Sea Cucumber Smugglers Made Millions On Delicacy

San Diego – A father-son team for allegedly smuggling more than $17 million worth of sea cucumbers to the United States and exported them to Asia.

According to media reports Saturday, David Mayorquín and his father, Ramón Torres Mayorquín, are accused of buying illegally caught sea cucumbers by stealthy fishermen from the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, pay under false names and declare less weight and value of the real to inspectors at the border crossing Otay Mesa, in San Diego, contiguous to the city of Tijuana in Mexico.

From San Diego, both men allegedly shipped the product to various Asian countries, where sea cucumbers are considered a delicacy and are thought to have medicinal value and aphrodisiac qualities.

U.S. Homeland Security Investigations launched an investigation around 2012 after company transactions raised suspicions, said James Plitt, deputy special agent in charge in San Diego. They examined financial and shipping records.

“These cases are very document-intensive,” Plitt said. “The volume of documents that have to pulled together and corroborated is significant.”

Sea cucumbers sell for between $ 300 and $ 500 a kilogram in Asia, officials said, helping to explain why it is appealing to poachers and smugglers.

David Mayorquín, who appears as the company’s CEO on public records, allegedly bought sea cucumber for $ 13 million, knowing they were caught unauthorized and out of season, and sold it for $ 17.5 million.

The indictment, filed Wednesday in federal court in San Diego, covers operations conducted from January 2010 to July 2012.

Sea Cucumbers Smugglers
Sea Cucumbers Smugglers

The National Security Investigations unit undertook a search in 2012 because the company’s operations aroused suspicions “Said James Plitt, Special agent attached to charge in San Diego. The researchers examined the financial and shipping records.

“These cases require a lot of documents to be able to substantiate,” Plitt said.

“The volume of documents that need to be gathered and corroborated is significant.”

The researchers found e-mails that allegedly show when the family communicated with other people in connection with illegal purchases, the Investigations unit said.

“I hope you are aware that you are asking for 17 tons and we do not have papers for that amount, since all the product of Carlos has no bill,” a supplier to David Mayorquín, a situation mentioned in the indictment, wrote in 2011.

Nearly 10 tons would travel without papers. ”

The defendants also bribed Mexican officials, prosecutors said. An email included in the indictment shows that Mayorquín is asked to contribute $ 32,000 to pay bribes.

The court documents do not list a lawyer for the Mayorquín or his company, which also faces charges. A woman who answered the phone on Friday at Blessings said the firm would not comment on the matter and hung up.

A worker holds up an unprocessed sea cucumber in Juneau, Alaska, in 2005. Michael Penn / Juneau Empire via AP file
A worker holds up an unprocessed sea cucumber in Juneau, Alaska, in 2005. Michael Penn / Juneau Empire via AP file

Sea cucumbers are shaped like cucumbers, have small legs and measure up to six feet in length. They belong to the family of echinoderms, which includes stars and sea urchins.

They are served dry or fresh, and are often accompanied by cooked with traditional Chinese fish, vegetables and sauces. Some people attribute benefits to joint pain, cancer, and inflammation.

Catching sea cucumbers is allowed in the United States and many parts of the world, but in limited quantities and only during the high season.

Blessings was authorized by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to import and export sea cucumber, according to the indictment.

Border inspectors in San Diego investigated three commercial shipments – large and legal – just last week, said Erin Dean, the resident agent in charge of the Southern California Fish and Wildlife office.

Prosecutors have also detected an increase in smuggling cases, In which usually those involved hide the animals in vehicles or in the body, he added.

Totoaba, whose dried bladders are sold in thousands of dollars to Chinese merchants, is also often smuggled from Mexico to California. During the fishing of totoaba, the marine vaquitas are often trapped in the nets, which has contributed to their population has fallen to about 30 individuals.

Fox Fires Bob Beckel For Being An Old Racist

Fox News confirmed Friday that The Five co-host Bob Beckel was fired (again) for making a racist remark.

As reported the Washington Post, Beckel “was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” the network said in a brief statement. A lawyer handling a racial discrimination lawsuit against Fox says Beckel became angry when a black IT worker turned up to service his computer, and told the man “he was leaving his office because he is black,” NBC reports. To make matters worse, after the worker lodged a complaint, Beckel “attempted to intimidate our client and persuade him to withdraw his complaint,” attorney Douglas Wigdor says.

Wigdor says the discrimination case against Fox now involves 23 clients, and lawyers “will be filing multiple other complaints in other matters next week,” CNN reports.

Bob Beckel
Bob Beckel

Fox denied that anybody tried to persuade the employee to withdraw the complaint, saying the investigation of the complaint was “prompt and thorough.” Beckel, 68, was one of the only left-leaning Fox hosts, the New York Times reports.

He served in the Carter administration and was Walter Mondale’s campaign manager in 1984. He was previously fired by Fox in 2015 after having back surgery but was welcomed back in January this year. (Fox founder Roger Ailes died Thursday, eight days after a serious accident at home.)

Three Mississippi Teens Charged With Murder Of 6-Year-Old

Mississippi – On Thursday three teens were arrested hours after a 6-year-old boy was found shot dead in his mother’s stolen car.

According to FOX News, the Mississippi teens will be charged with capital murder.

Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest announced at a news conference that authorities plan to charge Byron McBride, D’Allen Washington and Dwan Wakefield in the death of the child.

Authorities found Kingston Frazier shot at least once in the back seat of his mother’s stolen car, which Jackson Police Cmdr. Tyree Jones said was abandoned in a muddy ditch about 15 miles north of the Kroger parking lot where he was taken.

A sheriff spokesman said:

“All they had to do is let this kid off on the side of the road, at a grocery store, at a church, anywhere else, but they chose to kill the kid.”

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert for Kingston at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday. The original 911 call came in at 1:37 a.m.

Kingston was inside the silver 2000 Toyota Camry in the parking lot of Kroger on Interstate 55 when someone stole the car, police said. The boy’s mother left the car running while she went inside the store, authorities said.

When they realized there was a boy in the backseat, they shot him. The carjackers then abandoned the car in a ditch, with the boy’s body in the backseat.

Kingston was scheduled to graduate from first grade on Thursday, according to the boy’s uncle, Martin Archie.

D'Allen Tyreek Washington is seen in a photo released by the Madison County Sheriff's Department in Canton, Mississippi, U.S. May 18, 2017. Madison County Seriff's Department/Handout via REUTERS 1/2leftright 2/2leftright 1/2
D’Allen Tyreek Washington is seen in a photo released by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department in Canton, Mississippi, U.S. May 18, 2017. Madison County Seriff’s Department/Handout via REUTERS
1/2leftright
2/2leftright
1/2

“He was so excited that was all he was talking about yesterday was his graduation today,” Archie told Jackson CBS affiliate WJTV.

“That baby hadn’t done anything to him,” Frazier’s great-aunt Velma Eddington told The Clarion-Ledger. “That baby hadn’t done nothing. They could have left that child on that backseat, asleep. They didn’t have to kill him. Those people are evil.”

The incident was caught on surveillance video, and the Honda also had been found. An alert was put out for the missing child, and relatives told WJTV they had combed the city looking for Kingston.

“This is the worst thing,” a sobbing Deanna Moore, Kingston’s aunt, told WJTV as family members wept behind her.

Governor Pardons Boy Who Stole Pen

SALEM – A boy in fourth grade whostole a hazelnut and pen during a tour of Oregon’s Capitol Building was pardoned by the governor after sending her a handwritten apology letter.

“Dear Governor Brown,” Samuel Revenko wrote in the letter to Gov. Kate Brown. “While we were there I took a hazelnut and a pen from the Capitol Building. These things were not mine and it was wrong for me to take them. I’m very sorry.”

Revenko completed the heist during a classroom tour to the Capitol Building on April 19, reports Fox News.

Samuel, in exchange for your apology, debt repayment, and return of the pen you lifted, I formally pardon you from any…

Posted by Governor Kate Brown on Thursday, May 18, 2017

“I hope you and the people of Oregon can forgive me,” Revenko wrote.

Brown was so touched by the apology that she posted the note on Facebook on Thursday. The governor wrote a return note, accepting Revenko’s apology and pardoning him for the crime.

“Thank you for your note of apology. On behalf of the people of Oregon, I accept your apology and forgive you,” Brown said.

“Oregon is a special place. I hope we can work together to keep it that way,” she added.

As a final gesture of appreciation for Revenko apologizing, Brown sent the boy his own pen to keep.

 This photo provided by the Office of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown shows a portion of an apology letter from a fourth-grader to Gov. Brown, explaining that his class had toured the Capitol on a field trip in April 2017 and how he took a hazelnut and a pen from the Capitol Building. In a note replying to the letter, which included the pen in question and a $1 reimbursement for the hazelnut, Brown thanked the young man and wrote "I accept your apology and forgive you." (Saerom England/Office of Oregon Governor Kate Brown via AP)
This photo provided by the Office of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown shows a portion of an apology letter from a fourth-grader to Gov. Brown, explaining that his class had toured the Capitol on a field trip in April 2017 and how he took a hazelnut and a pen from the Capitol Building. In a note replying to the letter, which included the pen in question and a $1 reimbursement for the hazelnut, Brown thanked the young man and wrote “I accept your apology and forgive you.” (Saerom England/Office of Oregon Governor Kate Brown via AP)

“I hope the pen coming your way will be an adequate memento of your visit at the Capitol. Come back soon!” Brown wrote.

Governor pardons boy
Governor pardons boy

Chilliwack dairy farm pleads guilty to animal abuse

CHILLIWACK, B.C. – British Columbia’s provincial court says three dairy farm workers from the Fraser Valley have been sentenced to jail for causing distress to an animal after an undercover video showed several employees abusing milk cows.

The Chilliwack provincial court registry confirmed Jamie Visser and Chris Vandyke were given 60 days each in jail, while Travis Keefer must spend seven days in jail after they pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges.

Visser and Vandyke are also prohibited from having animals in their custody for three years and must serve six months’ probation.

The dairy farm company and its owner were fined $75,000 each after pleading guilty last year to causing an animal to continue to be in distress.

The owners of the company apologized for what took place in the spring of 2014.

The hidden-camera video played in court showed a cow being lifted by a chain around its neck using a tractor and other employees repeatedly beating and kicking cows, while others nearby cheered and laughed.

Charges in the case were laid after an investigation by the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Marcie Moriarity of the SPCA says she believes it’s the first time in Canada where a company has been held responsible for the acts of cruelty by its employees on a farm.

“We rarely see convictions involving farm animal cases in the context of animal cruelty. This is absolutely precedent setting.”

She said the convictions show the courts, investigating agencies and the farming industry take such allegations seriously.

“We worked hand-in-hand when this first occurred with the B.C. dairy industry, milk marketing board and the Ministry of Agriculture to see those lasting changes in legislation.

“That was a huge feat for all those parties to come together with the goal of preventing animal cruelty.”

The farm, Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd., is one of the largest farms of its kind in Canada with 2,800 cows.

Moriarity says the role of the animal rights group Mercy For Animals in recording the undercover video was essential in the case.

She says she would like to see video used on farms to audit their activities.

“Accountability is absolutely necessary and I think that is a message that came out of this case.”

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the charges were laid by the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Bangladesh Police Arrests 27 Gay Men

According to media reports, in Bangladesh 27 men have been arrested for being gay, a crime punishable by life imprisonment.

The men, mostly students aged 20 to 30, had traveled across the country to hold a party at a community centre in Keraniganj, outside the country’s capital of Dhaka.

The arrests were made by the Rapid Action Battalion, an elite police unit repeatedly described by Human Rights Watch as a government “death squad”.

Commander Zahangir Hossain Matobbar of the unit’s tenth division said illegal drugs and condoms were recovered in the men’s possession.

Bangladesh arrests gay men
Bangladesh arrests gay men

The police plan to charge the suspects with drug offenses, not homosexuality, because they were detained before they engaged in sex, Associated Press has reported.
The elite unit also revealed it had arrested the owner of the community centre for their part in making the party possible.

As reported by the Washington Post, police said they recovered illegal drugs and condoms in their possession and the men would be charged with drug offenses rather than Bangladesh’s colonial-era sodomy law, because they were detained before they had sex, the AP report said.

However, a different RAB spokesman told Agence France-Presse that the men had been arrested “for homosexuality” and that it had not yet been determined how they would be formally charged.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Muslim-majority Bangladesh — as in more than 70 other countries in the world, including neighboring India. The mass arrests come on the heels of a recent high-profile case in Indonesia, where two men were sentenced to public lashings for gay sex under a strict new provincial sharia law.

Bangladesh’s legal code prohibits “unnatural offenses,” which it says includes voluntary “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal.” The offense is punishable with life in prison.

The law is rarely enforced, but LGBT groups have reported that police use the law as a pretext to bully gay or simply effeminate individuals to prevent the formation of LGBT organizations, according to a 2016 U.S. State Department report on human rights practices from its Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Last year, suspected militants killed a leading LGBT activist and his friend in Dhaka, reports The Independent.

The 35-year-old Xulhaz Mannan, a USAID official, was hacked to death in April last year at his home. He had founded the country’s only LGBT magazine Roopbaan and was a leading organiser of gays, who are ostracised in Bangladesh.

Since then, many of the gays and lesbians have left the country after they received death threats. Many still live double lives to avoid reprisals.

Maltese puppy used to clean supercar in London

A man on Instagram has been accused of animal cruelty after he was filmed using a Maltese puppy to polish a Maserati.

As reports by the Independent, The video uploaded to the Rich Kids of London Instagram account shows an unidentified man holding a tiny, white Maltese puppy and using its back to polish a Maserati MC12 car.

The caption on the five-second video, which had received close to 40,000 views at the time of writing, said: “The only way to wash the iconic 6.0 litre #MaseratiMC12 is with 100 per cent natural puppy fur ensuring a proper polish.”

The people behind the account denied claims the footage was abusive and insisted the puppy was happy throughout
The people behind the account denied claims the footage was abusive and insisted the puppy was happy throughout

However, despite an assurance that ‘no puppy was harmed in this video – all smiles and tail wags here ‘, there was an angry reaction to the post.

The caption continued: “(No puppy was harmed in this video – all smiles and tail wags here)”, but the account’s followers didn’t seem to buy in to the joke.

One person wrote: “Apparently this person spoke to his dog and found the dog said it was happy that they were being used as a car tool, which I find amazing the fact the human could speak dog…. that or the owner is an ignorant t*** who has no insight.”

Another accused the man of “abusing an innocent puppy.”
Others described the video as ‘messed up’ and that he had a ‘garbage mind’ for using an innocent puppy as a chamois on his car.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: ‘We can understand why people are concerned about this video.

‘While the owner does not seem to intend any harm to this dog, the animal may have found this stressful and we would urge owners to think about how something they see as a bit of fun could impact on their pet’s wellbeing.’

A conviction of animal cruelty in the Uk carries a maxim penitaly of 51 weeks in prison.

Starbucks Tests Coffee Ice Cubes

Starbucks coffee ice cubes

NEW YORK (EON)- = Like ice? Like coffee? Well do we have an idea for you!

Monday, Starbucks introduced coffee ice cubes (yes, ice cubes made of coffee) in 100 stores in St. Louis and Baltimore, Starbucks spokesperson Holly Shafer told USA TODAY. The release is part of a limited-time test, running up to 8 weeks, Cosmopolitan reports.

As reported by USA Today, this means iced espresso or brewed coffee drinks with coffee cubes won’t taste watery after sitting in the sun. And, they’ll pack more caffeine.

Starbucks coffee ice cubes
Starbucks coffee ice cubes

The extra kick doesn’t come without a fee though. The new cubes put customers back 80 cents per drink, TODAY reports.

But, 80 cents beats a watery coffee, amiright?

As we all know Starbucks drinks already cost a small fortune before adding 80 cent ice cubes, you still might be more inclined to simply make them yourself at home.

Reddit user Owlcitizen44 started a thread Tuesday explaining that when added to a White Mocha Frappuccino, “the coffee ice really made it better,” adding:

“the coffee taste was stronger and it was a lot smoother. I don’t know if it was kind of a placebo effect and I was pre-expecting it to taste that way, but the other partners I tried it with all agreed.”

Starbucks isn’t the only coffee maker to sell special ice cubes. Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme revealed their own coffee ice cubes—dubbed “Cube Beverages”—at some of their South Korea locations last fall, according to Delish.

Alex Jones Issues Apology To Yogurt Company

Infowars host Alex Jones was forced to publicly apologize to yogurt company Chobani on Wednesday after the right-wing radio host was sued for defamation.

According the Huff Post, last month, the company filed a suit against Jones and his website, Infowars, for posting a fake news story that linked the company and its CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, to a 2014 sexual assault case involving refugees in Twin Falls, Idaho. According to Chobani’s lawyers, the falsified report accused his company of bringing “crime and tuberculosis to the community.” The story was given the headline “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists” when it was tweeted by Infowars to its hundreds of thousands of followers.

Chobani owns and operates the largest yogurt plant in the world in Twin Falls. Ulukaya has won praise for hiring immigrants and refugees to work at the company, recently telling the Financial Times, “If a refugee has a job, they are no longer a refugee.” But those business practices have also made him the target of xenophobic attacks from far-right entities like Infowars.

After settling the suit, Jones apologized Jones and has taken down all social media related to the story and vowed in his apology that nothing related to the story will be reposted.

This screen grab of YouTube was taken from Alex Jones’ response to the Chobani lawsuit posted on his channel April 25. The video has been viewed more than 88,000 times.
This screen grab of YouTube was taken from Alex Jones’ response to the Chobani lawsuit posted on his channel April 25. The video has been viewed more than 88,000 times.

“During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the Infowars Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani LLC that I now understand to be wrong. The tweets and video have now been retracted and will not be re-posted,” Jones said on the air. “On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.”

Chobani confirmed that the lawsuit was settled and declined further comment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm_Gm1_a9bU

Bee Swarm In London Has Twitter Buzzing

LONDON (EON) — Social media in London is buzzing about an apparent swarm of bees that has descended on one part of the city.

Videos posted online Tuesday show people ducking as the insects descend on Greenwich in southeast London. It’s not clear what the bugs were or why they appeared in unusual numbers. Some say they’re bees, but others describe them as wasps.

Abigail Hering, who runs the nearby Beadoir jewellery shop, posted a clip of the swarm online, describing the bee swarm to Metro as ‘absolutely crazy’.

She said she could initially hear an ‘underlying hum’, adding: ‘It was just literally swarming, above the cars around the one way system.’

She added:

‘When I left work, I went to walk towards my car, they were on the traffic lights. Millions of them on the traffic lights. And then at that point they’d come lower so they were actually buzzing around the people.

She said she was totally covered in bees!

‘And while I was videoing them I looked down and I could see literally the front of me covered in bees. They were on me. They were on everybody. They were in your hair, on your top.’

Transport for London, which oversees public transport in the capital, posted a picture from a traffic camera showing large numbers of the insects collecting on a traffic light, and warned drivers that a pedestrian crossing was “partially obstructed by bees.” It warned: “Please approach with caution.”

Thousands of bees swarmed around traffic lights in London (Picture: PA)
Thousands of bees swarmed around traffic lights in London (Picture: PA)
Handout photo issued by Transport for London (TfL) of a swarm of bees at Greenwich Church Street, close to the famous Greenwich market, in south-east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday May 16, 2017. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Bees. Photo credit should read: Transport for London/PA Wire
NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

London police didn’t immediately return a request for comment on whether they’ve received reports on the insects.