Cuba briefly arrests 90 dissidents at protest march

1 / 2

Cuban dissidents and members of the Ladies in White human rights group hold a national flag and pictures of imprisoned dissidents as they protest against the reopening of the US embassy on the island, in Havana, on August 9, 2015

Cuban dissidents and members of the Ladies in White human rights group hold a national flag and pictures of imprisoned dissidents as they protest against the reopening of the US embassy on the island, in Havana, on August 9, 2015 (AFP Photo/Francisco Jara)

Havana (AFP) - With tense bilateral ties recently renewed after five decades, and top US diplomat John Kerry due in Havana in days, Cuba briefly detained about 90 activists.

Cuban security forces on Sunday rounded up about 50 protesters with the Ladies in White dissident group and around 40 other activists, some wearing masks with the image of US President Barack Obama, according to an AFP reporter.

All 90 were released after four and a half hours in custody, according to the leader of Ladies in White, Berta Soler.

Earlier at the march, protester Angel Moya -- Soler's husband -- slammed Obama, and said the December announcement to normalize relations between the former Cold war foes had bolstered Havana's crackdown on dissidents.

"It's his fault, what is happening," said Moya, a former political prisoner, speaking about Obama.

"The Cuban government has grown even bolder," he added before being detained.

"That's why we have this mask on. Because it's his fault," he said.

Uniformed police and plainclothes officers were on hand at the incident in Havana's upscale Miramar district.

When marchers who were not arrested started to leave, pro-government activists chanted "down with the pack of worms."

Kerry will be in Havana Friday for the ceremonial inauguration of the newly reopened US embassy. On January 20, the countries officially reopened embassies in their respective capitals.

Soler said she hopes Kerry would meet with dissident groups and members of non-governmental organizations during the visit.

She said she also wants Kerry to pressure Havana to respect human rights in the country, where freedom of assembly and freedom of the press have been criticized.

Washington should "give the Cuban government some conditions to get it to stop violating human rights," Soler told AFP.

Kerry will be the first US secretary of state to visit Cuba since 1945, sealing what will be a major foreign policy legacy of Obama's eight-year tenure.

Cuba is the only one-party Communist-ruled nation in the Americas.

  • Americans stranded at Pakistan airport after cruise ship was denied entry to multiple countries over coronavirus fears
    Yahoo News

    Americans stranded at Pakistan airport after cruise ship was denied entry to multiple countries over coronavirus fears

    A plane full of Americans and Canadians was stranded on a tarmac at an airport in Karachi, Pakistan, for several hours on Thursday after it was turned away from multiple countries due to fears of the coronavirus, according to a family member of two of the passengers. Kelly Chrjapin, whose parents were among those on the flight, said the plane contained more than 250 people, all of whom were American and Canadian nationals who had been traveling on the cruise ship MS Westerdam. One passenger from that boat tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month.

  • Police: Couple forced boys off road, angered by Trump flags
    Associated Press

    Police: Couple forced boys off road, angered by Trump flags

    A northwestern Indiana couple allegedly used a car to force two teenage boys off a road, angered that the twin brothers were riding bicycles adorned with flags supporting President Donald Trump, before ripping one of the sibling's flag from his bike, police said Friday. Hobart police said Snapchat videos helped officers secure charges against Kyren Gregory Perry-Jones, 23, and Cailyn Marie Smith, 18, in connection with a July 22 incident. Police Capt. James Gonzales said the Hobart couple are accused of driving in their car, running the 14-year-old boys off of the road, and making threats toward them.

  • AOC launches plan to block non-progressive Democrats with all-female candidates: 'My ambition right now is to be a little less lonely in Congress'
    The Independent

    AOC launches plan to block non-progressive Democrats with all-female candidates: 'My ambition right now is to be a little less lonely in Congress'

    Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is planning to endorse an all-female group of progressive candidates to build the far left, with some of the challengers going against members already in the Democratic Party. Her endorsements of more than one dozen candidates from her new political action committee will include a progressive challenger to potentially unseat a Texas representative from her party. "I think my ambition right now is to be a little less lonely in Congress," she told the New York Times.

  • Watch Out! U.S. Army Tanks Could Collapse Polish Bridges On Their Way to Battle Russia
    The National Interest

    Watch Out! U.S. Army Tanks Could Collapse Polish Bridges On Their Way to Battle Russia

    The U.S. Army and its closest allies have a problem. To deter Russia from attacking Poland and the Baltic States, the Army and its NATO allies should deploy heavy armored forces such as M-1 tanks, armored fighting vehicles and self-propelled artillery. RAND, a California think-tank with close ties to the U.S. military, in a February 2020 report underscored the importance of heavy ground forces.

  • A recurring Biden campaign story about being arrested in South Africa is full of inconsistencies
    The Week

    A recurring Biden campaign story about being arrested in South Africa is full of inconsistencies

    Former Vice President Joe Biden has a pretty good tale to share — but it may be a little tall. Biden, who is running for president, has been spicing up his recent campaign stump speeches with a story of how he was arrested while in South Africa trying to see Nelson Mandela, The New York Times reports. During recent campaign speeches, Biden says he "had the great honor" of meeting Mandela and "of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto." As Miami Herald reporter Alex Daugherty points out, Soweto is a ways away from Robben Island, where Mandela's maximum security prison was located.

  • China reports fall in new coronavirus cases but concerns grow over spread elsewhere
    Reuters

    China reports fall in new coronavirus cases but concerns grow over spread elsewhere

    China reported a sharp decrease in the number of new deaths and new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, while its central bank predicted a limited short-term economic impact and said the country was confident of winning the fight against the epidemic. Mainland China had 397 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Friday, down from 889 a day earlier, with the vast majority of those in the epicenter of Hubei province, the National Health Commission said. The 31 new infections recorded in the rest of the country was the lowest since the commission started compiling nationwide data on Jan. 20, and sharply down from 258 new cases the previous day.

  • A 15-month-old last seen in December was reported missing only this week
    NBC News

    A 15-month-old last seen in December was reported missing only this week

    A Tennessee sheriff said Friday he believes a 15-month-old girl — last seen in December but only reported missing this week — is still alive. Law enforcement agencies across the state were on the lookout for the toddler and a gray 2007 BMW, with Tennessee stickers, because "individuals traveling" in that vehicle "have information regarding Evelyn Boswell's whereabouts," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said. The little girl's name was added to the state's database of missing children on Tuesday with a notation: "Evelyn was entered as a missing child on Tuesday February 18, 2020 but was reportedly last seen on December 26, 2019."

  • Stone’s sentencing to begin after judge refuses new trial request
    Yahoo News Video

    Stone’s sentencing to begin after judge refuses new trial request

    Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Trump and a self-described political dirty trickster, is set to be sentenced on Thursday for his attempts to sabotage a congressional investigation that posed a political threat to the president.

  • 8 Statement-Making Cabinets to Make Any Room
    Architectural Digest

    8 Statement-Making Cabinets to Make Any Room

    Looking to make a statement? It's an open-and-shut case. Today's new collectible cabinets delight and surprise Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

  • Pete Buttigieg quips he's 'a Microsoft Word guy' during Democratic debate and attracts instant Clippy comparisons
    Business Insider

    Pete Buttigieg quips he's 'a Microsoft Word guy' during Democratic debate and attracts instant Clippy comparisons

    Associated Press/Charlie Niebergall Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg quipped he was more of a "Microsoft Word guy" during Wednesday's candidates' debate in Nevada. The remark came after rival Elizabeth Warren described Buttigieg's healthcare plan as "a PowerPoint" and "not a plan." Buttigieg's quip was mocked on social media, with some Twitter users likening him to Microsoft's now-defunct "Clippy" virtual assistant.

  • AP Exclusive: DEA agent accused of conspiring with cartel
    Associated Press

    AP Exclusive: DEA agent accused of conspiring with cartel

    A once-standout U.S. federal narcotics agent known for spending lavishly on luxury cars and Tiffany jewelry has been arrested on charges of conspiring to launder money with the same Colombian drug cartel he was supposed to be fighting. Jose Irizarry and his wife were arrested Friday at their home near San Juan, Puerto Rico, as part of a 19-count federal indictment that accused the 46-year-old Irizarry of “secretly using his position and his special access to information” to divert millions in drug proceeds from control of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “It's a black eye for the DEA to have one of its own engaged in such a high level of corruption," said Mike Vigil, the DEA's former Chief of International Operations.

  • Bloomberg trolls Trump with billboards as Trump campaigns in West
    CBS News

    Bloomberg trolls Trump with billboards as Trump campaigns in West

    Mike Bloomberg is looking beyond the war being waged against him by the Democratic primary field toward general election opponent President Trump, trolling him with billboards where the president himself is campaigning in the West this week. CBS News has exclusively learned that the billboards are going up in Phoenix and Las Vegas, where Mr. Trump will be campaigning Friday. The billboards are appearing in high visibility areas near a Trump hotel property on the Vegas Strip, and also along potential motorcade routes where the president may see them as he drives by.

  • Coronavirus: Princess Cruises boss under fire for blowing kisses at ship where two have died and 3,000 have been quarantined for weeks
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: Princess Cruises boss under fire for blowing kisses at ship where two have died and 3,000 have been quarantined for weeks

    The president of Princess Cruises welcomed a coronavirus-quarantined ship by blowing kisses and making heart signs, captured on a video set to upbeat music and posted on social media the same day as reports of the deaths of two passengers had surfaced. In a video posted to the company's social media on Wednesday, Jan Swartz is seen wearing a surgical mask and forming heart hands over her head as the cruise ship finally begins to disembark after its passengers were forced to remain at a port in Yokohama, Japan for several weeks following a shipwide outbreak of the flu-like respiratory virus. On Wednesday, officials with the Japanese Ministry of Health confirmed the on-board deaths of an 87-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman, both stricken with the latest coronavirus that has claimed more than 2,000 lives and sickened thousands of others around the globe.

  • Racist German Shooter Exposes the Global Network of Hate
    The Daily Beast

    Racist German Shooter Exposes the Global Network of Hate

    Late Wednesday night in the central German city Hanau, a gunman that police have identified as 43-year-old Tobias Rathjen opened fire at two shisha bars. They're the kind of places favored by people who enjoy a laid-back atmosphere as they puff tobacco bubbling through water-filled hookahs, and on any given evening, many of those folks may be from Turkish, Kurdish, or North African backgrounds. They're quiet places for conversation and minding your own business.

  • Quadruple murderer executed in Tennessee
    AFP

    Quadruple murderer executed in Tennessee

    A quadruple murderer was put to death in Tennessee on Thursday despite lawyers asking the US Supreme Court for a stay of execution. Nicholas Sutton, 58, was found guilty of stabbing a fellow inmate to death in 1985. Sutton's lawyers in January asked the state's Republican governor, Bill Lee, to grant clemency, citing expressions of support for Sutton from prison officials.

  • Airport worker with no license takes plane for spin near D.C., almost crashes, feds say
    NBC News

    Airport worker with no license takes plane for spin near D.C., almost crashes, feds say

    A Virginia man piloted at least one plane without a license in 2018, in a dangerous journey that ended with a "bounced" landing, federal authorities said. Ryan Guy Parker "knowingly and willfully" flew above suburban Washington D.C., posing a "significant risk of injury and death" to himself and the public, according to an affidavit by U.S. Department of Transportation Special Agent Bret Stolle. In a Sept. 27, 2018 trip out of Shannon Airport in Fredericksburg, Parker nearly crashed on touch down, Stolle wrote.

  • Fuel tanker explodes causing 'catastrophic' damage on Indianapolis interstate
    USA TODAY

    Fuel tanker explodes causing 'catastrophic' damage on Indianapolis interstate

    A tanker carrying about 4,000 gallons of jet fuel overturned and exploded in Indianapolis, closing lanes and backing up traffic on two interstate highways. Authorities began receiving calls reporting an overturned semi and fire on the ramp from Interstate-465 southbound to I-70 eastbound on the city's east side just before 2 p.m., Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Rita Reith said. The fire caused "severe, catastrophic damage" to the surrounding area, Reith said, spreading nearly 500 feet and affecting both sides of the bridge.

  • This Fighter Jet Is The Biggest Threat To Russia's Su-57 Stealth Fighter (Not the F-35)
    The National Interest

    This Fighter Jet Is The Biggest Threat To Russia's Su-57 Stealth Fighter (Not the F-35)

    Key point: The Su-35S was intended as an interim solution; as a modernized air superiority fighter to sustain the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) through the 2010's until the Su-57 fifth-generation stealth fighter enters serial production. “A unique machine, a deadly aerial fist,” is how the official television channel of the Russian Ministry of Defense introduced the Su-35S superiority fighter earlier this week. TV Zvezda's three-minute clip of a recent Su-35S training sortie over Syria provides close-up shots of the fighter jet being prepped for flight, taking off, cruising over the Syrian coast, and firing flares.

  • Democrat Warren, worried campaign will run out of cash, taps $3 million loan
    Reuters

    Democrat Warren, worried campaign will run out of cash, taps $3 million loan

    NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren raised more money than most of her Democratic presidential rivals in the weeks before the Iowa caucuses, but spent so heavily that her campaign took out a $3 million loan fearing she would run out of cash. Warren raised $10.4 million in contributions in January -- more than former Vice President Joe Biden's $9 million and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg's $6 million -- but ended the month with only $2.3 million in cash, according to disclosures filed on Thursday. All of the presidential hopefuls were required to submit financial disclosures on Thursday, public documents that offer insights into how they are managing their multi-million campaign operations.

  • Housing crisis: Berkeley law would put renters first
    Associated Press

    Housing crisis: Berkeley law would put renters first

    The mayor of Berkeley, California, proposed a new housing policy Thursday aimed at giving renters first dibs when a property goes up for sale, as the state battles a severe housing shortage and homelessness that Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared his top priority. Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin announced a proposed ordinance to give renters "the first refusal and right to purchase" when their apartment buildings or rented homes are put on the market. Berkeley's city council will vote on the idea later this month.

  • Mike Bloomberg is going after Trump with billboards mocking him for eating burnt steak and cheating at golf
    Business Insider

    Mike Bloomberg is going after Trump with billboards mocking him for eating burnt steak and cheating at golf

    Mark Ralston/Getty Images Mike Bloomberg's 2020 campaign has put up billboards trolling President Donald Trump for eating burnt steak, cheating at golf, and losing the popular vote in several Western states. The former Wall Street executive and friend of Trump's is attempting to position himself as the strongest general election candidate and flooding the race with ads. Bloomberg isn't even on the ballot in the Nevada caucus, but Trump may see the billboards when he visits Las Vegas and Phoenix for campaign events on Friday.

  • Execution for a Facebook post? Why blasphemy is a capital offense in some Muslim countries
    The Conversation

    Execution for a Facebook post? Why blasphemy is a capital offense in some Muslim countries

    Junaid Hafeez, a university lecturer in Pakistan, had been imprisoned for six years when he was sentenced to death in December 2019. Pakistan has the world's second strictest blasphemy laws after Iran, according to U.S. Commision on International Religious Freedom. Hafeez, whose death sentence is under appeal, is one of about 1,500 Pakistanis charged with blasphemy, or sacrilegious speech, over the last three decades.

  • Coronavirus: FBI orders $40k-worth of hand sanitiser to prepare for pandemic as number of infected in US rises to 34
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: FBI orders $40k-worth of hand sanitiser to prepare for pandemic as number of infected in US rises to 34

    The FBI has ordered $40,000 of hand sanitiser and face masks “in case the coronavirus becomes a pandemic in the United States,” according to documents seen by CNBC. COVID-19, as the coronavirus is officially named, was declared a public health emergency by the government in January. In its purchase order, labelled as being for “pandemic preparedness”, the bureau said it needs those items in case the coronavirus spreads widely throughout the US.

  • Bear strolling around California city sparks media feeding frenzy
    The Week

    Bear strolling around California city sparks media feeding frenzy

    It's not that unusual to find bears wandering around towns and cities across the U.S., especially when those cities are right next to the hills where those bears live. But one not-so-unusually lumbering around Monrovia, California, on Thursday and Friday has sparked some atypical curiosity in the bear-friendly city. The large, nameless bear has been spotted slowly making his way through yards and blocking traffic since Thursday night, not doing much besides sniffing out trash.

  • New virus outbreaks in China, abroad rekindle concerns
    AFP Relax News

    New virus outbreaks in China, abroad rekindle concerns

    An eruption of new virus cases in South Korea, Iran and Chinese hospitals and prisons rekindled concerns Friday about the spread of a deadly disease that has killed more than 2,200 people. The World Health Organization warned nations they could face a serious problem if they fail to "hit hard now" against the new coronavirus, which has infected more than 75,000 in China and over 1,100 abroad. China pointed to official numbers showing a drop in new cases this week as evidence that its drastic containment measures are working, but fresh cases emerged at two Beijing hospitals and more than 200 other cases in two prisons.