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Florida boy hiding in garbage can survives sanitation truck



Florida boy hiding in garbage can survives sanitation truck

A 7-year-old Florida boy who was hiding inside a garbage can, is lucky to be alive after he was scooped up and dumped into a sanitation truck next to a trash compactor.

Elias Quezada escaped Tuesday’s petrifying ordeal without even a scratch, thanks to the very alert and heroic driver, NBC News reports.

Elias was playing outside his grandmother’s Hillsborough County house, when he said he decided to hide in her oversized garbage cans that were out for collection.

The garbage truck’s automatic claw scooped up the can and dumped the boy into the bed of the garbage filled vehicle – just inches from the active blade, according to the network’s WFLA affiliate.

“I got picked up and thrown to where I was going to be a mashed potato,” Elias said with a mischievous grin, adding he thought it was “the end” for him.

Thankfully, driver Waldo Fidele was closely watching the truck’s surveillance camera as it dumped the precious cargo in the back, according to the report.

Fidele immediately turned off the truck’s blade and called 911.

Carmen Salazar, Elias’ grandmother, said the boy was only outside for a few minutes when she heard the truck.

“I’m very thankful that he was looking at that camera at that time and he acted so fast,” Salazar said. “Because otherwise, he wouldn’t be here.”

“I come outside, I see him, he seemed happy,” Fidele said. “I said OK, you’re OK now.”

Fidele told WFLA he is trained to watch the back of the truck every time a can gets dumped in.

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Graham calls cartels, Taliban, China ‘winners’ in Biden administration



Graham calls cartels, Taliban, China 'winners' in Biden administration

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) accused the Biden administration Tuesday of practicing “incompetent domestic and foreign policy” that is only benefitting criminals and US adversaries.

“All these policies are blowing up in the Biden-Harris administration’s face,” Graham told Fox News’ “Hannity”. “Six months since they’ve been in charge — let’s name the winners in the past six months.

“Drug cartels in Mexico, human traffickers and coyotes in Mexico, the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Iranian ayatollah, Russia, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, and China have all been the biggest winners of incompetent domestic and foreign policy,” the senator added.

The Department of Homeland Security is set to announce Wednesday that thousands of asylum-seekers whose claims were dismissed due to failure to appear in immigration court will get a chance to come to the US make their case, a move Graham described as another example of the White House being “incompetent and foolish when it comes to managing illegal immigration.”

Turning to the coronavirus pandemic, Graham called for a revival of federal legislation that would allow Americans to sue the Chinese government for damages.

“I think I could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the virus came from a lab, not from a bat to animal into human beings … You can convict somebody in a court of law,” Graham told host Sean Hannity.

“So what do we need to do? We need to allow the American people to go to an American court and sue the Chinese Communist Party for ruining their lives and their businesses by waiving sovereign immunity like we did after 9/11 for Saudi Arabia,” the South Carolinian continued. “So I’m going to challenge my Democratic colleagues to open the American court system up so we can get to the bottom of what happened in China.

“The best way to get to the truth is to have a trial over where it came from and how it got to America, and I’m convinced this came from a lab leak,” Graham added. “I don’t think it was intentional, but it didn’t come from nature.”

A bill waiving sovereign immunity for China was introduced last year by then-Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee but died without receiving a floor vote.

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EU countries condemn Hungary over anti-LGBTQ law



EU countries condemn Hungary over anti-LGBTQ law

Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, France and Ireland were among European Union countries condemning their peer Hungary on Tuesday for a new anti-LGBTQ law as the bloc zeroed in again on democratic failings in Budapest and its nationalist ally Warsaw.

The new law banning the “display and promotion of homosexuality” among under-18s clearly violates European Union values, Germany’s European affairs minister said ahead of talks with his 27 EU counterparts about deep concerns that Hungary and Poland violate the rule of law by trampling the freedoms of courts, academics and media, as well as restricting the rights of women, migrants and minorities.

“The European Union is not primarily a single market or a currency union. We are a community of values, these values bind us all,” Roth told reporters ahead of the meeting in Luxembourg.

“There should be absolutely no doubt that minorities, sexual minorities too, must be treated respectfully.”

Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg authored a joint declaration condemning the latest legal changes under Prime Minister Viktor Orban as violating the right to freedom of expression and a “flagrant form of discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

The Swedish minister said the Hungarian law was “grotesque”, his Dutch colleague called on Budapest to undo it while their Irish counterpart said the bloc’s executive should sue it at the top EU court. Austria said it was wrong to park the anti-LGBTQ provisions in a bill penalising paedophilia.

“I am very concerned… It is wrong what has happened there and has to stop,” said Ireland’s Thomas Byrne. ” It’s a very very dangerous moment for Hungary and for the EU as well.”

Facing an election next year, Orban has grown increasingly radical on social policy in a self-proclaimed fight to safeguard what he says are traditional Christian values from the Western liberalism.

Arriving to the same meeting on Tuesday, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said the law was only aimed at paedophiles.

“The law protects the children in a way that it makes it an exclusive right of the parents to educate their kids regarding sexual orientation until the age of 18,” he said. “This law doesn’t say anything about sexual orientation of adults.”

The other ministers also spoke of worries about media freedom in Hungary, as well as concerns over Poland’s ongoing overhaul of the judiciary.

Saying that Polish courts need reforming, the ruling Law and Justice party has pushed out many critical judges across the judiciary, introduced more pliant replacements.

It most recently ignored an order from the top EU court to halt mining at its Turow plant on the Czech border for as long as a case Prague brought about it against Warsaw is not settled.

“We have to get assurances from Poland and Hungary that they are really going to follow what the EU court says in the future,” said Sweden’s Hans Dahlgren.

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Background checks blocked a record high 300,000 gun sales



Background checks blocked a record high 300,000 gun sales

SALT LAKE CITY — The number of people stopped from buying guns through the US background check system hit an all-time high of more than 300,000 last year amid a surge of firearm sales, according to new records obtained by the group Everytown for Gun Safety.

The FBI numbers provided to The Associated Press show the background checks blocked nearly twice as many gun sales in 2020 as in the year before. About 42 percent of those denials were because the would-be buyers had felony convictions on their records.

The increase in blocked gun sales largely tracks with the record-setting surge in sales that took hold along with the coronavirus pandemic and has continued into this year, through historic demonstrations against police brutality, deep political divisions and an insurrection at the US Capitol.

It comes as Congress has failed to pass major legislation on guns despite the Democratic majority and President Joe Biden’s push. A bill that would strengthen background checks is stalled in the Senate. The House in March passed the legislation requiring the checks on all sales and transfers, as well as an expanded 10-day review for gun purchases. Most states require background checks only for sales at federally licensed dealers. But the legislation faces an uphill battle getting any Republican support in the Senate.

According to the data, the rate of barred would-be gun buyers also increased somewhat over the previous two years, from about 0.6 percent to 0.8 percent. That could be in part because many of the people who tried to get guns in 2020 were buying them for the first time and may not have been aware that they were legally barred from owning them, said Adam Winkler, a UCLA Law professor specializing in gun policy.

“Some may have a felony conviction on their record and not think about it,” he said.

Making a false statement in connection with a background check is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a hefty fine, but few people are prosecuted for what would amount to lying on the form filled out before a gun purchase, he said.

In 2017, just 12 of the 112,000 people denied a gun purchase, about 0.01 percent, were federally prosecuted, largely due to limited resources for the time-intensive investigations, according to a US Government Accountability Office report.

Everytown’s research found that 16 percent of would-be gun buyers in 2020 were prohibited by state law, like the extreme-risk protection orders or red-flag laws passed in several states. Another 12 percent were related to domestic violence, either people subject to a protective order or convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime.

The data shows how necessary the legislation is, said Sarah Burd-Sharps, Everytown’s director of research.

“There’s no question that background checks work, but the system is working overtime to prevent a record number of people with dangerous prohibitors from being able to buy firearms,” she said in a statement. “The loopholes in the law allow people to avoid the system, even if they just meet online or at a gun show for the first time.”

Gun rights groups have pushed back against the proposal and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the group the Second Amendment Foundation, said the increase in denials might be partly because more states have been updating their records of restricted people. There are sometimes false positives as well, he said. “A day doesn’t go by that our office doesn’t get complaint calls from people who’ve been denied wrongly,” he said.

The data also comes as a growing number of conservative-leaning states drop requirements for people to get background checks and training to carry guns in public.

Texas last week became the latest state of about 20 to drop permitting requirements amid a push that began gathering steam several years ago. Gun rights groups say those requirements are an unfair burden for law-abiding gun owners, but firearm safety groups worry it’s a dangerous trend that will allow more firearms in the wrong hands.

Denial data is released by the FBI, but the information collected by Everytown breaks it down by year and includes data from states such as California and Florida, which conduct their own background checks.

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