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‘Woke imperialism strikes again’: CNN faces backlash after it defends keeping US troops in Afghanistan by citing women’s rights


An attempt by CNN to rally against the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan under the pretext of protecting women’s rights there has drawn pushback, with netizens criticizing the notion as driven by the imperialist agenda.

“Concerns mount that US withdrawal from Afghanistan could risk progress on women’s rights,” reads the headline to the article published by the cable news channel on Saturday. Citing a chorus of Democratic and Republican lawmakers as well as several Afgan officials, the piece makes a case for keeping American troops in the war-ravaged country until “the conditions on the ground are right — regardless of the date on the calendar.”

Noting that US President Joe Biden signalled that the May 1 deadline for the troop pullout will unlikely be met, CNN argues that “a precipitous withdrawal” would have spelled doom for “hard-won gains for women and civil society in Afghanistan.”

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Too soon: Afghan children in Jalalabad, celebrate the US-Taliban peace agreement, February 28, 2020 file photo.
Top Democrat reveals US will miss Afghanistan withdrawal deadline, says Biden will ask Taliban for ‘more time’

The argument that the US presence on the ground is necessary so that the Afghan civil society does not crumble failed to strike chord with many. The article quickly got ratioed on Twitter, triggering a torrent of criticism and mockery.

“Good gracious the propagandists will do anything to keep wars going,” U.S. Navy Veteran and Martech Zone founder Douglas Karr tweeted.

“It’s disgusting the way the corporate press serves as the propaganda wing for endless war,” a libertarian commenter chimed in, while another took issue with the pretext CNN cited to delay the withdrawal. “Woke imperialism strikes again,” he tweeted.

“Equity, inclusion, and de-colonization requires the continued occupation Afghanistan,” journalist Michael Tracey wrote, paraphrasing the CNN message.

Some denounced CNN for apparently taking more interest in the US being the world’s policeman than in actual Americans stationed in Afghanistan.

“It is not the US responsibility to police the world otherwise the US will be involved in endless wars, you may not care about American troops dying to police the world but the rest of us do care about American troops,” a commenter wrote.

“This is a difficult issue to address. Is it our job to police the world?” another asked.

Other critics have opted to bombard the CNN piece with memes. 

Some 3,500 US troops and another 7,000 or so NATO troops are currently in Afghanistan. They were supposed to leave by May 1 under the Doha Agreement stuck between the US and the Taliban last year. The likely US failure to depart on time has already prompted the Taliban to threaten retaliation for the violation of the agreement. 

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Lawsuit: Virginia police officers threatened man during stop


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A second lieutenant in the U.S. Army is suing two Virginia police officers over a traffic stop last December during which the officers drew their guns, pointed them at him and used a slang term to suggest he was facing execution before pepper-spraying him and knocking him to the ground.

Body camera footage shows Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, was dressed in uniform with his hands held in the air outside the driver’s side window as he told the armed officers, “I’m honestly afraid to get out.”

“Yeah, you should be!” one of the officers responded during the stop at a gas station.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, Nazario says his constitutional rights were violated during the traffic stop in the town of Windsor. The two sides in the case dispute what happened after a second police officer joined the first one in the stop. At the time, Nazario was coming from his duty station and going home, attorney Jonathan Arthur told The Associated Press on Friday.

“Graduated from Virginia State University. He was commissioned out of their ROTC program. He’s an officer in the United States armed forces,” Arthur said. “These guys decide to do this to him.”

Asked about Nazario’s condition after the incident, Arthur said, “He’s definitely not doing too well.”

Windsor Police Officer Daniel Crocker radioed he was attempting to stop a vehicle with no rear license plate and tinted windows. He said the driver was “eluding police” and he considered it a “high-risk traffic stop,” according to a report he submitted afterward and which was included in the court filing.

Arthur said Nazario explained at the time that he wasn’t trying to elude the officer, but was trying to stop in a well-lit area “for officer safety and out of respect for the officers.”

Another officer, Joe Gutierrez, was driving by when he heard Crocker’s call, saw him attempting to stop the SUV and decided to join the traffic stop. Gutierrez acknowledged that Nazario’s decision to drive to a lighted area happens to him “a lot, and 80% of the time, it’s a minority,” Arthur said, quoting the officer.

The lawsuit says by the time the two officers reached Nazario’s SUV, the license plate was visible in the rear.

Nazario drove his SUV to a well-lit gas station where, according to the lawsuit, the two officers got out and immediately drew their guns and pointed them at Nazario after they got out of their cars. The officers then attempted to pull Nazario out of the vehicle while he continued to keep his hands in the air. Gutierrez then stepped back and pepper-sprayed Nazario multiple times as officers yelled for him to get out of the car.

“I don’t even want to reach for my seatbelt, can you please? … My hands are out, can you please — look, this is really messed up,” Nazario stammered upon being pepper-sprayed, his eyes clenched shut.

The officers shouted conflicting orders at Nazario, telling him to put his hands out the window while also telling him to open the door and get out, the lawsuit says. At one point, Gutierrez told Nazario he was “fixin’ to ride the lightning,” a reference to the electric chair which was also a line from the movie “The Green Mile,” a film about a Black man facing execution.

Nazario got out of the vehicle and again asked for a supervisor. Gutierrez responded with “knee-strikes” to his legs, knocking him to the ground, the lawsuit says. The two officers struck him multiple times, then handcuffed and interrogated him.

The traffic stop was captured on Nazario’s cellphone video, and the body-worn cameras worn by Crocker and Gutierrez, according to the lawsuit.

“These cameras captured footage of behavior consistent with a disgusting nationwide trend of law enforcement officers, who, believing they can operate with complete impunity, engage in unprofessional, discourteous, racially biased, dangerous and sometimes deadly abuses of authority …” the lawsuit says.

The AP reached out to Windsor police for comment, but an email was not returned and their voice mailbox was full. No one answered the phone at a number listed for Crocker on Friday.

Crocker and Gutierrez still work for the department, the town manager told The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk. Windsor is about 70 miles (112 kilometers) southeast of Richmond.

Video shows Collier County deputy’s close encounter with Florida panther


COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. (WSVN) — A Collier County deputy had an encounter with a Florida panther who got a little too close to her cruiser.

Cellphone video showed the moment the big cat ran toward the deputy’s car, Friday morning.


The deputy quickly rolled up her window.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, there are only roughly 130 Florida panthers left in the wild, making Friday’s encounter extremely rare.

Authorities ID driver, teen passenger killed in crash down steep hill


SAN DIEGO — Authorities have identified a 19-year-old driver and his 17-year-old passenger who were killed when their car crashed down a steep hill in an unincorporated area north of Escondido.

The crash happened around 10:30 p.m. April 1 near the intersection of Lawrence Welk Court and Lawrence Welk Drive west of Interstate 15. A San Diego County medical examiner’s report says 19-year-old Hugo Alfredo Ramirez Ramirez of Vista was driving at a high rate of speed when his car went off the road and fell several hundred feet down a steep ravine.

The 2016 Toyota Scion ended up near 28000 Lawrence Welk Court. The report says when first responders got down to the car, they found Ramirez Ramirez and his passenger, 17-year-old Andrew Manriquez Alarcon of Vista, with fatal injuries.

Law enforcement has not released an official cause of the crash.

Man crashes into home after being shot while driving


SAN DIEGO — Two people were hurt Saturday when someone opened fire on their car, causing them to crash into a Lincoln Park area home, according to police.

The San Diego Police Department said a man was driving near 1350 Euclid around 4:07 p.m. with a woman in the car when a black sedan pulled up next to them. The front passenger of the sedan reportedly had a gun and fired multiple shots from the car window.

Police said a bullet hit the 31-year-old male driver in the back, and he crashed his car into a nearby home. He was taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening. The female passenger complained of pain in her knee.

The car the shooter was in drove off southbound on Euclid in what investigators said was possibly a black Volkswagen Jetta. No further details about the suspect were available.

The police department’s gang detectives are investigating the shooting. Anyone with information is encouraged to call police or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

Padres follow up 1st no-no with 7-4 victory over Rangers


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Trent Grisham hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning and the San Diego Padres beat the Texas Rangers 7-4.

Eric Hosmer and Ha-Seong Kim also went deep as the Padres followed up the franchise’s first no-hitter with another victory. Grisham’s two-run homer off Wes Benjamin put the Padres up 5-4. Grisham was born in Burleson, Texas, about 30 miles from Globe Life Field.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa had a solo homer and two-run double for the Rangers. San Diego has won seven games in a row against Texas. Joe Musgrove pitched the first Padres’ first no-hitter on Friday night.

Padres fans flocked to the coffee shop in Alpine owned by Musgrove’s parents on Saturday with customers lining up to offer their congratulations.

“We are just so proud of him, coming back to his hometown and just taking it for the team,” Caffe Adesso customer and family friend Stacey Perkins said.  

Padres fans also rushed to pick up no-no Joe merchandise but with his recent acquisition, inventory was limited. Friday was Musgrove’s second start for San Diego and the game is the first no-hitter in the majors this season.

Staff at the Padres Team Store told FOX 5 that customized Musgrove jerseys and shirt sales are up some 400%.

Ecuador, Peru head to polls under strict virus measures


LIMA, Peru (AP) — Ecuador and Peru are choosing new presidents under strict public health measures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Ecuadoreans face a runoff Sunday between a conservative businessman and a protégé of former leftist President Rafael Correa. Meanwhile, Peruvians have 18 options to choose from in the first round. The elections come as both countries are seeing another surge in COVID-19 cases and meager progress in their vaccination programs. Lockdowns have returned, threating further damage to the nations’ already battered economies. Voting is mandatory in both countries, and elections officials have ordered voters to wear masks and keep their distance.

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21 Chinese coal miners trapped by underground flood


BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese news agency says rescuers are trying to reach 21 coal miners who are trapped by an underground flood in the country’s northwest. The Xinhua News Agency says the mine in Hutubi County in the Xinjiang region flooded on Saturday evening. It says eight miners were rescued. China’s coal mines are among the world’s deadliest, regularly suffering explosions and gas leaks despite repeated safety crackdowns.

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Civale coasts, Luplow drives in 5 as Indians pound Tigers


CLEVELAND (AP) — Aaron Civale allowed just three hits while dominating Detroit over 7 2/3 innings and was backed by five home runs, including Jordan Luplow’s three-run shot, as the Cleveland Indians pounded the Tigers 11-3.

Luplow added a two-run double and finished with a career-high five RBIs.

Franmil Reyes hit his third homer in two days, Roberto Pérez and Andrés Giménez each added a two-run homer and César Hernández hit a solo shot for Cleveland.

Luplow’s homer in the fourth off Tigers starter Tarik Skubal put the Indians ahead 6-0. Robbie Grossman and Jeimer Candelario homered for the Tigers.

Police arrest man following overnight standoff in Southeast Bakersfield


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Police arrested a man accused of domestic violence early Saturday morning following an hourslong standoff with officers at a home in Southeast Bakersfield.

Bakersfield police said officers were called for a peace disturbance and possible domestic violence call at a home on Trabuco Canyon Drive near Colima Street at around 9:15 p.m. Friday. The department said a man barricaded himself inside the home, prompting the standoff with police.

Officers eventually entered the home and arrested the man identified as Jessie Meza for charges related to domestic violence and parole violation, officials said.

A Kern County inmate database showed Meza, 35, was booked on domestic violence and weapons charges. He is due in court on April 13.

There are resources available for anyone who is a victim of domestic violence or if you suspect someone you know is a victim of domestic violence:

  • Call 911 in an emergency
  • Call the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault at 661-322-0931
  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

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