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Teen in Search of a Better View Falls to His Death

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Teen in Search of a Better View Falls to His Death


A 19-year-old man fell to his death at a popular canyon overlook in Utah over the weekend, apparently while trying to take a better photo. Jonathan Fielding, who’d recently moved to Orem from Missouri, was hiking with friends at Moonscape Overlook near Hanksville around 5pm Saturday when he stopped to snap some pictures. Two friends were reportedly with him as he tried to get a better view of the canyon and fell, per KUTV. The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office ruled the death an accident. “It was a tragic accident, but Jonathan should be a cautionary tale to anyone who hikes or does photography,” Fielding’s sister wrote on Facebook, per CBS News.


“Never trust the ground on the edge of a cliff,” wrote Rebecca Fielding. “The rocks may look solid, the ground might seem like it will hold, but it’s still an eroding ticking time bomb,” she continued. “There was no reason for my brother to die. Please don’t make the same mistakes he did … No view is worth your life. No view is worth the suffering that your family and friends will go through. No view is worth the risk that rescuers face when trying to save people and recover bodies.” Family friend Connor Parry said Fielding “was a special kid, and it’s important to keep that energy and that smile he brought to every conversation.” More than $26,500 has been raised for funeral expenses, with a funeral planned for Saturday, according to a GoFundMe page. (More Utah stories.)

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Colombian ferry strike halts migration to US via treacherous border crossing

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Colombian ferry strike halts migration to US via treacherous border crossing

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A strike by ferry companies in two northern Colombian towns has halted migrant flows through a treacherous border crossing to Panama that has become a vital stage of the migration trail to the US.

About 3,000 migrants are held up in Necoclí and Turbo waiting for the restart of ferry services to the western side of the Gulf of Urabá, from where they embark on a land route through the Darién Gap, a lawless tract of inhospitable jungle between Colombia and Panama.

“There’s no way across so all the migrants are stuck,” said a community leader in Necoclí who asked not to be named. “The strike has been going on for five days and is indefinite.”

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The Darién Gap route has grown in popularity with migrants attempting to reach the US. Panama said 500,000 migrants crossed last year, twice the number a year earlier, and almost four times the 130,000 who crossed in 2021. But migrants are often prey to violent criminals who operate in a region with limited state presence.

The strike comes after the Colombian navy last week seized two boats carrying a total of 151 migrants and arrested their captains. Authorities said the companies had not verified the migratory status of their passengers.

In response, a group of seven ferry companies announced they would not run migrants across the gulf, and would only offer services to tourists and residents of the region.

The arrests mark an apparent change in tact from the Colombian government, which has been pressured by Washington to stem the flow of migrants through the Darién Gap. Previously, Bogotá had taken a permissive approach to multimillion-dollar smuggling networks that operate in the Darién and the Gulf of Urabá.

Migration is seen as a potential weakness for US President Joe Biden. Former president Donald Trump, his likely Republican rival in November’s election, has adopted a hardline stance on immigration. Both men are visiting Texas, the southern state which has a long border with Mexico, on Thursday.

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In an effort to process applications far from the US border and deter illegal immigration, the Biden administration has opened so-called safe mobility offices in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Guatemala.

The Darién Gap is one of the world’s most treacherous border crossings. With no road through the 60-mile stretch, the topography is unforgiving, with migrants often falling to their deaths while navigating mountain passes on the days-long trek.

The International Organization for Migration reports that 379 migrants have died or gone missing attempting to cross the Darién Gap since 2015, with about half of those attributed to drowning.

Rapes, murders and robberies of migrants were also commonplace, said human rights groups. 

Colombia’s Clan del Golfo, a powerful drug-trafficking organisation, operates profitable routes through the region. Panamanian authorities estimate that smuggling groups in the Darién Gap, where migrants are charged hundreds of dollars for passage, made about $820mn last year.

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Migrants from Venezuela, Ecuador and Haiti, which face economic or security crises, make up the largest nationalities, though migrants from as far afield as China, Bangladesh and Angola also make the journey.

With hundreds of migrants now camped on the streets of Necoclí, and more arriving each day, officials have warned about the risk of a humanitarian crisis developing in the region.

“As a municipality, we’re calling for opportune decisions to be taken to avoid a build-up of people that could cause public order problems,” Johann Wachter Espitia, the government secretary for Necoclí, said in a video posted on social media on Tuesday.

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Florida is releasing Jeffrey Epstein's grand jury report

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Florida is releasing Jeffrey Epstein's grand jury report

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein was charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors.

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U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein was charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors.

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

MIAMI — Florida says it will soon release the grand jury proceedings in Jeffrey Epstein’s 2006 sexual abuse case.

Epstein was a wealthy financier, who was charged with paying dozens of underage women over many years for sex. He died in a jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

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More than a decade earlier, a grand jury convened in Florida’s Palm Beach County investigated allegations that he was sexually abusing young women at his estate. The grand jury ultimately returned a single charge of soliciting prostitution. Following a federal investigation, Epstein pleaded guilty in state court to two prostitution charges and received a lenient sentence. He served just 13 months in prison, leaving the jail almost every day as part of a work release deal.

At a news conference in Palm Beach, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill authorizing the release of Epstein’s grand jury records, calling it “long overdue.” He also called for the release of records from the FBI investigation of Epstein. “I would challenge Joe Biden to do that now,” he said. “There are still a lot of unanswered questions about how this happened.”

The Florida grand jury records are expected to be opened when the law goes into effect in July.

Some of Epstein’s victims were with DeSantis at the bill signing. Haley Robson was 16 years old when she was recruited and began working for Epstein. She said she hoped releasing the grand jury report will finally provide some answers. “Why was Jeffrey Epstein given such grace and mercy for his inhumane crimes? And why were we outed in the media and treated so poorly?”

Epstein had several homes, often flying guests and underage women to his estate on a private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Prince Andrew, former President Bill Clinton and attorney Alan Dershowitz were among his high-profile guests. His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell is currently serving a 20-year sentence for child sex trafficking while with Epstein.

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More than a decade after Epstein completed the terms of his plea deal and probation, a series of reports in the Miami Herald brought new attention to Epstein and his victims. He was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges when he was found dead in his jail cell, a death that was ruled suicide.

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Vladimir Putin warns of wider conflict over Ukraine

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Vladimir Putin warns of wider conflict over Ukraine

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Vladimir Putin has said that western support for Ukraine risks triggering a global war, in his most explicit threat to use nuclear weapons since he ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago.

In his state of the nation speech on Thursday, the Russian president said claims that his country might attack Europe were “nonsense”, but warned that Russia could strike back against western countries in response.

Putin said in the address to the country’s political elite that western support for Ukraine “really risks a conflict using nuclear weapons, which means the destruction of all of civilisation”.

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Referring to French President Emmanuel Macron’s refusal to rule out sending western troops to Ukraine this week, Putin said Russia remembered “the fate of those who once sent their contingents to our country. Now the consequences for possible interveners will be much more tragic”.

“We also have weapons that can strike targets on their territory,” Putin added. He said western supplies of advanced weaponry and the prospect of a Nato troop deployment risked nuclear conflict.

Putin added: “They think this is some kind of game. They are blinded by their own superiority complex.”

The Kremlin had billed Putin’s speech as a road map for the next six years of his rule ahead of Russia’s presidential elections next month, in which he faces no credible challengers after 24 years in power, having quashed most opposition and outlawed dissent.

Pro-Kremlin cinema owners across the country held free screenings of the speech, which began at midday in Moscow. But even as Putin devoted the bulk of it to social support programmes for mothers and attempts to cut dependence on imported technology, the speech revealed how far the war in Ukraine and his strategic rivalry with the west has consumed his attention.

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“Instead of Russia, they need some dependent, declining, dying space where they can do whatever they want,” Putin said of the west.

Putin confirmed Russia would beef up troop deployments on its border with Nato countries to “neutralise threats” created by Sweden and Finland joining the alliance following his invasion of Ukraine.

Though Putin said Russia was prepared to hold talks with the US on arms control, which has essentially collapsed since the full-scale invasion, he made it clear Russia was also interested in ramping up its ability to strike western countries.

He boasted that the country’s nuclear forces were fully ready for use, and added that work would soon conclude on new weapons systems that he claims are essentially impossible to shoot down.

“We are dealing with a state whose ruling circles are taking openly hostile actions against us. They are planning in all seriousness to discuss strategic stability with us while simultaneously, as they say themselves, trying to inflict a strategic defeat on us on the battlefield,” Putin said.

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Denying US claims that Russia plans to deploy a nuclear weapon in space, Putin accused the west of trying to “drag us into an arms race, repeating the trick they played with the Soviet Union in the 1980s,” when the USSR overspent on its military, hastening its collapse in 1991.

He said Russia would work to “create the outlines for equal and inseparable security in Eurasia,” adding that “without a sovereign, strong Russia, no stable world order is possible”.

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