to be TATP, a homemade explosive used in the deadly jihadist attacks in Paris last year and Brussels in March.

A vehicle of the German Criminal Police is seen behind a police tape cordoning off the area as officers investigate an apartment in the Paunsdorf district of Leipzig, Saxony, Germany, 10 October 2016.

Security sources referred to Mr al-Bakr’s apartment as a “a virtual bomb-making lab”, and carried out a controlled explosion. German authorities feared a possible plan to target an airport in Berlin.

As the search for the suspect broadened, a police commando unit arrested another man in Chemnitz, blasting open the door of his home.

However, it was not until late on Sunday night that police were given a tip-off from another Syrian man living in Leipzig who had been contacted by Jaber al-Bakr from the city’s main station.

At 00:42 on Monday morning, police burst into the flat in the Paunsdorf area of the city and found the suspect already tied up, Germany’s Spiegel website reported.

A remote-controlled robot for bombing disarming is on a track of the main station of the town of Chemnitz, eastern Germany on October 8, 2016

Jaber Al-Bakr came to Germany in February 2015 and was granted asylum in November, German media say. He reportedly had links to the so-called Islamic State group. He is expected to be moved to the city of Karlsruhe later on Monday.

Over a million irregular migrants arrived in Germany last year, many fleeing the conflict in Syria. The BBC’s Jenny Hill in Berlin says the latest incident will put pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to reassure a nervous German public that her decision to allow such large numbers into the country has not endangered the country.

A spokesperson for the German interior ministry said on Sunday: “We can’t rule out in Germany such attacks that we’ve seen lately in France and Belgium.”

The Bavarian CSU, allied to Mrs Merkel’s ruling centre-right Christian Democrats, called on Monday for stricter security reviews for asylum seekers. The party called on the government to focus “even more intensively” in scrutinising migrants for potential extremists.


India parents investigated after Jain girl dies from 68-day fast

Indian police are investigating the parents of a 13-year-old girl who died last week after undertaking a religious fast for 68 days.

Police in southern Hyderabad city told BBC Hindi they want to know if Aradhana Samdariya was forced to fast.

Her parents have insisted she voluntarily fasted as prescribed in Jainism, one of the world’s most ancient religions.

The case has sparked a debate about the practice of religious fasting in India.

Reports said Aradhana lived for 68 days on boiled water. Two days after she called off her fast last week, she was dead.

Experts believe it is possible for the human body to survive without food for up to two months.

A police spokesperson said a case had been registered against the parents after a child rights organisation filed a complaint.

Voluntary fast?

“The parents – Laxmi Chand and Manshi Samdariya – have been booked under culpable homicide [causing death by negligence] and Juvenile Justice Act [cruelty against minors],” the spokesperson said.

The parents, wealthy jewellers based in Hyderabad, have denied that they forced their daughter to fast.

“She asked permission for upvaas [fast that involves renouncing food]. We asked her to stop after 51 days but she would not give up. Her fast was voluntary. No one forced her,” Mr Samdariya said.

But social activists have rejected the family’s claim.

“The entire nation should be ashamed that such a practice still exists. Her father’s guru advised the family that if she fasted for 68 days, his business would be profitable,” activist Achyut Rao told BBC Hindi.

“The girl was made to drink only water from sunrise to sunset. There was no salt or lemon or anything else.”

Mr Rao also criticised the family for taking out a funeral procession “to hail their daughter as a child saint”.

“The shocking aspect is that the family is happy that she was the rare one to be taken away by God,” he said.

Prolonged fasting is popular among Jains, who are a minority religious group in India.

Activists have often criticised another controversial practice called santhara, in which a Jain gives up food and water with the intention of preparing for death.

The death of the teenager has once again put the spotlight on such practices. Many people have taken to Twitter to express their outrage.

Is this for real!! Which century r v living in..worse is that she is from an educated family...#BaalTapasvi #samdariya #aradhana #Hyderabad

13yr old Aradhana Samdhariya's death very painful.Time for Jain community to introspect. Death by fasting & that to of teenager is inhuman.

13-Year-Old Jain Girl Dies After Fasting For 68 Days - How can a state allow this stupidity? http://www.ndtv.com/hyderabad-news/13-year-old-jain-girl-dies-in-hyderabad-after-fasting-for-68-days-1471700 … via @ndtv

Utterly shameful. Religious fanaticism. And child abuse. Aren't Jains supposed to value life?? #Aradhana

A child has to go through this in name of Religion-13 yr old #Jaingirl dies in #Hyderabad after fasting for 68 days.

Fasting is not uncommon in other religions – Muslims go without food and water between sunrise and sunset during the holy month of Ramadan, Christians fast during Lent, Jews go without food during Yom Kippur and Hindus fast on various religious occasions. But none of these religions sanction fasting to starvation – and death.

However, Jain leaders have defended prolonged fasts.

“Pregnant women or those who are unwell should not fast. But there is no bar on children fasting. But how much they should fast ought to depend on their own individual capacity,” Maharasa Ravinder Muniji, a Jain monk in Hyderabad, told the Firstpost website.

Alec Baldwin’s Scarier, Nastier Donald Trump

Saturday Night Live returned for another season with a new impression of the GOP’s presidential candidate—and it was just the jolt the show needed.

Despite a long history of political satire, Saturday Night Live hasn’t had a very strong election cycle over the past year, largely because of its failure to capture Donald Trump. Last season, the show treated the GOP presidential candidate with much the same detached bemusement as the Republican establishment:

As played by Darrell Hammond, he was a cartoon bully—an arch, if crude, provocateur who couldn’t possibly ascend to the presidency. But this version of Trump bore little resemblance to the so-called demagogue at a forefront of an unprecedented political movement. So, over the summer, the show made a major change—and this weekend, Hammond’s self-satisfied smirk was replaced with the gargoyle scowl of Alec Baldwin.

It turned out that Baldwin, who appeared in the show’s cold open satirizing the first presidential debate, was just the jolt the SNL needed (and it translated to big ratings).

Képtalálat a következőre: „Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Debate Cold Open - SNL”

The show is defined by its coverage of election years, from Phil Hartman’s chummy, hungry Bill Clinton in 1992 to Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush saying “strategery” in 2000 to, of course, Sarah Palin seeing Russia from her house. While the show’s previous iteration of Trump was slammed for being chummy and toothless, Baldwin’s new take felt loaded with venom.

This Trump took the stage and promised to be “so presidential,” then almost immediately offered up some casually racist and sexist remarks. He called the moderator Lester Holt (as played by Michael Che) “Coltrane” and “jazzman”; he accused Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama of taking his microphone “to Kenya” and breaking it; he proudly brought up Monica Lewinsky, calling her “very heavy.”

Throughout the sketch, he sniffed, grunted, and grimaced at his opponent; Baldwin’s Trump seemed less like a class clown and more like a demonic version of SNL’s Drunk Uncle.

It felt like the first time the show was going after the candidate’s controversial policies and inflammatory rhetoric. But just as powerful was how little the writers needed to stray from his actual words in order to make a point.

Képtalálat a következőre: „Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Debate Cold Open - SNL”

“We should be talking about the important issues, like Rosie O’Donnell and how she’s a fat loser,” Baldwin’s Trump yelled when asked about Alicia Machado; “And everyone agrees with me, and I just wanted to bring that up at a presidential debate of my own volition. Good idea, I did it.” It might have seemed ridiculous if it wasn’t almost exactly how it played out in real life.

Trump has been a figurative and literal character on Saturday Night Live for many years. He’s hosted twice: once in 2004, and again in 2015, in the middle of his presidential campaign. Phil Hartman played Trump as a blustery tycoon for a handful of sketches in the late ’80s; Hammond’s version was more rooted in Trump’s persona on The Apprentice.

After one ill-fated sketch the where now-fired cast member Taran Killam tried the role, Hammond was brought back—but his Trump was still the smug playground bully who called Jeb Bush “Jeborah.” Despite being known as the show’s master impressionist, he never quite had Trump’s cadence down.

Beyond that, his take on the character seemed oddly neutral at a time when Trump was proposing a ban on Muslims entering the United States and calling Mexican immigrants “rapists.”

Baldwin’s Trump is the show’s canniest yet. His character is heavier on the makeup—his face is craggy and deeply perma-tanned, while his gigantic eyebrows practically jump through the screen. It seems a little inspired by Baldwin’s take on Richard Nixon, whom he parodied on 30 Rock—grumpily paranoid, hunched over with his mouth hanging open, and wagging his fingers at the audience furiously.

But the verbal impression also sounds more accurate, especially when he hits words like “Clinton” (spat out with derision) or “China” (delivered with an elongated groan).

Still, the biggest change came through in the writing itself—SNL now seems unafraid to use Trump’s own ideas and words to paint him as a sneering racist, rather than a harmless blowhard. “The thing about the blacks is that they’re killing each other,” Baldwin growled in the debate sketch.

Képtalálat a következőre: „Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Debate Cold Open - SNL”

“All the blacks live on one street in Chicago … it’s called Hell Street, and they’re on Hell Street, and they’re all just killing each other, just like I am killing this debate.” It was an only slightly heightened version of Trump’s actual pitch to black voters, itself rooted in racist stereotypes.

What led to this shift? This season of SNL has new head writers in Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, who wrote the debate sketch and may have decided to take a more aggressive tone going into the final months of the election.

Trump’s hosting spot in November 2015 had also been widely criticized for being a cheap ratings grab that softened and legitimized a candidate who’d at that point already been condemned for his comments on immigration.

Similar blowbacks from comedians and critics have greeted other late-night shows that have treated Trump gently, most recently Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show.

Képtalálat a következőre: „Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Debate Cold Open - SNL”

The particular irony was that NBC already had severed its relationship with Trump in the summer of 2015 because of his “derogatory statements”; SNLdefended Trump largely on the basis of his popularity in the primary polls.

“People got mad at us for having Trump on the show, but it’s like, he’s supposed to be on a comedy show!” the cast member and Weekend Update host Michael Che said to Seth Meyers this summer.

“I’m mad at you for voting for him! That’s where he makes sense, on a sketch-comedy show! Let’s laugh at the orange man!” Trump certainly was the biggest story of the year, but it’s still remarkably rare forSNL to extend the hosting gig to a presidential candidate. Coupled with the season’s generally weak satire, the episode made the show look slightly desperate.

When SNL’s creator and executive producer, Lorne Michaels, was asked about the show treating Trump with kid gloves last season, he was his usual enigmatic self. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last week, Michaels said,

“He is the nominee of the Republican party. We’ve always tried to be non-partisan. I think that he’s one of the most controversial candidates that’s ever happened. But you’ll see what we do this week.” There was certainly new urgency on display last Saturday—Baldwin’s performance invited viewers to not just “laugh at the orange man,” but also to fear him.

%d bloggers like this: