‘El Chapo’ killed man after he refused to shake his hand -trial witness

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The White House yesterday restored press access for CNN reporter Jim Acosta, ending a legal fight that had so far gone against the Trump administration. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement the press pass for Acosta, which was revoked after a contentious Nov. 7 news conference with President Donald Trump, was restored but reporters who ignored new rules for news conferences could have their credentials taken away. Under the rules, “a journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists,” but a follow-up question may be permitted at the president’s discretion, Sanders said. The White House Correspondents’ Association said it had not helped craft the White House’s list of rules for news conferences. “For as long as there have been White House press conferences, White House reporters have asked follow-up questions. We fully expect this tradition will continue,” Olivier Knox, the association’s president, said in a statement. CNN had sought an emergency federal court hearing after the White House said it would again revoke Acosta’s pass once a temporary restraining order reinstating it for a two-week period expired. But on Monday afternoon, CNN said its lawsuit challenging the White House’s actions was no longer necessary. “Thanks to everybody for their support. As I said last Friday … let’s get back to work,” Acosta wrote on Twitter. Acosta’s credentials were initially revoked after Trump denounced him as a “rude, terrible person” during a news conference, during which Acosta questioned the president about the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and a migrant caravan traveling through Mexico. “That’s enough, that’s enough,” Trump told Acosta, as a White House intern tried to take the microphone away from the correspondent. CNN challenged the press pass revocation in court, arguing it violated Acosta’s First Amendment right to free speech, as well as the due process clause of the Constitution providing fair treatment through judicial and administrative process. In temporarily restoring Acosta’s credentials, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said last Friday that the White House had failed to provide due process. He did not address any alleged First Amendment violations. In court, U.S. government lawyers said there was no First Amendment right of access to the White House and that Acosta was penalized for acting rudely at the news conference, not for his criticism of the president.

NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was a ruthless killer who ordered the murder of a man who had refused to shake his hand at a meeting, a prosecution witness told jurors at Guzman’s U.S. trial yetserday.

Jesus Zambada, the brother of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada who was Guzman’s alleged partner in running the Sinaloa Cartel, gave his most dramatic testimony after three days on the witness stand as he described Guzman’s involvement in a series of murders.

In a cross-examination, one of Guzman’s defense lawyers launched an attack on Zambada’s credibility, highlighting inconsistencies between his testimony and his original statements to U.S. prosecutors.

Guzman, 61, was extradited to the United States in January 2017 and is accused of directing massive shipments of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana. He is on trial in Brooklyn federal court, charged with 17 criminal counts, and faces life in prison if convicted.

Guzman had ordered Rodolfo Carrillo, a member of the rival Juarez Cartel and brother of its leader, killed after he declined to shake Guzman’s hand at a meeting, Zambada said. The 2004 killing, according to Zambada, fueled a war between the cartels.

Zambada said another target was a corrupt police official, identified only as Rafita, who worked for rival drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva. Zambada said assassins working for El Mayo and Guzman killed Rafita after luring him out of his house by pretending they had hit his young son with a car.

“The boy didn’t even realize that anything happened,” Zambada said. “He just kept going on to school.”

Zambada admitted under cross-examination by lawyer William Purpura that aspects of his account may have changed. However, he maintained that his court testimony was true.

Among examples of Guzman’s deeds, Zambada had told jurors that Guzman was among the investors in a 20-ton cocaine shipment intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard as it was leaving Panama in 2006. Confronted by Purpura, Zambada conceded that he may not have mentioned Guzman as an investor in earlier statements he made to U.S. authorities.

Zambada had also testified that he helped arrange for a helicopter to save Guzman from recapture following his 2001 escape from a Mexican prison. Under cross-examination, he admitted that he might not have mentioned the helicopter when he first described the escape to authorities, though he insisted the story was true.

Zambada was arrested in 2008 and extradited to the United States in 2012.

Guzman was one of the world’s most wanted fugitives until he was captured in January 2016 in his native Sinaloa, after twice escaping prison. His trial is proceeding under heavy security.

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