Day: May 6, 2017


Nepal man, 85, dies trying to become oldest Everest climber

An 85-year-old man from Nepal died Saturday while attempting to scale Mount Everest to regain his title as the oldest person to climb the world’s highest peak, officials said.

Min Bahadur Sherchan died at the Everest base camp on Saturday evening but the cause of death was not immediately clear, said Dinesh Bhattarai, chief of Nepal’s Tourism Department.

Mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha, who is at the base camp, said the cause was likely cardiac arrest but he could not elaborate due to a poor telephone connection.

Sherchan, a grandfather of 17 and great-grandfather to six, first scaled Everest in May 2008 when he was 76 — at the time becoming the oldest climber to reach the top.

His record was broken in 2013 by 80-year-old Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura.

Before leaving for the mountain last month, Sherchan told The Associated Press that once he had completed the climb and became famous, he intended to travel to conflict areas to spread a message of peace.

He had trained for months before the attempt, saying that he did not suffer from any respiratory problems and his blood pressure was normal.

Being born in the mountains, he said he had did not have any problems with high altitude or the low levels of oxygen there.

Sherchan’s love of mountaineering began in 1960 when he was assigned by the Nepalese government to be a liaison officer for the Swiss team climbing Mount Dhaulagiri.

He later became an apple farmer and constructed roads and dams before settling down to run hotels in Kathmandu.

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LOSING THEIR STATUS? Feds tag 27 monuments for review after Trump's order

The Trump administration is moving swiftly on an order by President Trump just days ago to review millions of acres of land under government protection, announcing a list Friday of 27 designated national monuments whose protected status could be curtailed or eliminated.

The list was released by the Interior Department, charged by Trump just nine days earlier through an executive order to review the land designated by presidents over the past 20 years, in what Trump has called a “massive federal land grab” that “should never have happened.”

The list is composed of 22 monuments on federal land in 11 mostly Western states, including the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah, Nevada’s Basin and Range, and Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine.

The other five on the list are marine monuments in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, including a huge reserve in Hawaii established in 2006 by President George W. Bush and expanded last year by President Barack Obama.

Bush, Obama and Bill Clinton were among a host of presidents who protected hundreds of millions of acres under a 1906 law that authorizes the president to declare federal lands and waters as monuments and restrict their use.

Trump when signing the executive order criticized the former presidents of abusing the system and vowed to return such authority to citizens and state lawmakers

“Today, we are giving power back to the states and people where it belongs,” he said.

Trump accused Obama in particular of exploiting the 1906 Antiquities Act in an “egregious abuse of federal power.”

In December, shortly before leaving office, Obama infuriated Utah Republicans by creating the Bears Ears National Monument on 1.35 million acres of land that’s sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings.

Republicans in the state asked Trump to take the unusual step of reversing Obama’s decision. They said the monument designation will stymie growth by closing the area to new commercial and energy development. The Antiquities Act does not give the president explicit power to undo a designation and no president has ever taken such a step.

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah was created by Clinton in 1996. And Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine, created last year by Obama.

At 87,500 acres, Katahdin is the only one of the 22 monuments under review that is smaller than 100,000 acres, the minimum size designated by the order.

The Interior Department said Katahdin will be reviewed under a provision that singles out whether a monument was created or expanded without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders. The land east of Maine’s Baxter State Park was bought by Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby, whose foundation donated it to the federal government.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has been directed to produce an interim report next month and make a recommendation on Bears Ears, and then issue a final report within 120 days.

Zinke, who will visit Bears Ears and Grand Staircase early this coming week, said the department, for the first time, is seeking public comments on national monument designations. Public comment is not required when presidents create monuments under the Antiquities Act.

The request for comments “finally gives a voice to local communities and states when it comes to Antiquities Act monument designations,” Zinke said in a statement. “There is no predetermined outcome on any monument.”

The order has already sparked a sharp response from the Sierra Club and other environmental groups that are concerned about any possible changes ending the protections and allowing use of the land for oil or gas drilling.

“America’s parks and public lands are not in need of corporate restructuring,” the Sierra Club said. “We should not be asking which parts of our history and heritage we can eliminate, but instead how we can make our outdoors reflect the full American story.”

Members of a coalition of five Western tribes that pushed for the Bears Ears designation have said they’re outraged the administration will review a decision they say was already scrutinized by the Obama administration, including a multi-day visit last year by then-Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

“Once it’s designated, it’s designated,” said Davis Filfred of the Navajo Nation. “He’s disregarding the Native Americans, the first people of this nation. This is sacred land.”

The 111-year-old Antiquities Act grants presidents the authority to create national monuments from federal land to protect its historic, cultural and scientific significance, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld such changes.

However, Congress has twice limited presidential powers under the act, requiring congressional consent on some future proclamations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Jeff BezosMichael Seto/Business Insider

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are big fans of Jeff Bezos.

At the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, the legendary investors praised the Amazon CEO saying that his ability to grow Amazon’s business while running other projects like The Washington Post and Blue Origin was incredible.

“Jeff Bezos is a different species,” Munger said.

Buffett said that Bezos has built Amazon into a dual threat as an amazing online retailer and the burgeoning dominance of its cloud computing business.

Buffett also tipped his cap to Bezos ability to be actively involved in his non-Amazon projects.

“At the Washington Post, he’s played that hand incredibly,” Buffett said. “He’s been involved in the actual execution not just bank rolling the operation.”

Buffett also called the Amazon CEO “the most remarkable busines person of our age” during an interview with CNBC on Friday.

Buffett also joked that while they have faith in Bezos, they’ve missed out on the Amazon stock’s meteoric rise.

“I was too dumb to realize what was going to happen,” Buffett said, adding that he “underestimated the brilliance and the execution” of Bezos.

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'DEPLORABLE' ACTS Trump admin. calls for quick, peaceful conclusion to unrest in Venezuela

The Trump administration is monitoring Venezuelan instability, and believes there is a strong need to bring weeks of anti-government protests in the country’s capital Caracas to a quick and peaceful conclusion.

H.R. McMaster, U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, met on Friday with Julio Borges, the president of Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly, about the civil unrest which has been near-daily for five weeks, the White House said on Saturday.

They discussed “the need for the government to adhere to the Venezuelan Constitution, release political prisoners, respect the National Assembly, and hold free and democratic elections,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement to Reuters.

“Some of the acts there have been deplorable and [it’s] certainly something that we’re monitoring very closely,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Friday, according to Reuters.

According to the Associated Press, clashes between police and protesters have left 38 dead in the past month.

Local news media on Friday carried a video circulating on Twitter of a statue of the late President Hugo Chavez being pulled down. The media reported that students destroyed the statue as they vented their anger with the food shortages, inflation and spiraling crime that have come to define life in the South American nation.

The protest movement has drawn masses of people into the street nearly every day since March, and shows no sign of slowing.

According to Reuters, embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday announced the creation of a new popular assembly which demonstrators decried as a power grab aimed at sidelining the National Assembly. Borges responded by calling on Venezuelans to rebel.

“We are deeply concerned about the Maduro government’s violent crackdown on protestors in Venezuela. President Maduro’s disregard for the fundamental rights of his own people has heightened the political and economic crisis in the country,” said Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in a statement.

“The Maduro regime must respect Venezuela’s constitution and the voice of its people. We are particularly concerned that the government is failing to provide basic food and medical needs to the Venezuelan people,” Haley said.

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NAVY HERO LOST SEAL killed in Somalia identified as 15-year vet

The Navy SEAL killed in action in Somalia this week was a distingusihed 15-year veteran who had had been awarded the Bronze star for heroism in combat four times.

Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, was killed during an operation against Al Shabab on May 5 in a remote area approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu, the Pentagon said Saturday.

Milliken was a Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL, The Virginian Pilot reported.

He was a member of SEAL Team Six, a defense official told Fox News.

WCSH-TV reported that Milliken grew up in Falmouth, in Maine, and was a graduate of Falmouth High School. He was killed and two other SEALs were wounded in a gunfight with the Islamic terror group.


The SEALs were attacked “early” in the mission, not long after landing, and the Pentagon was still assessing if the mission — targeting a “group of people” associated with attacks on Somalia’s capital — was a success, Fox News reported Friday.

Despite a recent focus on the country by the Trump administration, the authority for the mission was given under orders issued by the Obama administration.

“Senior Chief Kyle Milliken embodied the warrior spirit and toughness infused in our very best Navy SEALs,” Rear Admiral Timothy Szymanski, Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, said. “We grieve his death, but we celebrate his life and many accomplishments. He is irreplaceable as a husband, father, son, friend and teammate – and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and teammates.”

Szymanski said Milliken’s sacrifice is a “stark reminder that Naval Special Operators are forward doing their job, confronting terrorism overseas to prevent evil from reaching our shores.”

Milliken enlisted in the Navy in 2002 and joined the SEALs a short time later.

During his military career he has earned four Bronze Stars with Combat “V,” two Joint Service Commendation Medals  and a Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews

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Nuclear football reportedly set to get private apartment in Trump Tower

The U.S. Pentagon is reportedly close to approving a lease for an apartment in the Trump Tower in New York that would house the White House Military Office when President Trump visits the city.

The White House Military Office, which is a unit of the Pentagon, is tasked with—among other things—protecting the famous nuclear “football.”

Reuters reported on Friday that it viewed a letter from the Pentagon to Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif, who is a member of the House Armed and Services Committee.

The report said it is unclear how much the lease will cost taxpayers.

James MacStravic, a Defense Department official, reportedly said in the letter that the apartment is “privately owned” and the negotiations for the lease is between the Pentagon and owner only.

“We are not aware of any means through which the President would personally benefit from a Government lease of this space,” MacStravic said in the letter viewed by Reuters. The letter said these kinds of arrangements while supporting a president are not uncommon.

The Reuters report pointed out that Democrats have expressed concerns about the Pentagon looking to lease inside the Trump Tower.


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Amid fear and resistance, ICE agents in LA have not ramped up arrests…

The immigration agents surrounded the small home on a quiet street in East Los Angeles. One trained his rifle on the back door. Another knocked loudly out front, shouting for the people inside to open up. Someone else barked the commands in Spanish.

Their target was a 47-year-old Mexican man who they suspected had crossed into the United States illegally and later done time for felony assault and battery.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement fugitive operations team assistant director Jorge Field confers with team members in Downey, Calif.

The team surrounds a Montebello home where a 47-year-old Mexican national lives with his family in El Monte, Calif.
Left: Immigration and Customs Enforcement fugitive operations team assistant director Jorge Field confers with team members in Downey, Calif. Right: The team surrounds a Montebello home where a 47-year-old Mexican national lives with his family in El Monte, Calif. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The man’s wife came to the door after a few minutes with her own demands: Did the agents have a warrant?

Told that they didn’t, she refused to allow the agents in the house and said her husband would not speak with them.

Thwarted, at least for that day, the agents departed. As they walked to their SUVs, a neighbor stood in the street recording them on his phone.

As that recent stalemate suggests, President Trump’s calls for a dramatic increase in deportations has brought changes for ICE agents on the ground. A determined push by immigrant groups has led to more encounters with people aware of their rights.

And, after receiving relatively little attention for years, agents acknowledge the atmosphere and politics of the job has become more fraught as they work under increased scrutiny from politicians and activists.

“That’s just the climate that we’re in,” said Dave Marin, director of enforcement and removal operations for ICE in Los Angeles, “because this issue has brought up such heated concerns on both sides.”

But while arrests by ICE are up 35% nationwide since Trump took office, they remain relatively flat in Southern California. Arrests of immigrants without criminal pasts have remained low in the L.A. region as well, as agents do little, if anything, differently from what they were under the previous administration, Marin said.

The charged dynamics were evident when The Times accompanied a team of ICE agents as they carried out a series of early-morning arrests late last month.

ICE agents search Esteban Amigon, center left, and Sergio Rodriguez, right, as the men are processed at the ICE downtown staging facility in Los Angeles.
ICE agents search Esteban Amigon, center left, and Sergio Rodriguez, right, as the men are processed at the ICE downtown staging facility in Los Angeles. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

‘I go to work! You guys have no heart.’

Hours before dawn, agents gathered in a shopping mall parking lot in Compton. A supervisor handed out paperwork with photos, immigration history and criminal rap sheets of the six men slated for arrest.

Two of the targeted men were arrested without incident in traffic stops shortly after leaving their homes to begin the drive to work — one as a tree trimmer, the other a chimney repairman. A third man hid inside his apartment when agents knocked, but was nabbed when he walked out to the street an hour later.

Next on the list was Sergio Rodriguez, who sneaked into the U.S. from Mexico in the early 1980s and managed to became a legal resident a few years later. For years, he worked and raised five children with his wife without attracting the attention of immigration officers; but a conviction in 2014 on a felony charge of making criminal threats and a few earlier burglary and theft convictions had made him eligible for deportation.

Rodriguez stepped out from his small, dilapidated house in El Monte, east of downtown Los Angeles, shortly after 7:30 a.m. to begin the short walk to his job at a nearby meat market.

Agents had been secretly watching him make the same walk at the same time for days and now were waiting for him. One agent slipped out of an unmarked SUV and followed behind, while a few others positioned themselves up ahead.

“Why are you doing this? What did I do?” Rodriguez shouted repeatedly in English and Spanish as the agents intercepted him, cuffed his hands and, after a quick pat down, put him in the back of a car. “I go to work! You guys have no heart. You have no heart!”

The agents’ presence did not go unnoticed. Seeing a live television report about the arrest, the mayor of El Monte called his police chief demanding answers. The chief, in turn, called Jorge Field, ICE’s assistant field office director for the L.A. region.

Field has grown accustomed to such calls. Elected officials in immigrant communities, where anger and fear has been stoked by frequent – and often inaccurate — reports spread on social media of ICE sweeps, have grown particularly sensitive to the agency’s presence on their streets.

Field took the call while driving to make the next arrest and calmly explained Rodriguez’s criminal past to the police chief. An aide to Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk) emailed at the same time, demanding to know, “Are you in El Monte?”

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement fugitive operations team surrounds a Montebello home where a 47-year-old Mexican national lives with his family.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement fugitive operations team surrounds a Montebello home where a 47-year-old Mexican national lives with his family. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Marin said he spends a considerable amount of his time meeting with local politicians, police and church officials in an effort to tamp down claims of ICE running amok in L.A.

It has, at times, been a hard message to sell in the current climate.

“As one of my bosses put it, ‘Fifty percent of the country is mad at us 100% of the time,’” he said. “Half the country wants us to do more, and the other half wants us to do less.”

After Trump dramatically broadened ICE agents’ authority, essentially giving them clearance to arrest anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, immigrant rights groups have pushed to educate immigrants on their rights — in particular to deny ICE agents permission to enter their homes. The effort has had a noticeable effect on arrest operations, Marin said, as agents increasingly have been stymied, as they were by the the Mexican man’s wife, who did not try to hide the fact that her husband was inside the house.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, one of several immigrant advocacy groups that ramped up “Know Your Rights” campaigns in the wake of Trump’s election, estimates it has reached 25,000 people through various outreach programs over the past three months, the group’s spokesman said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents take green card holder Sergio Rodriguez into custody outside his El Monte home in El Monte, Calif.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Agents take Mexican national Santiago Mondragon into custody on a Downey street while he was on his way to work.

Agents take handcuffs off of green card holder Sergio Rodriguez inside the ICE staging facility Los Angeles, Calif.
Top: Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents take green card holder Sergio Rodriguez into custody outside his El Monte home in El Monte, Calif. Bottom left: Agents take Mexican national Santiago Mondragon into custody on a Downey street while he was on his way to work. Bottom right: Agents take handcuffs off of green card holder Sergio Rodriguez inside the ICE staging facility Los Angeles, Calif. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

‘I knew this day would come’

Agents arrested four of the targeted men on the recent morning. Along with the man whose wife refused to cooperate, a sixth person was not found.

The men were brought to a federal building downtown. They were frisked and fingerprinted in a brightly lit hallway and then led into a room where agents seated at computer terminals booked the men into custody.

Afterward, they were put into large, spare holding cells with old televisions mounted to the ceilings. The telephone numbers for many countries’ embassies or consulates were posted on the wall above pay phones.

Juan Vega, 23, whose criminal history includes a 2014 gun possession conviction, seemed despondent and shell shocked as he sat on a bench with his head in his hands.

Brought to the country by his mother when he was 4, he said he had no idea what he would do if he was returned to Mexico. He cried thinking about his 6-year-old son.

If deported, he said, he wouldn’t return to the U.S. “I just want to get this over with,” he said.

ICE agent Jorge Field outside the Montebello home of a suspect’s home.

Juan Vega, 23, is lead into the ICE downtown staging facility in Los Angeles.
Left: ICE agent Jorge Field outside the Montebello home of a suspects home. Right: Juan Vega, 23, is lead into the ICE downtown staging facility in Los Angeles. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Nearby sat Rodriguez, the meat market worker picked up in El Monte.

“In my head, I knew this day would come,” he said in Spanish. “This president that we have now has a lot of people scared. Anything you do, the police will arrest you and deport you.”

Like Vega, he worried about what would happen to his family. Who would take care of his wife, who has lung cancer? How will he see his adult children and grandchildren?

He said he wanted to send a message to others.

“Don’t make mistakes like I made,” he said. “It’s very sad.”

As of last week, Rodriguez, Vega and one of the other men arrested were being held in an detention facility as they waited for a hearing before an immigration judge.

The fourth man, whom a judge had already ordered deported, was removed from the country within days of his arrest.

Sergio Rodriguez, left, sits with others on a bench as they await processing the ICE downtown staging facility in Los Angeles. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Juan Vega, 23, right, sits on a bench as agents unlock a door to take him inside for processing at the ICE downtown staging facility in Los Angeles.

ICE agents take fingerprints while processing apprehended immigration fugitives inside the ICE staging facility Los Angeles.
Top: Sergio Rodriguez, left, sits with others on a bench as they await processing the ICE downtown staging facility in Los Angeles. Bottom left: Juan Vega, 23, right, sits on a bench as agents unlock a door to take him inside for processing. Bottom right: ICE agents take fingerprints while processing apprehended immigration fugitives. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Targeting serious criminals

ICE’s Los Angeles office covers a vast region that stretches from San Luis Obispo to San Clemente and from the coast to the Nevada border. There are nine teams of agents like the one that made the recent arrests, and at least one of them is active each day.

Other agents are assigned to arrest people as they are released from local jails. In counties where the sheriff allows it, including Los Angeles, Marin posts agents inside the jails to identify inmates in the country illegally.

When deciding whom to target for arrest, Marin said his agents have kept their focus on serious criminals, as they were instructed to do in the final years of the Obama administration. (Obama made criminals the priority for deportation late in 2014 following years of tough immigration policies that earned him the nickname the “Deporter in Chief” from critics.)

Each of the men whom agents pursued on the recent morning had been convicted of at least one felony. Along with Vega, Rodriguez and the man whose wife blocked agents, one man had been caught driving drunk three times and convicted of burglary, while another served time in jail for drug sales after being deported four times.

The reason for staying the course, Marin said, is rooted in the realities of California, where court decisions and state laws have left all of the state’s 58 county sheriffs unwilling and unable to fully cooperate with ICE’s requests to detain and hand over criminals thought to be in the country illegally. Instead, Marin said, his agents are often forced to track down people after they are released from custody.

Marin added that his agents are stretched thin as it is. “We’re already doing everything we can with what we have,” he said.

Arrests soar in other cities, but not L.A.

In the three months after Trump took office, agents in the L.A. field office made 2,273 arrests — marking little change from the 2,166 arrests during the same period last year and a decline from the 2,719 arrests in 2015, according to ICE figures. Ninety percent of the people arrested this year had criminal records, the highest percentage among all ICE offices in the U.S., the numbers show.

The L.A. figures differ starkly from those in Atlanta, Dallas and elsewhere, where the number of people without criminal records arrested by ICE jumped dramatically in the months since Trump took office. In Atlanta, for example, non-criminal arrests rose more than five fold over last year and accounted for a third of all ICE arrests.

While the number of non-criminals arrested in the L.A. region remains low, Jennie Pasquarella, director of immigrants’ rights for the ACLU of California, noted it had more than doubled over last year to 224 people.

“To the extent that Marin is continuing to follow the priorities set out by the Obama administration and is exercising restraint in immigration enforcement, that’s a good thing,” she said. “But I am concerned about the increase in arrests, especially of people who have never been convicted of any crime. It is too soon to tell what will happen.”

For more news on federal courts in Southern California, follow me on Twitter: @joelrubin


Here’s why some immigrant activists say not even criminals should be deported

Texas’ new ban on ‘sanctuary cities’ could put police in jail if they fail to enforce immigration holds

Congressional bill seeks to prohibit immigration officers from identifying themselves as ‘police’

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Nun arrested for allegedly abusing deaf children in Argentina

A Roman Catholic nun from Japan has been arrested and charged on suspicion of helping priests sexually abuse children at a school for youths with hearing disabilities in Argentina, authorities said.

Kosaka Kumiko was also charged with physically abusing the students at the Antonio Provolo Institute for children with hearing impairment in northwestern Mendoza province.

Local media showed the 42-year-old nun in handcuffs and wearing her habit and a bullet-proof vest as she was escorted by police to a court hearing. Kumiko, who was born in Japan but has Argentine citizenship, denied any wrongdoing during the eight-hour hearing late Thursday.

Authorities say that Kumiko lived at the Provolo Institute from 2004-2012. She had been on the run for about a month before she turned herself in this week.

The case against the nun was launched after a former student accused of making her wear a diaper to cover up a hemorrhage after she was allegedly raped by priest Horacio Corbacho.

Corbacho, fellow priest Nicola Corradi and three other men were arrested last year after they were charged with sexually abusing at least two dozen students at the Provolo Institute. They are being held at a jail in Mendoza and have not spoken publicly since the arrest. If found guilty, the accused face 10 to 50 years in prison.

Corradi had earlier been accused in Italy of abusing students at the Provolo Institute in Verona, a notorious school for the deaf where hundreds of children are believed to have been sexually assaulted over the years by two dozen priests and religious brothers.

Advocates for clerical sex abuse have expressed anger that Corradi wasn’t sanctioned by the Vatican and allegedly went on to abuse children in Pope Francis’ native Argentina.

Victims and prosecutors say the anal and vaginal rapes, fondling and oral sex allegedly committed by the priests took place in the bathrooms, dorms, garden and a basement at the school in Lujan de Cuyo, a city about 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) northwest of Buenos Aires.

A Vatican investigative commission recently visited Mendoza to learn more about the case against the priests.

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Father digs up son's cellphone at garbage dump

A boy’s lost cellphone ended up in a New Jersey garbage dump and survived.

Ethan Roncace’s phone got thrown away at a high school in Haddon Township on Monday.


His father, Craig, tells WCAU-TV in Philadelphia he used an app to track the phone and saw it was on the move. The signal led the family to the Covanta waste-to-energy facility in Camden.

He suited up and started digging through a mountain of trash. He recovered the phone in 30 minutes and it still worked.

Workers were close to dumping the trash into a 50-foot-high (15 meters) and 25-foot deep (7 meters) pile of garbage.

Covanta’s Rich Harrington says there’s a little better than 50 percent success rate when they can identify the trash truck.

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Michelle Obama accidentally tweets ex-staffer's phone number

Having former first lady Michelle Obama tweet your telephone number is one way to get a lot of attention.

The telephone number of a former White House staffer was shared on the @MichelleObama Twitter account on Friday. Michelle Obama has 7.67 million Twitter followers.

The telephone number apparently belongs to Duncan Wolfe, a former White House creative digital strategist. The tweet was quickly taken down. Calls were met with “I’m not available right now” and a mailbox full notification.

An official who works for the Obamas says it was an accident and her account was not hacked.

Michelle Obama and other celebrities were in New York City Friday to celebrate National College Signing Day, which encourages high school students to seek higher education.

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