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Trump defends Manafort
ALEXANDRIA: Weighing in even as a Virginia jury deliberates for a second day, President Donald Trump on Friday called the bank and tax fraud trial of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort “very sad” and described the defendant a “very good person.” Manafort’s trial in federal court in Alexandria is the first stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 15-month-old investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 US election.
 
 
‘Criminals’ reveal ‘mass grave’ location in Mexico
COATZACOALCOS: A group of missing persons’ relatives in Mexico on Thursday said suspected criminals had anonymously revealed to them the location of a mass grave that could hold 500 bodies. The grave, around 10km from the port of Veracruz in the east of the country, was located in the same area as another grave holding hundreds of victims, which was found in 2016, also as a result of a tip-off. Rosalia Castro Toss, spokesperson
   
Ecuador, Peru tighten entry of Venezuelans
QUITO/LIMA: Venezuelans entering Ecuador and Peru will soon be required to show their passports, rather than national identity cards, the Ecuadorean government and Peruvian official sources said on Thursday, amid concerns over an influx of economic migrants. Ecuador and Peru have hitherto allowed Venezuelans to enter using national ID cards, providing desperate Venezuelans with an easier route out of their crisis stricken
 
 
Trump wants to meet Putin early next year, after Russia probe
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump will postpone a second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin until next year after the federal probe into Russian election meddling is over, national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday. “The president believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over, so we’ve agreed that it will be after the first of the ye
   
Lula should have political rights: UN
SAO PAULO: The UN Human Rights Committee, a panel of independent experts, on Friday said it had requested that the Brazilian government allow imprisoned former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to exercise his political rights as presidential candidate. Lula is the presidential candidate for his Workers Party (PT) and leads polls ahead of the October ballot but is widely expected to be banned from running by an electoral
 
 
Trump vows efforts to prevent wildfires
WASHINGTON: As wildfires choke California and other Western states, the Trump administration pledged on Thursday to work more closely with state and local officials to prevent wildfires from ever starting. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the Forest Service and other agencies will step up efforts to cut down small trees and underbrush and set controlled fires to remove trees that serve as fuel for catastrophic blazes,
   
Speed up immigrant deportations: Sessions
WASHINGTON: US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday sought to speed up the deportation of illegal immigrants, telling immigration judges they should only postpone cases in removal proceedings “for good cause shown.” Sessions, in an interim order that was criticized by some lawyers, said the “good-cause” standard “limits the discretion of immigration judges and prohibits them from granting continuances for any reason or no
 
 
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