Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (also known as AMLO) has reiterated that he won’t be drawn into a response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that Mexico would build a wall, brushing off the U.S. leader’s claims as mere electoral rhetoric.
The statement comes amid a seething political battle between Democrats and a reluctant Republican Party over border wall funding which has fueled a partial government shutdown that has lasted weeks.
On Wednesday, Lopez Obrador stressed that his government would not be drawn into what is essentially a domestic political battle gripping Mexico’s northern neighbor.
“We won’t respond to proposals that result from the internal situation within the United States. We can see that there is a political confrontation within the United States, as is the case in every country whenever elections are approaching,” the Mexican leader told reporters Wednesday during a morning press conference.
“In the U.S. they have – with all due respect [because] I don’t want to get drawn into their internal affairs – but they have a re-election system with a very short duration,” he added.
Continuing, he noted that “when the new president arrives, when he comes into office, he is already thinking about his re-election and his opponents are in the same [mindset]. Clearly, that is one explanation.”
During his election campaign, Lopez Obrador previously blasted Trump’s immigrant-scapegoating rhetoric as “oppressive, racist inhumane,” but has since backed away from such confrontational messaging in favor of a more diplomatic approach to his U.S. counterpart.
Trump, for his part, doubled down Wednesday on his push to build a massive barrier on the southern border, arguing that it would be “foolish” to give up on a solution that he conceded was “medieval” yet effective.
Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
“They say it’s a medieval solution, a wall. It’s true, because it worked then and it works even better now,” the U.S. president told reporters in the Oval Office during a bill signing event.
In a Tuesday night address, President Trump also repeated his claim that Mexico would pay for the wall “indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made,” a reference to the USMCA (U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement) or updated version of the NAFTA trilateral trade deal.
Critics have noted that the USMCA deal, which isn’t even close to coming into force, lacks provisions about a wall or any barrier whatsoever, and also is unlikely to yield any of the sort of tax revenue that would be capable of funding the multi-billion dollar wall.
Democrats claim that the U.S. leader has taken the country hostage with the partial government shutdown that began nineteen days ago. Both parties have shown little sign of backing off, despite polls that show that a majority of U.S. voters have grown weary over the ongoing battle.
The Mexican leader, for his part, has focused on the need to address the root causes of the ongoing crisis of forced migration, which has seen Central American nations hemorrhage migrants and economic refugees who are fleeing north to the Mexico-U.S. border to escape the dire conditions in their home countries.
Studies have shown that an overwhelming majority of refugees and asylum-seekers from the Central American “Northern Triangle” – El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – have witnessed or experienced violent events such as forced disappearance, sexual attacks, assault, coercive recruitment by armed groups, or the murder of loved ones. In the past, Mexican immigration authorities, with staunch assistance from Washington, have detained U.S.-bound migrants and returned them to their home countries, placing them in grave danger while breaching Mexico’s international legal obligations to the lives of threatened children and refugees.
Rather than focusing purely on security measures to address the crisis, Lopez Obrador has aimed to coordinate an effort to fund the economic development of Mexico’s Central American neighbors. Past attempts to stem violence in the region through security measures alone have led to increased rights abuses, militarism, and corruption while failing to address the political and economic roots of the crisis.
“Of course, we talk about the migrant problem, but we want to solve the problem of migration by addressing the causes, there are those who would like us to confront one another [but] we want to seek a relationship of friendship with the United States government and a relationship of cooperation,” Lopez Obrador said.
Jeff Bezos Thanks Amazon Workers And Customers For Paying For His Flight To Space
The billionaire space race chalked up one more ignoble milestone on July 20 when the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, boarded a reusable rocket his company Blue Origin built and funded, flew to the edge of space for a moment of weightlessness, and came back down to earth.
You can watch the flight and learn more about the journey here.
The Amazon founder has faced withering criticism for accumulating his massive fortune on the backs of an exploited workforce that is subject to harsh working conditions and low pay in warehouses or Fulfillment Centers where staffers must urinate in water bottles in order to meet their quotas.
In his press conference following the launch, Bezos thanked that same workforce for helping him to shoot himself into space in a move that many critics have described as a simple “joyride.”
“I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for this,” he told the crowd, which responded with laughter. “Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every employee thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It’s very appreciated.”
Critics on Twitter responded with derision, noting that Bezos was able to enjoy the trip at the expense of his hard-working employees.
“Thing is, employers are supposed to pay their employees, not the other way around, but that’s basically how Amazon works,” one user tweeted.
While another tweeter asked: “Maybe they’re searching space for signs of a livable wage or a way to pay their fair share of taxes?”
On Tuesday, Bezos blasted off in the sub-orbital New Shepard rocket from Texas. The date for the launch was chosen to coincide with the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Members of the crew, which included his brother mark and 82-year-old female astronaut Wally Funk, brought a number of historic items on the flight, including a piece of canvas from the conceptual plane originally flown by the Wright brothers, the goggles Amelia Earhart used to fly across the Atlantic, and a brass medal made from the first hot air balloon which flew in 1783.
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”