Two American survivors of Mexico kidnapping return to US; two others dead – National & International News – TUE 7Mar2023

Two American alive, two dead after Mexico kidnapping.

Southern California communities dig out, struggle to get supplies after massive snow.

Israeli soldiers raid refugee camp, kill 6 Palestinians.



Two American survivors of Mexico kidnapping return to US; two others dead

Last Friday, four Americans driving in a white minivan with North Carolina plates crossed into Matamoros in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, just over the border from Cameron County, Texas. “Shortly after crossing into Mexico, unidentified gunmen shot the passengers of the vehicle,” according to the US Embassy in Mexico. “The gunmen herded the four U.S. citizens into another vehicle and fled”. The kidnappers held the victims hostage for three days, moving them between several different locations to evade rescue attempts.

On Monday, the two survivors, Eric James Williams and Latavia “Tay” McGee, were rescued in a small wooden house being guarded by a 24-year-old, who was arrested. The other two individuals, Zindell Brown and Shaeed Woodard, were found dead. It’s not clear yet when or under what circumstances Brown and Woodard were killed. Woodard was McGee’s cousin. Williams had been shot in the leg and was flown to El Paso, TX, for treatment. McGee suffered no serious injuries.

Irving Barrios, Attorney General of Tamaulipas, said at a news conference that it didn’t appear the four Americans had been targeted. Barrios said attack appeared to be a “misunderstanding”.

McGee, a mother of five from South Carolina, was in Mexico for a cosmetic medical procedure. Tamaulipas is one of six Mexican states that bears a “do not travel” warning from the US State Department because of the danger of kidnapping and other violent crimes. Despite the dangers, Matamoros is one of the top Mexican destinations for medical tourism by Americans. Americans make over a million trips to Mexico for cheaper medical care each year.

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Southern California communities dig out, struggle to get supplies after massive snow

Dumptrucks and earthmoving equipment were needed to remove snow.

Mountain communities in Southern California are working to dig out from under deep snow that dropped in some areas during record blizzards last month. Shoveling out is an urgent problem as the roofs of some houses and business have collapsed due to the weight of 5 or more feet of piled up snow. Residents have reported having to replace shovels that broke under the weight of the snow as they shoveled off roofs and driveways. Snowfall has also buried gas lines, causing several fires.

Some of the remote communities are also cut off as roads are impassible, making it difficult to get supplies in and out. Free food distribution centers have been set up where residents can come and get food and other necessities.

That’s assuming they can reach the distribution centers. Some residents have been trapped in their homes for over two weeks. Many homes are entirely encased in snow and some roads and driveways remain blocked under tons of snow. In San Bernardino, the snow was too deep to be plowed and earth-moving equipment and dump trucks were required to pick up and move snow.

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Israeli soldiers raid refugee camp, kill 6 Palestinians

Israeli security forces raided a refugee camp in the West Bank today, killing 6 Palestinians. Witnesses says soldiers laid siege to a home and even hit it with rockets. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims one of the men killed was responsible for killing two Israeli settlers last month. That killing followed another Israeli military raid in Nablus, another West Bank city, in which 11 people were killed, including elderly people and a teenager. 

After the two Israelis were killed, hundreds of Jewish settlers rampaged through several Palestinian communities, setting homes and cars alight. At least one Palestinian was killed in that riot, a volunteer medic who had recently returned from helping earthquake victims in Turkey. Only a handful of Israeli settlers were arrested for that riot, and most were quickly released without charge. Two were later placed on house arrest.

Last night, Israeli settlers carried out yet another attack on the Palestinian village of Huwara. During that attack, Israeli soldiers danced with Jewish settlers, while someone shouted “Huwara is conquered, gentlemen”.

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