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‘They are alive!’: These Mexican children are in a terrible nightmare, please pray

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This has to be the most heartbreaking story about Mexico City I’ve read. In fact, it’s one of the most nightmarish, unimaginable things I have ever read, period.

After the deadly earthquake that has so far claimed at least 230 lives, a school collapsed south of Mexico City, crushing 21 children between the ages of 7 and 13 along with five adults. As searchers continued working for the last 24 hours, they located several signs of life under the rubble using a thermal scanner.

From Yahoo News (AFP):

“They are alive! Alive!” shouted Civil Protection volunteer Enrique Garcia, 37. “Someone hit a wall several times in one place, and in another there was a response to light signals with a lamp,” he said.

“We have been at this since yesterday, but we cannot reach them, because they are trapped between two slabs…”

They’ve rescued 11 children and one teacher from the rubble. But they can’t reach these children yet. It’s painstaking, heart-rending work, and the parents are beyond comfort.

“No one can possibly imagine the pain I’m in right now,” said one mother, Adriana Fargo, who was standing outside what remained of the school waiting for news of her seven-year-old daughter.

In the Condesa neighborhood, Karen Guzman sat on a stool in the street with her back to one of the collapsed buildings. She said she could not bear the tension of the search for around 30 people thought to be under the rubble, among them her brother.

Beside her were two street poles tagged with lists of rescued people, but they do not include the name of her brother Juan Antonio, a 43-year-old accountant who worked on the top floor of the four-story building.

“My mom is looking for him in hospitals because we don’t trust those lists. Sometimes I think nobody knows anything,” she said.

This has to be a parent’s worst nightmare, and also for the poor, trapped, scared children.

Perspectives

Mexico earthquake: 230 confirmed dead as rescue efforts continue – live | World news | The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2017/sep/20/mexico-earthquake-survivors-rescue-liveIt’s unclear how many children have been pulled out alive and how many survivors may still be trapped. The rescue efforts are continuing as Mexico City heads towards nightfall. At the collapsed school, officials have issued an urgent call for lamps, oxygen tanks, medicine and thermal blankets, according to Agren:

But there is still hope. There was total silence while rescue workers used a sensor to painstakingly identify possible human activity. A rescue dog was then sent in, and as a result, two areas were identified and marked with green painted circles where digging will be targeted over the next few hours despite the pouring rain.

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Final thoughts

There is very little to say. Prayer, if you believe in God and His power to rescue, is appropriate. If only there were a way to hug these parents through the Internet…

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Israel appoints first Christian ambassador

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Israel appoints first Christian ambassador

Most appointed bureaucrats and representatives in Israel are Jewish. Cultural diversity has been on the rise in the Jewish state and is starting to be reflected in government as they appointed their first Christian Arab ambassador.

George Deek will soon be Israel’s ambassador to Azerbaijan. It is an important relationship for Israel as the Muslim majority nation is one of Israel’s largest arms markets. They also supply about 40% of Israel’s oil.

“We are proud of his appointment, which perfectly symbolizes the integration of Israelis from different backgrounds in the representation of the state,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.

Deek is currently a senior adviser to Director-General Yuval Rotem. His diplomatic experience is wide with stints serving the ministry in Norway and Nigeria.

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Immigration

Joni Ernst warns of challenges to push President Trump’s agenda after losing the House

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Joni Ernst warns of challenges to push President Trumps agenda after losing the House

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), the newly elected Republican Senate Conference vice chairman, pointed out two things that are going to be big challenges over the next two years: border security and making the tax cuts permanent. Both centerpieces of President Trump’s agenda will be difficult to achieve now that Democrats control the House of Representatives.

Republicans were able to get the tax cuts they wanted, but without control of the House it will be nearly impossible to make them permanent in the next two years.

They were unable to get border security pushed forward in the first two years of the administration despite having control of the House and the Senate during that stretch. Most notably, they failed to make significant progress towards building a border wall between Mexico and the United States.

With Democrats controlling the House, getting it done now will be nearly impossible.

My Take

It’s indefensible that Republicans didn’t do more for border security when they had the chance. Two years is plenty of time to push through legislation, but their focus on three failed Obamacare repeals drew their attention away.

Don’t get me wrong. Obamacare repeal is extremely important and arguably the reason they were able to win in 2010-2016. But it’s failure is no excuse for delaying border security measures. Now, they’re delayed indefinitely.

In those rare periods when a party controls the House, Senate, and White House, they need to pack all the legislation they believe America needs. Republicans ignored the border and now Americans will pay the price.

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Florida update: Rick Scott almost certain to win

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Florida update Rick Scott almost certain to win

By now, Rick Scott should be transitioning into the Senate and Bill Nelson should be looking for a new job. Instead, we’re having to wait a few more days until it all gets sorted out in the election-challenged state of Florida.

The good news for Scott, the current Republican governor, is that when the dust settles, he will be declared the winner.

Over 4,000 ballots are in bad-signature limbo, meaning they are currently being rejected over signatures that do not match what’s on record in 45 Florida county election offices. No word on how many ballots were rejected in the 22 other Florida counties.

Currently, Nelson trails Scott by around 12,500 votes.

With half a dozen lawsuits crossing the state over every voting issue imaginable right now, there will be legal proceedings that go well beyond the election’s final results. As it stands now, we won’t get those final results until a manual recount. The state’s threshold following a machine recount is .25%. Scott’s lead is currently at .14%.

My Take

It’s better to get elections results right than to get them swiftly. Both sides have used legal maneuvers to promote their causes, and while this can be an annoyance to voters while forcing the rest of the nation to collectively scratch our heads, it’s imperative that they see this all the way through to the end.

Republicans are wrong to be in a hurry to certify results because in such a close race, we as Americans should hope every valid vote is counted and every invalid vote is rejected. They’re in a hurry because there’s nothing to gain for the party by prolonging a race they’ve won. It’s understandable, but misguided.

Democrats are wrong on multiple levels. First, it’s becoming more and more clear that someone, whether it be election officials like Brenda Snipes, secret groups with ballot access trying to cheat, or a combination of the two, is trying to tip the scales in favor of Democrats. Second, some of their delay techniques and legal maneuvers won’t do anything to change the election results but are intended to taint the GOP wins. Third, their attacks through the media on Republicans, including Scott and governor-elect Ron DeSantis, have been unnecessarily brutal.

While it’s very likely Rick Scott will be declared the winner… someday… this latest series of incidents highlights two things: Florida’s election incompetence and forces working on behalf of Democrats to steal elections any way they can.

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