Texas

Human smuggling ring found in Houston

A Honduran man was charged on Friday with harboring more than two dozen people who authorities say were being held in a Houston home as part of a human smuggling operation, according to a federal prosecutor. The smuggling operation was discovered Thursday after one of the men escaped and was seen running his underwear, yelling that he had been kidnapped, police said. Authorities determined that 28 men and one woman who had illegally immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Cuba were being kept in the home, according to U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick. The home had boarded-up windows and deadbolt locks on the inside doors.

Florida

Case dropped against teen who killed friend

Prosecutors have dropped the manslaughter case against an 18-year-old who accidentally shot and killed his friend in Hialeah while he was “simulating a rap video” for a Snapchat post. The state on Friday declined to file the charge against Jonathan Batista, who had been arrested in the Oct. 22 death of Brian Shakur Meridor, 18. The reason: The Glock pistol had been modified, and the teen said he didn’t think it worked. In reality, the modification made the weapon dangerously defective and it likely fired without the teen even pulling the trigger, prosecutors said.

 

Thailand

Bangkok rally shows support for royals

Thousands of yellow-clad supporters greeted Thailand’s king on Saturday as he led a birthday commemoration for his revered late father, the latest in a series of public appearances at a time of unprecedented challenge to the monarchy from student-led protesters. King Maha Vajiralongkorn, accompanied by Queen Suthida, waved as he arrived at Bangkok’s Sanam Luang ceremonial ground. Supporters of the monarchy held Thai and yellow royal flags to welcome them, with some cheering “Long live the king.”

Belgium

E.U.-U.K. trade talks set to resume

Post-Brexit trade discussions between the European Union and the U.K. will resume on Sunday following a pause in negotiations in light of their inability to bridge an array of differences. In a joint statement, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said “a further effort” should be undertaken by their respective negotiating teams to assess whether the “significant differences” can be resolved. They said the pair would speak again Monday.

news services